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How the Light Gets In

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Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doe Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine. But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?


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Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doe Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become. When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine. But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

30 review for How the Light Gets In

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was perfectly fine, but nothing special. Meh.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katy Upperman

    Hi -- I wrote this. :-)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    This sounds heartbreaking... So why do I want to read it so bad Many thanks to Swoon Reads for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    ***Actual Rating: 4/5 Hauntingly-Forgiving Stars*** As a massive fan of YA Contemporary Romance, I'm fully aware of Katy Upperman and all her previous, highly anticipated works. Kissing Max Holden and The Impossibility of Us sound unbelievably intriguing to me, and I'm constantly guilty about not having read either of them earlier. Thankfully (and much to my surprise,) I got a perfect opportunity to actually read, enjoy, and share my thoughts about her upcoming novel, How the Light Gets In, with all of you, and ***Actual Rating: 4/5 Hauntingly-Forgiving Stars*** As a massive fan of YA Contemporary Romance, I'm fully aware of Katy Upperman and all her previous, highly anticipated works. Kissing Max Holden and The Impossibility of Us sound unbelievably intriguing to me, and I'm constantly guilty about not having read either of them earlier. Thankfully (and much to my surprise,) I got a perfect opportunity to actually read, enjoy, and share my thoughts about her upcoming novel, How the Light Gets In, with all of you, and for that, I'm truthfully grateful. That being said, How the Light Gets In is the first book of Katy's I've read, and I'm really glad it does not let me down. Not knowing what to expect, I experience this book--yep, head-on experience--with an open mind and wide eyes. My first impression on this book is, interestingly, not the author's writing style, nor the uniqueness of the characters' personality; instead, what lures me deeper in the story is the all-so-unexpected supernatural/paranormal/ghost-like element, a.k.a. the ghost of Callie's (the female protagonist's) late baby sister, Chloe. There, I said it, the otherworld (Ha! Pun intended!) feature that I most definitely didn't see coming. I don't know why, but when I picture Katy's books or the stories she may create, they won't include something so...spiritual or slightly superstitious. Not trying to stray from the topic, despite the fact that Chloe's everlasting ghost catches me off-guard in the entire story, I actually appreciate her role in making Callie's life better and more whole. When Callie lost her sister to a pretty girlish, slightly juvenile cause, she was devastated. Never would Callie expect her dearest sister to be gone so simply, as if their sisterhood was nothing but fleeting moments. The most touching part of this book is how strong the bond between Callie and Chloe is even when one of them ceases to exist. And the cherry on top? There's a slowly built romance for Callie and the new boy, Tucker Morgan, a happy-go-lucky who seems to bear as much burden as she does deep down. All in all, How the Light Gets In is all about dealing with losing a beloved someone while struggling/managing to piece yourself together somehow. Callie and Chloe's story makes me believe in--not necessarily ghosts--spirits more and that perhaps, communicating with the lost one through some supernatural means can actually help seeking forgiveness. All I want to say is that this book certainly is a meaningful read, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do. :) ***Thanks to Xpresso Tours and the author for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.*** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ **Initial Reaction after finishing the book: July 14th, 2019** Hummm, I think I'm still haunted by this story even after finishing it a couple of days ago. Truthfully, never did I ever expect Katy Upperman would create a seemingly young adult contemporary story with quite a lot of paranormal elements, but I wasn't disappointed! I mean, I finally got the chance to read Katy's books, considering how amazing her previous works looked, so I couldn't complain anything. :) Full review to come but before that, I still recommend you give this book a try even though there's some supernatural phenomenon. *SPOOKY*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sami Myers

