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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.
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.
Wow. This book left me speechless, heart racing, and chills running down my spine. I finished All the Little Lights at 2am and I have to say that I honestly loved this book with every fiber of my being. This right here, ya’ll, is Jamie McGuire at her best. I couldn’t contain my wtf moment when this book came around full force. I’ve been in a book slump for the past month or so and this book left me with all of the feelings a book lover needs and wants out of a book. This book is so unique and different from what I’ve come to expect from Jamie and believe me…it was a pleasant surprise. All the Little Lights just may be one of my top 10 reads in all the years that I’ve been reading!
“…people can only make us angry if we let them, and if we let them, we give them power.”
Catherine grew up being hated and bullied for her family’s past mistakes; her family wasn’t what it used to be socially or financially and it put a strain on, not only her, but her parents. Elliott grew up in an abusive situation, but his summers at his aunt’s house are the reprieve he never wants to leave from. The small town of Oak Creek may have it’s downfalls, but Catherine is the one beautiful thing Elliott can’t seem to stay away from.
The relationship between Elliott and Catherine was innocent and deep all at once. They met as kids, fell in love over one summer, and then the world continually showed them how cruel it can be. They both grew up fast, but the thing about young, first loves is that it stays with you and given the chance Elliott and Catherine’s love grew into something so profound that it really only happens once in a lifetime.
“Elliott made me feel safe in a way I hadn’t since the day he left, like I wasn’t trying to survive alone.”
When tragedy strikes and shakes Catherine’s whole world Elliott disappears and Catherine is left to handle the wreckage that is her life. Two years Catherine had to do it all on her own and Elliott had to withstand the abuse and toxic situation that was his home. They both grew up fast so when Elliott finally returns, Catherine doesn’t know what to do with the man Elliott has become and Elliott sees this beautiful broken girl in Catherine that he can’t help but want to save.
The plot was eerie in a way that kept me wanting to know more. The secret Catherine kept carrying around was intertwined within every chapter…there on the cusp of being found out but Jamie never really giving us much to go on. I had ideas, but I wasn’t prepared for what this whole story was really about. Jamie thrilled, shocked, and captivated me in all in this book and the ending was something to be reckoned with. I was blown away.
All the Little Lights gives you more than a young love romance. It shows the scarier side of high school and the consequences of not having a stable home environment. Things like this leave children and young adults bruised and scarred and we definitely see that here. Jamie also shows us this unwavering loyalty woven in the many different relationships in this books. Elliotts loyalty to Catherine and Catherine’s loyalty to her mom and in a around about way her mom’s mysterious and crazy scary B&B. Loyalty is a good quality to have, but sometimes it can be your own worse enemy. I’m telling ya’ll right now…this story is about not only saving the ones you love but saving yourself too.
“You can’t help others if you are trapped. You can’t get someone out of quicksand if you’re stuck in it, too,”
This book touched on many different but important topics and if you do nothing else this year, please read All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire. I promise….you won’t regret it.