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The Light We Lost
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Archive: Other Books > The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo -- 1.5 stars and multiple f-bombs

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message 1: by Nicole R (last edited Mar 15, 2018 05:54AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
1.5 stars (rounded up to 2 because I am feeling generous but I guarantee I will regret it by the time I get to the end of this angry review)

***This review is going to have spoilers. I repeat: spoilers. Nothing too major, but you have been warned. It also has f-bombs. Several, in fact.***

This was everything I hate in a book marketed as a contemporary romance. It was emotionally manipulative, the characters were shallow, and the female lead was so dependent on men to give her self-worth that I wanted to vomit.

Lucy and Gabe meet on 9/11 in New York City at the age of 23. Their paths cross over the next couple of years until they briefly, yet intensely date. They end up separating and going their separate ways. Lucy meets someone new, gets married to Darren, has a career, but Gabe keeps popping up every year or so. Ugh, whatever.

Lucy is an idiot. She is a mid-thirties woman stuck in a 13 year old mindset. I think we are supposed to think that her love for Gabe is eternal and pure, but it comes across as desperate. The girl is thirsty. Look, she fell in hard lust for this guys at 23. I've been there. I had a brief yet intense relationship at 23 with a guy who I was crazy about. Like most relationship like that it didn't work. Shocking. And I still look back on that person with love, he was amazing for my 23 year old self. But that is it. Lucy never gained that perspective. She made stupid life choices based on lust.

AND, she looks back on her time with Gabe as perfect but HE F-ING LEFT HER! HE ASKED HER TO GIVE UP HER DREAMS. HE WAS LIKELY CHEATING ON HER. Ugh. I Can't. Even.

So, Gabe is basically a massive self-centered asshat. He thinks about no one but himself. He makes all of his decisions based on what is best for him and only him. And, he won't just f-ing leave Lucy alone! He didn't choose her! But yet he can't resist getting back in contact every year or so just to f-ing ensure that she remembers him and can't fully move on. You, my friend, are a dick.

And, Lucy's husband. Ugh. Was he supposed to be perfect? Because he was far from it. He was manipulative and controlling and a little creepy obsessive. I swear if a guy made major life decisions for us and couched them as a surprise--which this character did ALL THE TIME-- I would throat punch him before I stepped over his prone body in my power suit and heels. He treated Lucy like the little lady whose job should be abandoned when she snagged a man, who should stay home with the kids, who should leave everything to her husband. Gag me with a mother f-ing spoon.

AND, (this is probably the biggest spoiler), Lucy thought Darren was cheating on her and NEVER F-ING ASKED. She is with this man for a decade, they have a family, and she can't work up the cojones to ASK HIM ABOUT IT! No, of course not, because she wants a fabricated reason to validate her continued obsession with Gabe. She was a horrible person too. Everyone sucks.

And, the end of the story. The whole story. Each page. It was more emotionally manipulative than Nicholas Sparks. The whole things dripped with melancholy and instead of letting the reader naturally develop feelings and responses to these characters, we were bashed over the head with implausible plot twists in a lame attempt to make us feel EXACTLY what the author wanted us to. I hate shit like that. It is a sign of poor writing.

I feel betrayed by Reese Witherspoon who selected this book for her book club despite being the current embodiment of a strong woman and supporting women's rights. Reese raves that it is about all kinds of love and Lucy's struggle with that. I think it is about a bunch of emotionally stunted douche canoes who ruin everything they touch. Different strokes for different folks.

(See, I regret rounding this up to 2 stars. Seriously, don't read this book.)


message 2: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5797 comments I'm sorry you had to deal with this ... but I'm glad to read your angry review! Does that make me a bad person?

And I am equally stunned by Reese Witherspoon's selecting it. ... Well not really ... I don't trust celebrity endorsement and celebrity book clubs.

Who I trust are my PBT friends. So I will take your advice and NOT read this book.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Book Concierge wrote: "And I am equally stunned by Reese Witherspoon's selecting it. ... Well not really ... I don't trust celebrity endorsement and celebrity book clubs. ....."

I have been on board with most of her selections, she has picked things totally in my wheelhouse, unlike Oprah who is hit-or-miss, or the newly launched Emma Watson bookclub which I do not plan to read because I know the books will be too smart and too insightful for me.

And, I think this book is being made into a movie! Ugh. Maybe Reese will totally change it like she did Big Little Lies and make it more about female empowerment. One can only hope because this Lucy character is for the birds.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments “Emotionally stunted douche canoes” ha ha ha ha. I won’t be reading this but I did laugh at your review. Angry reviews are the funniest.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Jen wrote: "Angry reviews are the funniest."

And the easiest to write. I could have gone on and on about my hatred of this book.

Seriously, why did I round up to 2 stars? I think the beginning made me think of that guy from my 23 year old life and I let that bit of nostalgia sway me.


message 6: by annapi (last edited Mar 15, 2018 07:26AM) (new)

annapi | 4969 comments How did you even finish the book? I would have thrown it at a wall after a few chapters or used it for kindling! LOL but books like these, if they're hardcover, would be great for a secret hideaway box, the kind where you cut out the pages to make a hollow inside.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments annapi wrote: "How did you even finish the book? I would have thrown it at a wall after a few chapters or used it for kindling!"

I don't know why I kept listening! It was relatively short, and I just kept thinking that maybe it was going to have this awesome ending that validated the rubbish of the first 80%.

Turns out, the ending was exactly what I was predicting from about page 40.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8518 comments Hilarious! I literally laughed out loud and that was just a wonderful review to read for my pleasure. I always love the spoilers when you know it’s a book I’m not even going near. I just think your recounting of it was a five star review, filled with humor and f-bombs. I love it. I can say this. Will always remember the books that we read that inspire us to write the most hate filled waste of our time reviews. Last year I reviewed the Kiddush Ladies, and I didn’t care if the author cried. She should, for having produced such trash and expecting others to read it. I can remember another book last year where I literally said run don’t walk away from this should you see in the bookstore. Set fire to this before walking near it. Sometimes a really bad books can just make you good and angry. So, none of us will touch it. I hope the next one is better.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Amy wrote: "Last year I reviewed the Kiddush Ladies, and I didn’t care if the author cried. She should, for having produced such trash and expecting others to read it...."

Hahaha! Exactly.


message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8518 comments For your own humor, you should check out my review on that book. I was so angry steam was coming out of my ears and my head.


message 11: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments Great review!!!!!!
Thanks for taking one for the team :)


message 12: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Ha ha! It’s safe to say that the fact that it’s a romance AND it garnered an angry Nicole review means I’m not going to be reading it!


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Susie wrote: "Ha ha! It’s safe to say that the fact that it’s a romance AND it garnered an angry Nicole review means I’m not going to be reading it!"

Right?!? Romance never makes me angry! You know what does? Infidelity and idiocy.


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6431 comments Douche canoe??? omg, I have never heard that expression before, but every time I say it in my head, I crack up. This book will forevermore be the douche canoe book . . .oh lord . . .my husband is like what is so funny?


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Anita wrote: "Douche canoe??? omg, I have never heard that expression before, but every time I say it in my head, I crack up. This book will forevermore be the douche canoe book . . .oh lord . . .my husband is l..."

Hahahaha! Glad I could expand your vocabulary. Honestly, I cannot even remember the first place I heard it, but it has been one of my favorite insults for quite some time now.


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