RELEASED: August 7, 2019
PUBLISHER: Abbie Emmons
GENRE: YA Contemporary
GOODREADS RATING: 4.12
TRIGGERS: Harassment, car crash
REPS: Temporary blindness, amputee, depression, Christian rep
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
I read the synopsis of this book and I just.. couldn’t. I needed it immediately. You all know I love diverse rep in books and 100 Days of Sunlight features rep I’ve barely seen. But.. instead of talking about it in my intro, let’s just dive into the actual review, right?!
So. The representation. Our female main character, Tessa, was in a car crash and is temporarily blind. Safe to say she’s having a hard time adapting and is struggling a lot. Her grandparents are Christians. The male main character, Weston, is an amputee. There’s also mention of reading braille.
All those things combined already sound pretty awesome, right? And that’s even before diving into the story itself! Seriously, the rep alone should be plenty of reason to get your hands on a copy stat.
The story itself is more than worth it as well. Weston finds his own small ways of making Tessa realize that losing her sight doesn’t mean she’s lost everything. The book is divided into parts, into senses. Smell, sound, touch, taste. Using those things, he helps her get out of the pit of depression and while doing so their relationship grows into a friendship. Although it does change a bit from one point to the next, it doesn’t feel all that random. I loved seeing how a stranger could influence Tessa’s “sight” – excuse the pun – on things.
But Tessa’s view isn’t the only one we get. There are two POV’s in total – Weston’s as well. Where Tessa only tells the “now” of her story, Weston’s jumps back and forth between his past and the present. Between the period of losing his legs and the present where he helps Tessa realize life isn’t all about seeing things.
The past parts, where he shares how he felt right after losing his legs, is.. hard to get through but at the same time amazing. There’s a mental strength in Weston’s character that came across beautifully in Emmons’ writing. On top of that, it shows why it’s so important for him to help Tessa, even when she’s acting like a.. well.. brat? And, to top it off, Weston’s refusal to tell Tessa about his legs is a great reminder not to treat people differently because of the way they look. He’s still a normal person and 100 Days of Sunlight shows how someone can miss being treated as such when there’s something different about them.
Then there’s all the different kinds of relationships! The relationship Weston has with his parents, with his brothers, his friendship with Rudy, Tessa’s friendship with her blogging friends, with her grandparents. There are so. many. different. relationships. I don’t think I ever really saw something like that in other books? Or not that pronounced, at least? This automatically adds a lot when it comes to depth of character as well!
Emmons’ writing is a bit different than what I’m used to in comtemporary, but it definitely worked in this story. Shorter sentences, mostly written like the characters – or like we – would think things at times. An example of that is repeating certain words or sentences like a mantra or to convince themselves of something. It worked – and I’m glad it did because it added to the atmosphere of the story.
Another element is the addition of poems since Tessa writes poetry and blogs about it as well. There aren’t that many but the fact that it’s incorporated? Loved it.
Because there always needs to be at least one quote, okay?!
There isn’t really anything bad about this novel. More like.. something I personally would have loved to see differently? And that’s the ending. I just needed a bit more.. information on what happened after the 100 days ended. Like, say, a couple months later or something? I’m just curious. Probably because I started caring about Weston way too much for my own good. Oopsies.
Guess I don’t need to say any more, right? If you look at the rep in this book and the way I loved it.. You just need to give this book a chance! And if you need one more reason: Abbie published this entirely on her own. No publisher involved. SUPPORT HER! [Also, to the writers out there, check out her YouTube!]
Based on this review, what book would you recommend me?
Have you seen (temporary) blind rep in books before?
Would you read this book? Add it to your TBR? Immediately scroll up to buy a copy?