    RATING - 5 STARS CW - death, suicide, and self-harm (suicide/self-harm very minimal) Wow...where do I begin? I had the pleasure of reading this book early (Thank you Swoon Reads!!), as I have with all of Katy Upperman's works, and am feeling so blessed that I get to hype this book up in hopes of you all buying it when it comes out (August 6th!!). This is a haunting tale of Callie, whose sister has recently passed, as she returns to the seaside tow RATING - 5 STARS CW - death, suicide, and self-harm (suicide/self-harm very minimal) Wow...where do I begin? I had the pleasure of reading this book early (Thank you Swoon Reads!!), as I have with all of Katy Upperman's works, and am feeling so blessed that I get to hype this book up in hopes of you all buying it when it comes out (August 6th!!). This is a haunting tale of Callie, whose sister has recently passed, as she returns to the seaside town of Bell Cove to help her Aunt Lucy renovate an old inn (with lots of secrets!!) This book has everything I could have wanted - beautiful writing, interesting characters (layered, developed, sweet characters), a lovely setting, and ghosts (no, really, ghosts!). What really made me love this book, and *usually* why I give books 5 stars, is how real these characters felt to me. The main character and all the side characters had very authentic character arcs and feelings! They made decisions that seemed real - there wasn't any unnecessary drama to keep the plot moving. Everything made SENSE. Another aspect of this novel I loved was the setting. I've been so in love with these lazy beach town settings with small-town politics and secrets. The setting with the mix of lots of different plotlines (and timelines) made for a quick and interesting read. The contrast between the secret of what happened to Callie's sister, a missing girl from long ago (okay it was 1999 but still), and the mysterious happenings in the house made this such a page-turner. There's obviously a romance and it's absolutely lovely, I think my favorite couple from Katy's books. There are lots of sweet moments, but mixed with the perfect amount of angst and emotional turmoil which makes it interesting! I hope you'll check this book out when it hits the shelves - I don't want this to slide into the background! Preorder, request at your library, post on Twitter - anything will help! Just know I loved it and I think you guys will too!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    (4.5 stars) | Blog | Twitter | Instagram | My stop on the blog tour and review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. To explain this novel, spoiler free, is difficult. At its core, it is certainly a tale of grief. It's gorgeous and haunting in more ways than one. This isn't a light, easy-breezy contemporary, so proceed with caution. If you aren't keen on novels(4.5 (4.5 stars) | Blog | Twitter | Instagram | My stop on the blog tour and review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. To explain this novel, spoiler free, is difficult. At its core, it is certainly a tale of grief. It's gorgeous and haunting in more ways than one. This isn't a light, easy-breezy contemporary, so proceed with caution. If you aren't keen on novels with flawed characters, jarring truths and exploration of pain, this novel is likely not for you. Fair warning: it won't be for everyone. Fortunately, it was right up my alley and all but consumed me. I will definitely be diving further into Katy Upperman's backlist in the future. Just... wow. Wow. What a beautifully written, thought-provoking read. How the Light Gets In is, first and foremost, a truthful novel about grief and how one lives with it, with a twist. (The twist is in the synopsis, but, I'm still not going to touch base on it in my review so you can experience it at first read.) And, in the case of our main character, Callie, how some of us virtually shut down in the face of loss. In a lot of ways, this novel hit me in the same ways that Lurlene McDaniel's books hit me as a teenager, only this felt more raw and timely. I appreciate the frankness in it that came with. In fact, How the Light Gets In was poignant, packed to the brim with emotionally charged moments and true-to-life characters. Tissues are essential to the reading process for this one. When it comes to How the Light Gets In, it gets down to the rougher parts of growing up and dealing with grief. Upperman allows little hints of real life into her prose and it works wonderfully with the narrative, creating a balance of something ordinary and alive. We touch base on so much in so little time. Death of a loved one. Guilt. Drug abuse and dependency. Love. And so much more. We even have a little nod to another genre, which I won't spoil too much beyond the fact that it is in the synopsis but, well, you'll see when reading. The struggles of Callie, and her desire to block out the pain in various ways and push everyone away, her abrupt change in personality, as she suffers from something similar to survivor's guilt, is most certainly at the forefront of the novel. It is realistic and something I found easily to connect with, considering I haven't always had the best ways of coping with tragedy myself--I was able to see parts of me in her and that's always a brilliant note to be made. We do have light spots in between. These light spots truly usher us into Upperman's title. How the Light Gets In is exactly as described in its name, and that is a wonderful thing. I thought the entire plotline was written in a deeply compelling way. I found myself smiling at the inclusion of a softie named Tucker, who serves as Callie's love interest, and I really enjoyed the renovations that happened in this novel re: Callie's Aunt's house. It's heartbreaking, but hopeful. It's intense, but charming. It's challenging, but it's worthwhile. Upperman paints a crystal-clear picture of Callie and what makes her tick. Or, rather, what's made her entire life come to a screeching halt. It takes a lot for some of us to feel sympathetic towards difficult characters, but I found her acting-out-shutting-down-leave-me-alone treble to be incredibly realistic. There are so many ways to tackle grief in fiction and this is definitely an accurate representation of how someone like Callie processes it. How the Light Gets In is strong because of Callie's struggles and weaknesses, and ultimately her journey. It is more than just a coming of age story and exploration of loss. And it's definitely a must-read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting going into this, but I know it wasn’t what I read. Throughout the novel I never connected to Callie or any of the other characters. It doesn’t take a lot for me to get emotionally invested, but for some reason that never occurred with this book. No one seemed captivating enough to gather my attention long enough for me to care about what would happen to them. I wasn’t expecting the ghost aspect of the story to be as prominent as it I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting going into this, but I know it wasn’t what I read. Throughout the novel I never connected to Callie or any of the other characters. It doesn’t take a lot for me to get emotionally invested, but for some reason that never occurred with this book. No one seemed captivating enough to gather my attention long enough for me to care about what would happen to them. I wasn’t expecting the ghost aspect of the story to be as prominent as it was. Of course because of the synopsis, it was going to be present, but it was a lot and didn’t really do much for me as a reader. Maybe that is one of the reasons I never seemed to care for any of the characters, especially Callie. The one thing I did find intriguing was the mystery surrounding Stewart house and the old, hidden away items that Callie found while working on the house. That story captured my attention instantly and I was looking forward to the moments when we would be able to learn more about the past inhabitants of Stewart House and Bell Cove. Overall this book was just ok for me. