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When Light Left Us

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  79 reviews
When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.

Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Lu
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  332 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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georgia ☽
Feb 04, 2017 marked it as to-read
C.G. Drews
I have to admit I am very very tired™ whenever I see autism traits crammed into someone who is possessed by an alien. How about, instead, stop.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Review can also be found on my blog, here: Kiwi Can Read

I was so stoked to receive a Net Galley e-arc of this book. This was one of my 2018 most anticipated releases. I read Leah Thomas' Because You'll Never Meet Me last year and LOVED it so much. It instantly became one of my favorite books of all time. I'm sorry to report that I can't say the same for this one.

The premise was so original and compelling, I thought for sure I would love it. I ended up getting so frustrated with this book, that I
Vicky Again
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
5 stars


I picked this up at my library in the uncatalogued section (where they have some ARCs) on a whim, and I regret nothing.

When I started reading it this Friday night, I knew nothing about it. I hadn't read the summary and I probably wouldn't have actually started if I didn't schedule this post weeks ago thinking I would read this book before then.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting--maybe something fake-poetic based on the vague-ness of the title, but it ended up not bein
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
Review and rating to come
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
This book was an absolute struggle for me. STRUGGLE. Why? It was too wordy... as if Thomas was trying so hard to make this story magical and engaging. Was it? Not at all. It was hella confusing and I had no idea what was going on... It was simply trying to be a bigger story than what it was.


Full review can be found here:

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury for the opportunity!**

I’m sad t
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


This is a very... different sort of book. I mean, you see in the synopsis that Luz is an alien who is having an impact on this particular family. A huge impact, basically. But I'll let you read about that. Point is, an alien invading a family isn't your run of the mill story. Also, this alien is kind of an asshole. 

The book started off in a bit of a confusing way, and I wasn't wholly
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a little bit of bizarre premise if you're not into aliens but this book is SO GOOD and yeah there's an alien but even more so, it's about life and family and friends and trauma and loving yourself.

Read this book with a friend because you are going to need someone to talk about it with!! I was so sad when I reached the end because I didn't want to leave these characters!
Gabrielle Schwabauer
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book gets points for being completely unlike anything I have ever read.

I wasn't completely sold on all! the! exclamation! points! in Milo's sections, though I can understand why the author wanted to emphasize the louder and less contained nature of his thoughts. The pacing was a little weird in places. There were about two characters too many. And a few plot threads were just a little too neat.

But it was also creepy and haunting and genuinely moving in places. I loved watching the three sib
Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. This isn't a perfect book, it's a little mangled as far as a time line goes with pre-Luz, Luz, post-Luz but I was racing near the end to get to the ending that had me welling up. Leah Thomas has found just a great blend of sci-fi and realism. I forgive this book for not being the next book in the Because You'll Never Meet Me series, it's really that good. ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I checked this out from the library and sat on it for a month and a half. And then I read it all in one day!

From the start you could feel how raw and hollowed out these characters felt and it was such a jolt to enter the story in the aftermath of what felt like a tragic loss, but without the details of what that loss was. Everything from the specific issues each of the three siblings was dealing with, paired with the way the chapters were titled and the glimpses of the recent past were SO GR
Kelly Gunderman
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Check out this, other reviews, and more fun bookish things on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

I honestly had no idea what I was expecting when I started reading When Light Left Us. I had read the synopsis, of course, and it kind of made me a bit more confused, and when I started the book, read through it, and finished it, I came out feeling puzzled about the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong, I did like When Light Left Us. I thought it was different and interesting, and kind of re
Holy shit, this book.

Hooooly shiiiiit.

Punched in the feels, over and over. In the best possible way.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
1.5* Such a pretty cover, such a disappointing book...
Okay, there was a lot of issues in this book and I'll do my best to articulate them properly in words, but that'll be hard because every time I think about this book I get angry.
First, basically, this book is about Hank, Ana, and Milo who's dad left and a few years later, some sort of "celestial" entity, Luz (Spanish for light) arrives and basically possesses them. For two months, he fills the void of their absent father but then he leaves t
Luke Reynolds
I think the main problem with this book, for me, was that it was way too ambitious. When Light Left Us is the story of a Hispanic-American family living in the Chihuahuan desert, three years following the sudden exit of the father. That summer brings a parasitic alien in the middle of the canyon near the family home, and it infects the three children through various body parts. Following its dismissal is where the book begins, and from there, we meet Hank (recovering hands), Ana (recovering eyes ...more
A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.

