All the Little Lights (Jamie McGuire)


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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.

“He was different -more than just odd- but he had found me. And for the moment, I liked not feeling lost.”

I just have to say, it’s so refreshing to read All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire. Something that was non-Maddox related. And I don’t mean that negatively, I am a Travis Maddox girl through and through. But I was just ready for a different side of Jamie and All the Little Lights delivered just that.


It was really cool to see Jamie go back to sort of a Happenstance type realm. A book where two characters are just trying to survive the day to day struggles of teenage years, parents and school and even bullying. Catherine and Elliot are two very strong characters, especially for the YA genre. That was a huge plus for me. They were actually characters that had depth and weren’t just two dimensional people who were wrote out on a page for you.

I do want to say this: The different types of subjects Jamie touches on in ATLL were eloquently done. From the stereotyping of individuals to the mental illness to the way children are treated in today’s society- just bravo, Jamie. Bravo. Thank you for not doing this for the shock factor or the drama. 


My only quirk and downfall of ATLL was the pacing, it was a tad slow at times. Some parts were drawn out and tedious but other than that I had no problem enjoying every minute of this read. 

I enjoyed how the story played out and the way the twists and turns played into the story. The plot was strong and there is nothing I love more than a plot driven story. It was all diligently woven in a sense that needed to happen and Jamie did an excellent job at executing that. Her writing was exceptional and definitely something I was not surprised to see. She has a natural flow to her stories and plots that I tend to enjoy so much. 

The best part of this entire book was I didn’t know what to expect. I had my suspensions and my guesses but I still wasn’t 100% sure where Jamie was taking this story with Elliot and Catherine. It could have gone multiple ways but in the end- I was completely happy with the route she took with these two characters. 


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