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either. I was never invested with any of the characters or their stories and come my end of the year wrap up, I probably won’t remember much.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    Wow. Just wow. This story grabbed me from the beginning and still hasn't let go, even though I finished reading it last night. Katy has a way with words. Her writing is gorgeous but even more than that, she infuses so much emotion in the way she writes. The bond between Callie and Chloe was so strong and the grief Callie feels jumps right out of the page. Every character is fleshed out. Every character feels real. Every character feels like someone you just had a conversation with.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Real rating: 4,5 stars. Katy Upperman is becoming one of my favorite ya contemporary authors. This book left me with all the emotions and ahhh. definitely recommending it. <3 Full review coming soon! Thank you to MacMillan International for the ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating. My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    I was pretty intrigued by the premise of this novel, because in the past I’ve read similar stories to this one and really enjoyed, so I went with pretty high expectations into it, and overall I felt okay about it. It was quite a generic book, and though it had some elements that I really enjoyed, I also had my issues. The plot wasn’t as unique as I thought it was. It was quite a typical YA book that dealt about the loss of a loved one. It had also some mystery going on that was keepin I was pretty intrigued by the premise of this novel, because in the past I’ve read similar stories to this one and really enjoyed, so I went with pretty high expectations into it, and overall I felt okay about it. It was quite a generic book, and though it had some elements that I really enjoyed, I also had my issues. The plot wasn’t as unique as I thought it was. It was quite a typical YA book that dealt about the loss of a loved one. It had also some mystery going on that was keeping me interested, which I appreciate, but I would say the majority of the novel was focused on the romance and building a relationship between our main character and her love interest. The book is told from Calliope’s POV, with some jumps between past and present, and though I found that a bit helpful for the reader to gathered more information about our protagonist and her relationship with her sister and her ex, I found it quite confusing at times those flashbacks, because there wasn’t anything that let me know I was reading something that happened in the past (some italics…), and at times I didn’t know if what I was reading was happening in the past or the present. When it comes to the characters, I think they were okay. I absolutely adored Tucker and think he was such a cute and supportive love interest, and I really enjoyed the dynamics between him and Calliope, but I guess when it comes to our protagonist I was expecting much more. Since it’s a book that dealt with mental health, I was expecting to see it more present in the novel, and I was sadly disappointed. The book was more focused on the romance, and I feel Calliope’s development wasn’t really there during most of the book, and only I could see that in the last two or three chapters. However, the romance was pretty well done. I liked how it wasn’t an insta love-y type of romance, but the author took her time to build a connection between those characters, which I so appreciated. I also enjoyed that evolution, though it’s true there were certain moments where it was a bit cheesy for my liking. Something that I noticed and wasn’t the biggest fan of was how the side characters were barely there. Calliope’s parents were barely in the story and only appear so she could have an inner monologue or to add something to her arc, and that pretty much happened with the rest of the characters, which was so sad. I wanted to see more relationships apart from the romance, and I feel that was the only one that stood out. Overall, I think this book was okay and wasn’t bad, but I’ve read others that I absolutely loved more than this one. It had its pros and its cons, so even though I enjoyed some parts of How the Light Gets In, there were other issues that made me lower my rating a bit. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own. Actual rating: 2.5 ★ Thank you Macmillan and Swoon Reads for the ARC Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars It had been a year since she visited her aunt in Bell Cove, since she had that fight with her sister, since her sister died. After a painful period of mourning Chloe's death, Callie found herself back where her nightmare began, and it seemed as though her nightmares were bleeding into her waking hours when reminders of her sister began popping up. Was her sister reaching out to her from the beyond? Was she trying to tell her something? Could Callie finally come to te Rating: 4.5 Stars It had been a year since she visited her aunt in Bell Cove, since she had that fight with her sister, since her sister died. After a painful period of mourning Chloe's death, Callie found herself back where her nightmare began, and it seemed as though her nightmares were bleeding into her waking hours when reminders of her sister began popping up. Was her sister reaching out to her from the beyond? Was she trying to tell her something? Could Callie finally come to terms with her sister's death? I am a Katy Upperman fan. Her two previous books were exactly the type of novels I would pick up. That was why I had no problem going slightly outside my normal reading zone for this one, and I sure am glad I did, because this is now my favorite Upperman book. How the Light Gets In was about the grief, pain, and guilt felt, when people lose a loved one. It was about the way those left behind deal with the gaping hole in their lives due to that person's absence. It's about them finding the strength to move forward without that person by their side. I, for one, thought Upperman did a magnificent job exploring the emotional impact associated with losing someone, and she really delivered the feels. Callie's heartache and pain of missing her sister coursed through me, but so did the joy Callie felt, when she fondly remembered her. I will admit, I wanted to read this book because (1) Katy Upperman wrote it, and (2) it dealt with grief and loss, but there was so much more that kept me glued to the pages. Aside from Callie's healing journey, there was a bit of a small town mystery, a fantastic romance, and a touch of the supernatural. Upperman took all these elements, and wove them together spectacularly. Obviously, the romance stood out for me, but it was largely due to how much I adored Tucker. He came across as happy-go-lucky, affable, and always UP. It sort of shocked me, that my inner cynic didn't rebuff him, but Upperman gave him many layers, and it was something beyond that shiny veneer that called to me. He was utilized very thoughtfully in this story, which really took it to the next level for me, and he definitely earned a place on my beloved hero list. Once again, Upperman has presented me with a story, that took me through a large array of emotions, while, in the end, leaving me filled with happiness and joy. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  12. 5 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Stephanie Cover Story: Look At This Photograph BFF Charm: Meh Swoonworthy Scale: 4 Talky Talk: Dig Deeper Bonus Factor: Small Towns Factors: Ghosts, Mysteries Relationship Status: Support Group Acquaintances Read the full book report here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    cafeyre