Leah Thomas is hands down one of my favourite authors. I endlessly adore her first two books – Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You – and now When Light Left Us has cemented her as one of the best authors in YA right now.

Each of Leah’s books hits you hard in the feels. The entire time I was reading When Light Left Us I felt like my heart was breaking. Each of the four POV characters – the three Vazquez siblings and
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

This was such an odd story, but not in a bad way? I'm always glad when something unique comes along these days and this is definitely the first family story not-so-hidden in a what-happens-after-an-alien-possessed-you-and-your-siblings book on my shelf!

Images from this complicated, layered, grief-imbued story will stay with me.

Extraordinarily affecting.
J. Taylor
It took me a bit to get into, it was weird but soon set into an easy rhythm that had made sense and I enjoyed it then.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and also sends a messages that there is no such thing as normal.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Confusing start, but other than that this was totally a me book? Loved the characters.
Krista Stevens
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi
See Kristen's two-star review. ...more
This book is...weird. It definitely takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to read, and I don't know if I'd recommend reading it before bed if you're anything like me, but it's a fascinating piece of writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I might write a more comprehensive review later, but for now, here are some of the awesome things that the story includes:

-LGBT characters (I mean, it's Leah Thomas)
-a heavily autistic-coded kid who I definitely related to a ton
-kids with wei
TW: self harm and suicidal thoughts.

If you're a fan of Shaun David Hutchinson's writing, I definitely recommend you check out a book by Leah Thomas. Their books both have the whole "contemporary except this one specific science fiction aspect that's completely normal/accepted" thing going on and they're both really excellent at it. I went into this thinking it would be one thing and it completely surprised me by being almost the exact opposite. I won't say anything more than that because I think
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: found-for-others
I loved Thomas' first two books so much it makes it all the more disappointing that I didn't really even like this one. It was slow and dull for so long. The chapters from Milo's perspective were annoying. He's just a fictional character so I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I don't enjoy spending time with a weird little kid who over-uses exclamation points and is obsessed with things I have no interest in. Actually, I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I wouldn't enjo ...more
Milo, Ana and Hank all know the first day that their lives fell apart --- the day that their father drove off into the desert sun and never came back. Ana and Hank know the second day that their lives fell apart --- when Luz, the light, the intangible alien, came into their lives. And they know the day that they finally realized it --- the day that he left. Now Hank can’t make a single basket, Ana can’t close her eyes and Milo can’t take off his headphones. This is the Vasquez family: broken and ...more
Kalena W
1 million stars/5 stars folks, get ready for a heartfelt review. This is one I call a TRUE five-star worthy book.

This book gave me so much joy as soon as I picked it up and was amazing enough to get me out of my reading slump. Every character is so neatly crafted, the plot is leisurely moving but enough to keep you interested, and the setting is beautifully described.

Adding onto the point of amazing writing is just the books connection to reality, and how it makes you feel. This book, while sci
Celia McMahon
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!

This is a story of three siblings who get possessed, in a way by an alien parasite. Sounds simple, right?


First off, this story is told by multiple POV's so if you're not into that, you can stop here. What I love about this is that you are seeing the story through different ages since the kids range from age seven to almost eighteen. And then you have the mother and the alien toward the end.

The story gave me a definite Spielberg vibe. We have three kids who ha
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
WOW. Any other 3-letter expletive is too insignificant to describe this book. The story line felt very fresh which meant I wasn't bored by anticipating what happens next. Every plot twist was unexpected and often refreshing. In a nutshell, an alien answering to the name Luz invades 3 siblings after they were abandoned by their father, causing them to have a traumatic summer and a very hard time coping in school the next fall. However, there are many thoughtful and kind characters in this book th ...more
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Leah Thomas once wrote from a house in the woods, and now an apartment more or less by the sea (well, less). Her debut novel BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER MEET ME was a 2016 Morris Award finalist, and its sequel, NOWHERE NEAR YOU, is out now from Bloomsbury. Her third YA science fiction novel, WHEN LIGHT LEFT US, hit shelves this February.

A graduate of Clarion 2010, her short fiction has appeared in Asimo

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