100 Days of Sunlight | By Abbie Emmons
I received an e-ARC of 100 Days of Sunlight from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Tessa Dickinson, a sixteen year old, poetry blogger who loses her sight in an accident. The doctors claim that this is a temporary condition but Tessa is afraid that she might never see again. In an attempt to bring her back to normal life, Tessa's grand parents post an ad for an assistant to help Tessa with her writing and blogging. Here comes Weston, an optimistic teenager with a disability. Now, Weston has only one condition to be Tessa's assistant. Tessa should not know about his condition.
With that, Weston makes his way into Tessa's life and tries to be her sunlight for the remaining days till she gets her sight. But are things ever that simple? The feelings and emotions that neither Weston nor Tessa, had any clue about, come into play. Will it change their life or is this going to break their heart?
Narrative and plot
It is not everyday you come across a book with such a genuine and earnest voice. The narrative shifts between the two main characters - Tessa and Weston. There is heart to it and a certain innocence that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. But there's more to this book than just a teenage love story. The last time I remember feeling this way was when I read "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen.
The image of the girl on the sycamore tree is vivid in my head and I'm sure Tessa and Weston enjoying in the park is going to stay somewhere closer to that.
Judging by the synopsis, you prepare yourself for an intense emotional read. But the book takes you by surprise. This is one of the most uplifting books you may come across in the recent times. And yet it has those tender moments that make your eyes watery. The plot is simple just the like the blurb promises and yet the journey is unforgettable.
Characters and Conflict
The story is mainly focused on Tessa and Weston. It is about their struggle. You learn how life tries to knock them down and you find out how they respond back. Even though the whole story is about the 100 days in the life of Tessa, Weston is the anchor to it. And that is how the whole process of character development goes. The supporting characters make their presence known too, especially Rudy and Henry.
Weston and his optimistic attitude complements the brooding yet practical Tessa. Even though subtle, you can see the character arc for Weston too. They learn from each other. And the rest is left to you, to interpret, learn and to grow as a person. That is the best thing a book can do to you.
One of the main conflict the book focuses is the path you choose when life hits you. Everyone has broken wings. It is just how we look at it that matters. Perhaps, this fundamental message - one of hope and optimism - is what makes you feel so connected to the story.
One can easily write it off as fiction and pretend that such an attitude exists in the fictional world only. But this book reminded me of an interview of Arunima Sinha, a former Indian volleyball player and the first female amputee ( she was pushed out of a moving train by a group of robbers) who climbed Mount Everest and Mount Vinson. I remember her saying that she actually thought about mountaineering after she lost her legs.
And because I know this story to be true, I enjoyed this book even more.
Overall, 100 Days of Sunlight is a must read. If you're not picking this book up, then you're missing out on one of the best contemporary fiction books of 2019. This is definitely going to make a place in your heart and perhaps your all-time favorite list as well. It sure goes in my top ten favorites list.
About the Author
Abbie Emmons has been writing stories ever since she could hold a pencil. What started out as an intrinsic love for storytelling has turned into her lifelong passion. There’s nothing she likes better than writing (and reading) stories that are both heartrending and humorous, with a touch of cute romance and a poignant streak of truth running through them.
Abbie is also a YouTuber, singer/songwriter, blogger, traveler, filmmaker, big dreamer, and professional waffle-eater. When she’s not writing or dreaming up new stories, you can find her road-tripping to national parks or binge-watching BBC Masterpiece dramas in her cozy Vermont home with a cup of tea and her fluffy white lap dog, Pearl.
If you want to see Abbie in her element (ranting about stories) check out her YouTube channel.