    The book about a seventeen-year-old Callie who lives in Seattle together with her parents. After the tragic death of her younger sister, Chloe, Callie couldn’t find her place in the world and live the life she had until this moment. She gave up on all her dreams and goals. She gave up all her friends, school, swimming, and her old life away. Her parents couldn’t accept the fact that their little daughter died. Her mother started to drink and completely distance herself from them. Callie instead The book about a seventeen-year-old Callie who lives in Seattle together with her parents. After the tragic death of her younger sister, Chloe, Callie couldn’t find her place in the world and live the life she had until this moment. She gave up on all her dreams and goals. She gave up all her friends, school, swimming, and her old life away. Her parents couldn’t accept the fact that their little daughter died. Her mother started to drink and completely distance herself from them. Callie instead of alcohol used weed to handle the pain and guilt she felt.  Her dad couldn’t tolerate it anymore. When the summer came, he gave her to choose between a Montana wilderness camp for troubled teens or summer in Bell Cove with her Aunt Lucy. The camp wasn’t an option, so despite the circumstances of her sister's death she chose summer with her aunt. The purpose of it is to help her aunt in the renovation of her house, but for her dad, it is for her to recover. It wasn’t an easy task for her to go back to the place where she lost her sister. She had a problem with sleeping and communicating with her aunt. In the first week, she meets Tucker, who is working for Lucy and taking care of the yard. Callie from the beginning tried to keep him on distance but with time it was harder than she thought it might be.  Besides arguments between Callie and her aunt, everything went smoothly but only until weird things started to happen. Someone was watching her and playing with her. It started with open doors but later on her sister’s belongings suddenly appeared in her room. There were two possibilities for how to explain this: the house is haunted or her sister tried to communicate her.  Another book and another wonderful story. The main character Callie is a wreck when we first meet her. She doesn’t feel a need to continue the life she used to live. She is surrounded by guilt and pain. The only thing she wanted was to go back in time and stop her sister from running away. At first, she cannot see her dad’s purpose of sending her away, but with the time she recovers. Work with her aunt and spending time with Tucker. Callie is a very complex character. It’s difficult to understand her way of thinking and her choices. Besides all her mistakes I like her, she is a strong girl and even if it’s hard; she fights to win her life back. Love helped her with it.  This story is heartbreaking but also beautiful. It shows that our life doesn’t end when the tragedy happens; We still have a chance to live our life even if it’s hard. There is always someone who will bring light to our life. We just need to let someone help us and let the light in.  I would like to thank FFBC, NetGalley and Swoon Reads for including me in this blog tour and giving me a chance to read this amazing book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Actual Rating: 3.5/5 This is my first book from Katy Upperman, but I can safely say that I will be coming back for more. How the Light Gets In mixes contemporary charm with paranormal mysticism built on the bittersweet foundations of love, loss, and grief. Emotion-charged straight off page one, this story is set to tug, pull and pluck at your heartstrings and leave you contemplating just how precious moments with your loved ones truly are. I enjoyed this book a whole lot even/>How Actual Rating: 3.5/5 This is my first book from Katy Upperman, but I can safely say that I will be coming back for more. How the Light Gets In mixes contemporary charm with paranormal mysticism built on the bittersweet foundations of love, loss, and grief. Emotion-charged straight off page one, this story is set to tug, pull and pluck at your heartstrings and leave you contemplating just how precious moments with your loved ones truly are. I enjoyed this book a whole lot even though it took a while before I really got into it. Once I did though, there was no turning back. I fell in love with the setting, the characters, and their relationships, at the honesty and realness with which the author portrayed grief and loss in this story. Real and honest How the Light Gets In showed grief with an almost visceral realness – how people’s handling of it differs in varying ways, how sometimes grief and loss can drive a person to grab at whatever thing will make the pain go away no matter how temporary, and how you can still mourn and search for someone even if they’ve long been gone…even if you’ve never known them. I felt for Callie, her mother and father, and Lucy. Losing a sister – a daughter, someone who has so much more ahead of them – is a tough loss that took something from all of them. I felt for Tucker. Having lost his mother without even knowing her, and having a father who’s reluctant to even tell him a smidge about the woman who bore him left him with questions and made him mistrustful. As someone who has lost a number of loved ones, this one is something that deeply resonated with me. Grief plays a crucial role in the plot of this story. It is a delicate topic, but one handled well and with much sensitivity. Read the full review on my blog In Between Book Pages.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Skinner

