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Editorial Reviews

"Extraordinary.... An emotional roller coaster." (Delia Ephron)

Publisher's Summary

THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 

Reese Witherspoon’s February Book Club pick 

“This love story between Lucy & Gabe spans decades and continents as two star-crossed lovers try to return to each outer…Will they ever meet again? This book kept me up at night, turning the pages to find out, and the ending did not disappoint.”—Reese Witherspoon 

"One Day meets Me Before You meets your weekender bag."--The Skimm 

"Extraordinary."--Emily Giffin 

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 must start her story--their story--at the very beginning. 

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated--perhaps they'll find life's meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other's hearts. 

This devastatingly romantic debut novel about the enduring power of first love, with a shocking, unforgettable ending, is Love Story for a new generation. 

"It's the epic love story of 2017."--Redbook

©2017 Jill Santopolo (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    912
  • 4 Stars
    379
  • 3 Stars
    199
  • 2 Stars
    89
  • 1 Stars
    63

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    887
  • 4 Stars
    307
  • 3 Stars
    165
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    59

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    820
  • 4 Stars
    317
  • 3 Stars
    194
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    79
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible- a love story for selfish immature people to

I can’t believe how much I did not like this book. The protagonist was just so awful and selfish and the love story was immature and just obnoxious

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Meh.

I'm not usually a romance reader, and this did not grow my appreciation for the genre. Both main characters were adolescent jerks who naturally land highly successful careers without even trying. They want to "change the world" through these careers, though neither of them show any signs of actually giving a rat's ass about anyone other than themselves or each other. The settled-for husband, who could have been a moral counterpoint, is instead a robotic ivy leaguer who thought he married a stepford wife. This might be a good example of how social media unintentionally keeps us connected to those who we most likely would have lost touch with once a relationship ends. Instead, we are made to feel close through updates, photos, etc. unless we actively make the choice to unfollow or unfriend. I also really hated the comparison of different types of relationships to types of fires. People are not fires. Jumping from fire to fire has consequences because unlike fires, people have feelings. This has to be said to a romance novel??

I nearly cried at the end, but probably because I make myself finish most books and I still had 7 minutes left.

39 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Morals? What Morals?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Giving the main character a moral compass would've been great. Or at least had her whine less. She made her choices and yet she was still a perpetual victim. Weak. Spineless. Pathetic.

Has The Light We Lost turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yep.

How could the performance have been better?

If she read a different book.

What character would you cut from The Light We Lost?

The main character.

Any additional comments?

This is basically a cousin to the selfishness of "Eat Pray Love." Main character is weak and whiny. If you don't love someone as much as you love someone else, don't marry that person. Pure stupidity. AND should you decide to marry the person you love less DON'T WHINE ABOUT IT FOR AN ENTIRE BOOK. The character is a disgrace to female empowerment. Newsflash - if your husband loves you, is good to you, and buys you a house in the Hamptons, you really have nothing to complain about. Women everywhere dream about this type of marriage. Marriage isn't easy and the character acts like she is the only person in the world whose marriage isn't perfect.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Author's voice ruined it for me

Would you try another book from Jill Santopolo and/or Jill Santopolo?

Only if she wasn't the one who narrated it.

How could the performance have been better?

Have a professional reader or voice actor read the book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and sadness that I couldn't get past the first 15 minutes because of the author's voice.

Any additional comments?

The book is read by the author (something I think is never a good idea unless the author is a famous person, such as Paul Reiser who always narrates his own books). This author has a very bad voice for narration. It's too high pitched, whiny and squeaky. So I only made it through the first 15 minutes before I had to stop. Her voice was just too annoying.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Perfect for teens but...

For those of us who live in the real world, I found this story to be too much. Lucy needs a big dose of...get over it. She has an amazing husband and a family, but can’t shake a college lover. I cared less and less for her as the story went on and I felt sorry for her husband. Overall, I’m disappointed in her choices and never felt as though she learned anything as a result of them. The writing was clean, crisp and well done, but this book wasn’t for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I feel like this book got a lot of hype. I was very disappointed. I found the main character to be sort of annoying, causing me to roll my eyes at several points during my listening. I can appreciate a good love story but this one didn't do it for me.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Moving, thought-altering, real

I loved the book and the author’s narration of it. I have never felt more ridiculous than I do right now, crying in my dark living room as I had to listen to the end. I don’t think I will ever be the same after listening to this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Crazy amazing but sad as all hell

This has been one of the best books I've listened to for a while and I go through about 2 a week. I made the mistake of listening to it at work, which I would strongly advise not to do because it is a tear jerker. This is one I wish they would make a movie for even though I know they wouldn't be able to capture the emotion as well. I love the way it's written and how she is talking to Gabe throughout the book. Just amazing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t finish

This book was so painful to listen to that I couldn’t finish it, even though it was for my book club. The relationship between Lucy and Gabe felt completely undeveloped (all they seemed to have going for them was good sex), so it just didn’t ring true that they would pine after each other for years. I also found the characters terribly unlikeable- Gabe a complete narcissist and Lucy a shallow, feminist wanna-be. After rolling my eyes five or six times at their corny exchanges about finding their passions and saving the world, I just had to bail.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Need a sequel!

Amazing! But what happened after ? So many unanswered questions!! Lovely voice from the narrator!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful