Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Light We Lost” as Want to Read:
The Light We Lost
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Light We Lost

by
3.89  ·  Rating details ·  53,435 ratings  ·  5,606 reviews
Me Before You meets One Day in this devastatingly romantic debut novel about the enduring power of first love with a shocking, unforgettable ending. A Love Story for a new generation.

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she m
...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 18th 2017 by HQ (first published May 9th 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Light We Lost, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lori I didn't like the ending; I thought it was cliche and predictable. I didn't care for the book or any of the main characters.
Angie No. For those of us who were this age and who lived in the major US cities (like LA where I was) 9/11 changed daily life in such a way that you could…moreNo. For those of us who were this age and who lived in the major US cities (like LA where I was) 9/11 changed daily life in such a way that you could not be unaffected by it. Ultimately, it changed the entire course of my life just by some choices being suddenly unavailable and priorities lining up more clearly. I think that was true of these characters, too. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  53,435 ratings  ·  5,606 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Melissa
If you’re anything like me—a lover of love, believer in fate or a sentimental dreamer—drop everything and read this book . . . now. I had an inkling this was going to be something special when I picked it up, but I had no idea just how hard this story would tug on my heart or how emotionally invested I would become.

What lends this story a unique feel, in my opinion, is the way Jill Santopolo tells it. Through the eyes of Lucy, a woman living in New York, we’re given a front row seat to an all-co
...more
emma
I don't know if this is going to be funny. Gasp! is your reaction, I presume. I know. Without fail, no matter what, I’m funny. That’s the Emma Guarantee: Five stars or one, hilarity ensues™. But not this time, maybe.

https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

(Update from later: I ended up writing the majority of this review at a later date from this initial bit (had to let the injustice simmer into humor, you know how it is) (yeah, I just hit you with double parentheses, what are you gonna do about
...more
Sara
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really struggling with where to begin with this book. Sometimes I wonder if its worse if a book is offensive or if its just totally forgettable. At least when something is offensive its inspiring some sort of emotional reaction out of me. Its asking me to think about what it is I'm finding offensive. Forgettable is just a waste of my time.

I'm gonna go with offensively forgettable and call it even.

Lucy and Gabe meet on September 11th. While not inherently offensive itself this is, perhaps, no
...more
Amalia Gavea
‘’The world felt like it was cracking in pieces, like we’d gone through a shattered mirror into the fractured place inside, where nothing made sense, where our shields were down, our walls broken. In that place, there wasn't any reason to say no.’’

This book was quite a departure from what I usually choose to read. It was all in the cover, to be honest. I saw the lovely couple’s silhouettes and I said ‘’yeah, okay. Bye!’’ Because romance, people. Not my style at all. But, then my brain processe
...more
Pouting Always
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first day she spent with Gabe has stayed with Lucy ever after, even though they didn't really see one another again afterwards. She is inexplicably drawn to Gabe and so when years later they meet in a bar the two start dating. Gabe isn't happy though, he wants to do more with his life and is afraid of ending up like his own father, resentful and unsuccessful. As he pursues his photography he realizes he wants to go abroad and capture the struggles and political turmoil which means leaving Lu ...more
Larry H
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


"Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder. Maybe it's the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in—or maybe it's the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart. I've heard so many people say some version of I never knew how much I could love another human being until...I never knew how much I could love another human being until I met you
...more
Warda
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My heart is broken. I am blown away and broken. I don't know how to review this, so I'm going to ramble for a bit.

Firstly, I want to thank Putnam Books for sending me a review copy. I'm so appreciative!

Secondly, if there's one thing that I took away from this story is to follow your heart. To fully trust and go with your gut. This book had me so irritated with the nature and fragility of human beings, which we obviously can't control at times, because we fall into the trap of following that whi
...more
*TANYA*
Why is 5 stars the limit??!! OMG!!! I LOVED, loved this freaking book!!! The entire time I was reading, I had a sense of foreboding. The style in which it is told felt like a confession and immediately I was apprehensive. Sigh. Lovely. My poor tear-ducts. Lol

"Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable."
KAS
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fate! Decisions! Regrets!

I adore dual narrations, but this is in single POV, told by the heroine, Lucy, and is extremely well written. The storyline is told in the form of what I would call a diary with the most mysterious undertones as she recounts past events. I found myself enthralled trying to figure out which direction the storyline was headed. The characters are surprising, captivating and infuriating.

These characters are so infuriating at times, I found myself wanting to pull my hair out
...more
Susanne  Strong
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars.