    Whoo buddy! This book gave me ALL THE FEELS. This book is going to be such a hit! There's something for everybody! Mystery romance, ghosts, suspence! A perfect beach read and it totally made me choke up at the end. This book was definitely what I needed to finish out 2018. Can't wait to see it on the shelf!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a really great read with a touching plot, great character development, real and important themes, and a ridiculously cute romance. Another fantastic read from Katy Upperman! Full review on my blog: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simant ♥ Flipping Through the Pages

    Full review on: FLIPPING THROUGH THE PAGES Actual rating: 4.5 Stars This story is about Callie who is not coping well with the death of her sister which happened recently. To make her condition better, Callie’s father sends her to her aunt Lucy to spend her summer vacation with her in a small beach town where she was supposed to help her aunt with the renovation of her inn. I love reading stories about sisters and this book was no exception. Though we don’t get to know Chloe in the ongoing story, Katy Upperman has/>Actual Full review on: FLIPPING THROUGH THE PAGES Actual rating: 4.5 Stars This story is about Callie who is not coping well with the death of her sister which happened recently. To make her condition better, Callie’s father sends her to her aunt Lucy to spend her summer vacation with her in a small beach town where she was supposed to help her aunt with the renovation of her inn. I love reading stories about sisters and this book was no exception. Though we don’t get to know Chloe in the ongoing story, Katy Upperman has done a beautiful job of showing her story through flashlights and backstories. She was as much a part of the story as the rest of the characters were. Their bond was so strong even when Chloe was not there with Callie. Of course, there were grudges and misunderstandings and I liked how the author has achieved this with the paranormal mystery theme. I loved the setting. I am a sucker for small beach town stories where life is usually lazy and slow-moving. Small towns with secrets make this story a page-turner. The plot was fast-moving and all the things perfectly made sense. There are different sub-plots going on like mystery behind the death of Callie’s sister, the mystery behind a missing town girl and the mysterious happenings in the house. This is a haunting tale (involve a ghost!) which was I nice twist to the story. All these things keep the story interesting till the end. The romance was beautiful and it was so well done. Katy writes her couples in a beautiful way. There were so many sweet moments and I rooted for them so badly. The romance was not the cheesy kind. It was mixed with the perfect amount of emotions as well as angst. Tucker Morgan was a kind of happy-go-lucky boy, always having a smile on his face. But deep down he had the same amount of burden as Callie had. This story is heartbreaking but also beautiful. They are so many important themes discussed in this book. It is about dealing with grief and how to overcome it. It shows that our life doesn’t end if we face some tragedy or if someone is no more in our life. We still try to live our lives in a way that there is always tomorrow. We should accept the help that is coming our way and should let the light in. All in all, How the Light Gets In was an amazing read and I would definitely recommend this. It is packed with a lot of emotions, swoon-worthy romance and amazing characters with a paranormal mystery angle and would definitely keep you hooked till the end. It is about grief and guilt and how to overcome it. And if you love stories set in small beach towns, don’t miss this book. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Ko-fi |Amazon

