Book Review: This Light Between Us

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France—a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic—and along with them, the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.
From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited when I got the notification that I would be reviewing this book. I was completely hooked from the synopsis and I couldn’t wait to dive in. This book is so full of emotions. I felt absolutely everything. I felt sadness, anger, happiness, bewilderment, and embarrassment. Even though it was an emotional read, it wasn’t overly sentimental.  

I read a ton of historical fiction and I will almost always pick up anything written about WWII but this one grabbed my attention in such a way that to be honest, I just cannot explain. It was so raw and heartbreaking in such an organic way. My one complaint (usually) with historical fiction is the lack of research on the authors part, but Andrew Fukuda did such a beautiful job 

Alex and Charley’s story made my heart ache for them. They made me laugh and cry. I worried for them. I hurt for them. I wanted to know everything about them. I rather enjoyed reading this from Alex’s perspective. I feel that the story really couldn’t have been as compelling if it had been from Charley’s perspective. Even though you only really hear from Charley when you are reading the letters from her to Alex, you really get to know her deeply as a character. 

The ending was completely unexpected but it was still an amazing read and I feel it should be on everyone’s TBR list! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Andrew Fukuda, and Macmillian-Tor Forge for letting me review this wonderful story. It broke my heart, but I still really enjoyed it.

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley

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