Lucy & Gabe met on September 11, 2001. After the events of that day, both felt a connection to each other that neither could explain.
One that connected them forever and no other relationship compared. It didn't matter that on that day when they were both in College, they shared a few intimate moments which Lucy thought were the beginning of a relationship and then Gabe decided to go back to his ex-girlfriend that same day. It didn't matter that over a year later, after they met agai
...more
Emer
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochistic Nicholas Sparks fans
Emotionally manipulative drivel.
Akin to a poor man's Nicholas Sparks but with even less heart!
Trite. Dull. Cliches at every turn and a laughably predictable ending which is supposed to be heart breaking and beautiful etc etc but my eyes bled rather than wept! (Figuratively speaking of course)

I sent a message to my friend Gabby after reading the first few chapters of the book. It went as follows:
"I am reading the most emotionally manipulative BS book and I'm just waiting for someone to be dead
...more
Magdalena
I don't even know how to review that book. It's one of the most emotionally engaging books I've read in a long time. My heart broke many a time reading it. It's gut-wrenching. But most of all it's just beautiful. It's a love story and it's a story about love and choices we make and all the what ifs we have to live with.
Lucy and Gabe, two people who are meant to be together but when together their love is just too intense, too much, burns and breaks them. Their story is incredibly heart-breakin
...more
❄️Nani❄️
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What’s a person gotta do to get some hearts broken here?
I’ve been in search of an emotionally damaging read that tugs at my heartstrings for far too long with no luck whatsoever.
A reputable source tells me this might be it... be it.


This is what I said prior to starting this book... the depressed me who was sat staring at blank space for hours, just wasting the day away could go back and punch the yesterday me with the big mouth. 🤦♀



I'm dead inside. I feel so fucking empty and melancholic.
I have
...more
Cheri
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“We’ve known each other for almost half our lives.
I’ve seen you smiling, confident, blissfully happy.
I’ve seen you broken, wounded, lost.
But I’ve never seen you like this.
You’ve taught me to look for beauty. In darkness in destruction, you always found light.
I don’t know what beauty I’ll find here, what light. But I’ll try. I’ll do it for you. Because I know you would do it for me.
There was so much beauty in our life together.
Maybe that’s where I should start.”


On the day that Lucy and Gabriel
...more
Hulya Kara Yuksel
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hulya by: Amber
“There are people we come across during our lives who, after they drift out of our worlds, drift out for good. Even if we see them again, it’s a quick, meaningless hi and how are you? There are other people, though, with whom things pick up right where the relationship left off, whenever we run into them. The level of comfort—it feels like no time has passed.”



I read this book 3 days ago and I'm still feeling the heartache. :'(
This book is one of my top 5 books in 2018, so I highly recommend i
...more
Cian O hAnnrachainn
I can't do this anymore. I have given up at page 145.

What do we have but yet another young New Yorker examining the lint in her navel and imagining that it is fascinating for us all. The problems of a woman who falls madly in lust and thinks it's love is so small, so petty, that I cannot generate enough enthusiasm to continue.

As usual, the prose if lovely. The sentences are put together nicely, the voice comes through clearly.

It's the fecking story. It isn't strong enough to support an entire no
...more
Christine (Shh Moms Reading)
I had high hopes for this one. While I was totally engrossed in the story itself, I had A LOT of problems with the choices that the main characters made. When I finished the book, I was just sad 😕
This is a new author to me that I would read again

Full Review now posted 5/9
The blurb for The Light We Lost captured my attention right away. For one, I am a HUGE fan of Me Before You and I love any romance story about first love.

I had very high expectations for this book going in even though I knew th
...more
Gabby
"There's something about death that makes people want to live."
Book one for the Booktubeathon is complete! And I fucking loved it. I cried so much at the end of this book holy shit I was unprepared. This is a romance novel that spans decades and it follows the characters Lucy and Gabe. This story is told in this very interesting second person, and it's from Lucy's POV as she tells her story to Gabe from her perspective. And it almost reads like literary fiction because of the way it spans decade
...more
Nina
May 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I won this through a Goodreads giveaway.
Ever have a friend who cannot stop yammering about the love that got away? Imagine over 300 pages of that and you have the essentials of this book. The narrator is incredibly immature, as is the object of her enduring obsession, who has very little use for her, except on the rare occasions when his feelings have been hurt. A significant portion of this book is devoted to the narrator commenting on the fact that the second boyfriend does things that would n
...more
Nadia Awadi
Warning! this is going to be a huge RANT with lots of profanity. Kids stay in school.

Where do I even start with this book? Oh! Maybe with some general thoughts like:
I FUCKING HATED IT. So much. So so much. SO MUCH.

The Plot

Lucy and Gabriel met as collage students. Kissed at 9/11. Dated for a second. Broke up. Met a second time. Fucked around a lot. Started thinking they were unique and poetic. When in fact they are just regular morons. Hurt people. Stalked each other and thought they were 'f
...more
Jeannie
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was hard to put down, I loved it!
Megan Johnson
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I had to take a couple days after I finished this book before I sat down to write this review and even now I'm not sure that I have the right words to put towards a review for this book - too many thoughts and I'm not sure how I feel about what I read.

This book has been highly acclaimed as gut wrenching, heart breaking, beautiful, and raw. I can agree, it's all of those things. It's truly a FANTASTIC read and I want to give it credit where credit is due. It's been a while since I read something
...more
Brandice
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"What makes a life well spent?"

I first heard about The Light We Lost through The Skimm and knew immediately that I wanted to read it, so I chose it for my book club's July read (Sidenote: Most of us really enjoyed it). Then, I saw reviews mentioning the book was a cross between One Day and Me Before You and thought "oh no" but also "oh yes" - 2 books that I really enjoyed but have tragic elements. As I read this book, I braced myself for the inevitable tragedy that I predicted to occur.

The Li
...more
Helene Jeppesen
This was a wonderful, tragic love story told from an interesting perspective. Lucy fell in love with Gabe on 9/11, and now she’s telling her story to him as in a letter. From the very beginning, you are told that Lucy and Gabe break up which makes you wonder why Lucy is telling him her story and what has happened to both of them meanwhile.
I liked this book a lot, and the ending was devastating but made everything make sense. Definitely a book for any lovers of love stories; as long as you’re no
...more
Vanessa
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a love story albeit a flawed one, that’s not really a bad thing, I don’t believe in perfect love. Love is complicated, love is giving and taking and plenty of goddamn heartbreak. What this book offers through the narrative is an intimacy from the viewpoint of Lucy. You know immediately that something significant is going to happen. You wait and you wait...with bated breath not really knowing if you want it to come. However having so much build up kinda left me feeling a little deflated. ...more
Jamie
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book absolutely gutted me...and yet, i can't stop thinking about it or wanting to talk about it...
Amber
One of the best books I have read in my entire life!!! Please don't take that statement lightly. It's hard for me to even explain. This book questions fate vs. choice for two soulmates and had me crying in the 1st chapter. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but just know this is a very heavy book. You will most likely cry a lot. But it’s also a beautifully moving story.

Lucy is narrating the story to Gabe. We don't know yet if she is talking to him or writing him a letter, but it was such
...more
Jill McGill
4.5 Stars

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is a beautifully written and realistic novel that I couldn't put down. A definite page-turner with great character development and a storyline that will stay with me for awhile! I loved Santopolo's writing style and the way she captures the emotions of the characters - flawless! A beautiful story that will pull you in - highly recommend!
Caryn
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I started this book at 9 pm last night and just finished. 20 hours total, which might be a new record. You know how there's those books that you can't put down? I didn't want to put this down. It was so easy to read and was such an amazing story. The short chapters meant I could keep going even when my lids were drooping last night.

I loved how these characters met on September 11, 2001, at the age I was on September 11, 2001. Their life events happened in time with mine which made for such a
...more
Myrna
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Light We Lost is a story of love, marriage and family from Lucy’s point of view. I soooooo wanted to love this book like so many of my Goodreads friends. ): I think it was Santopolo’s writing style that bothered me a bit. It reminded me of A Small Indiscretion, which was also a three star read. I didn’t hate it or think it was just ok. It was a light and quick read that I did want to read to the end.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • Beartown (Beartown, #1)
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
  • One True Loves
  • The Futures
  • This is How It Always Is
  • Dancing on Broken Glass
  • Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win
  • The Heirs
  • The Arrangement
  • Poslednje proleće u Parizu
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish
  • The Silver Cord (The Silver Cage, #2)
  • Results May Vary
  • Hello, Sunshine
  • I'm Glad About You
  • Give Me Your Answer True (The Fish Tales, #2)
See similar books…
1,056 followers
Jill Santopolo is the author of the The Light We Lost, the Alec Flint Mysteries, the Sparkle Spa series, and the Follow Your Heart books. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a certificate in Intellectual Property Law from NYU. Jill is also the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Pen ...more
“Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder. Maybe it’s the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in— or maybe it’s the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart. I’ve heard so many people say some version of I never knew how much I could love another human being until . . . And after the until is usually something like my niece was born or I gave birth to a child or I adopted a baby. I never knew how much I could love another human being until I met you, Gabe.
I’ll never forget that.”
70 likes
“I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you're going slightly mad. And if you do find that love, embrace it. Hold onto it. When you give yourself over to love like that, your heart will get bruised. It will get battered. But you will also feel invincible and infinite.” 46 likes
More quotes…