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    The book pulled me in with its plot arc. I knew I was in for an emotional read. Callie had lost her sister exactly one year ago in the ocean current of Bell Cove, and the guilt hadn't left her. There were events and words and arguments preceeding her sister's death which shook her sanity even today. She came back to Bell Cove to help her aunt Lucy with the renovations of the Stewart House which had its own mystery. Tucker brought in romance like a breath of fresh air. My first book by The book pulled me in with its plot arc. I knew I was in for an emotional read. Callie had lost her sister exactly one year ago in the ocean current of Bell Cove, and the guilt hadn't left her. There were events and words and arguments preceeding her sister's death which shook her sanity even today. She came back to Bell Cove to help her aunt Lucy with the renovations of the Stewart House which had its own mystery. Tucker brought in romance like a breath of fresh air. My first book by Katy Upperman, and the prose with its beautiful writing pulled me in. Who amongst us can judge the quantity of grief or how we chose to deal with it? Callie initially chose to escape her pain by smoking pot when she started seeing the spirit of her dead sister Chloe. The plot was developed in the way the two sisters formed a fragile bond knowing that there were stealing slivers of time from the tapestry of fate. Some things have to be laid to rest before before both of them could find peace. I loved the way the author has combined emotions with paranormal mystery. The love between the sisters was so palpable that reading their conversations brought a lump to my throat. Their pain in being separated came through. But there were grudges and misunderstandings too. I liked how the author slowly unfurled the story of what happened that night, taking care to maintain the wholeness of the story. Romance with Tucker was great, but there was a past too connected to the house. This was Callie's story and how she dealt with her pain. Love, loss, hope, forgiveness were the four gentle breezes that swirled like waves of color down the story making it move from darkness to light. A poignant tale of dealing with a devastating loss and allowing the light in to start living again.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Belson (booklovewithmelanie)

    4.5 stars Thank you to Swoon Reads and Katy Upperman for allowing me to review. Callie's story is heartbreaking, her sister and best friend Chloe has passed away. She is headed down the wrong path, her father holds everything in and her mother just drinks her troubles away. I loved seeing the interactions with Callie and her Aunt Lucy, as well as Callie and Chloe's. Her characters development is perfect. Once Tucker was introduced I became slightly more interested in his ba 4.5 stars Thank you to Swoon Reads and Katy Upperman for allowing me to review. Callie's story is heartbreaking, her sister and best friend Chloe has passed away. She is headed down the wrong path, her father holds everything in and her mother just drinks her troubles away. I loved seeing the interactions with Callie and her Aunt Lucy, as well as Callie and Chloe's. Her characters development is perfect. Once Tucker was introduced I became slightly more interested in his backstory than Callie's. If I could get a 2nd book where Callie comes back for another summer (view spoiler)[and Tucker's mom comes to visit Callie, the way Chloe did, to close Annabelle's story and help Tucker with his loss (hide spoiler)] I would be the first in line to purchase that! So can we make that happen???

