Review: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

May 29, 2018

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.


Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.


Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.


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** 2 Star Review **


I have been struggling with writing this review since I finished this book. I don't want to give anything away about it, and I don't want to come across as "slamming" it. I will do my best to convey why such a low rating for this book.


First, I fell in love with Jamie's books years ago when Beautiful Disaster was released. At some point, my tastes changed in my reading preferences, and I haven't read her in books in years. I was excited to pick back up with this one.


The plot... it's a good plot. One that I would have normally loved. However, the delivery of the story and plot fell off a cliff for me. I found myself rolling my eyes and begging for the story to just move on more than not. It drug. It was repetitive. It was drawn out for way too long. This book would have been much better had it been cut in half.


I honestly didn't like the characters. They were bland and one-dimensional. I just couldn't put myself in their world. 


The twist. If you have read any of the other reviews, you have seen there is a twist. Let me first say, I saw the twist way in the early part of the book. I did question myself from time to time, but I kept going back to what I thought was going to come to be. This, too, was too drawn out. It should have been brought up to another character to make the "mysterious" happenings more believable.


Overall, I am glad I read this book. If for no other reason than to say that even as a fan, I won't always necessarily love everything an author writes. 


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