All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Synopsis: 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.

Review: When I saw this book, I told myself that I had to start it. I had not read any of Jamie McGuire’s novels yet, but hearing about this one, I was really curious to discover one of her stories.

Catherine is hated since childhood. Her family does not have a good reputation and everyone thinks she’s weird. However, Elliott, this young boy who comes to spend the holidays at his aunt house, is intrigued and dreams of getting to know her. From these holidays comes a nice story of friendship and the beginnings of something else. Yet when Catherine suffers a tragedy, Elliott disappears without a trace, leaving her alone to deal with the consequences. Elliott finally returns 2 years later, but they are very different from the people they were. He is determined to explain himself and to be forgiven. But nothing will be easy especially when you know that the girl hides a secret.

Oh this secret … I confess that I was frustrated all along the novel because I wanted to know and to understand what was going on in this bed and breakfast. I had doubts but nothing was sure and when the revelation occurs then everything becomes clear in relation to the strange behavior of Catherine. However, I had to wait until the end of the story to understand exactly what was happening.

It was an intriguing and different story. I had a good time discovering the characters even though I was often sad to see what they were going through in this small town. It was touching to see how much Elliott wanted to stay with her, to make her understand that she was his world and that he was ready for anything for her. And she was happy to find her friend and see that someone was trying to protect her whatever happens.

This is a story I did not expect, but very intriguing one to discover.