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I adore ghost stories. There's something magical and atmospheric about reading a ya novel that enraptures me through hauntings and restless spirits. I almost skipped reading this story because of the first page. Callie is smoking pot in her bathroom. I can't relate nor do I care to read books that star characters who guzzle alcohol and inhale drugs like candy. So why exactly did I give this book a second chance? I'm not sure. Maybe I thought Callie would redeem herself and stop smoking pot. Ha. I adore ghost stories. There's something magical and atmospheric about reading a ya novel that enraptures me through hauntings and restless spirits. I almost skipped reading this story because of the first page. Callie is smoking pot in her bathroom. I can't relate nor do I care to read books that star characters who guzzle alcohol and inhale drugs like candy. So why exactly did I give this book a second chance? I'm not sure. Maybe I thought Callie would redeem herself and stop smoking pot. Ha. If only. So the issue with her smoking pot plays into the plot. Her dad ships her off to her aunt's manor in Oregon for the summer in hopes Callie will reconnect with herself before her senior year. The whole family is shattered over the death of Callie's sister the year prior. Some could say this is why Callie smokes pot. To cope. But that isn't the case. Her ex-boyfriend/neighbor was a pot smoker and despite Callie saying she doesn't want a foggy head due to being part of the swim team, she quickly changes her mind and becomes a pot addict. This happens months prior to her sister's death when she first hangs with Isaac. The plot revolves around Callie helping her Aunt Lucy renovate the manor she bought into a Bed and Breakfast Inn, falling into instant love with the hot landscaper named Tucker, and being haunted by her dead sister. The haunting would have been believable except for one key factor. The only time Callie could see her sister was after she got high on pot. Her addiction to killing her brain cells ruined the story. Callie was unreliable since she was under the influence every time she interacted with Chloe. Did she really talk with her sister's ghost or was it a fabrication of her drugged up mind? It's up to the reader to decide. Callie never stops smoking pot. She yells at and fights with her aunt and gets into arguments with Tucker because he won't tell her his secrets. Likewise, Tucker gets mad at Callie because she won't tell him her secrets. So multiple times these characters were frustrated with her each for lack of secret telling when they each didn't want to share anything. It became annoying. Seeing Chloe's ghost was a mere 1% of the story. Like any other ghost story, this one follows the same layout for the big reveal. Chloe and Callie were fighting over Isaac (the hot boy next door and Callie's boyfriend though Chloe didn't know he was Callie's boyfriend at the time since they kept it secret), Callie saying horrible things to Chloe, Chloe storming off and accidentally dying, and Callie living with guilt. I wish this differed from the majority of ghost stories out there. And making Callie a drug user wrecked everything. The story became a hallucination mixed with fights and instant attraction where an average girl nabs the attention of the hottest guy on Earth. The end. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Montague

    Callie reluctantly returns to her aunt's home on the coast a year after her younger sister's death. Expecting to spend her summer wallowing amidst home renovations and pot smoke, Callie is mesmerized by a local boy and the creepy noises that seem to find her in the night.    I really, really loved this. It helps that this took place on the Oregon Coast, *swoon*. This was a great summer romance that didn't overshadow the incredibly strong and dark main plot. Katy Upperman is really gre Callie reluctantly returns to her aunt's home on the coast a year after her younger sister's death. Expecting to spend her summer wallowing amidst home renovations and pot smoke, Callie is mesmerized by a local boy and the creepy noises that seem to find her in the night.    I really, really loved this. It helps that this took place on the Oregon Coast, *swoon*. This was a great summer romance that didn't overshadow the incredibly strong and dark main plot. Katy Upperman is really great when it comes to a romance that also offers some depth. To begin with, I loved that Callie smoked pot. Kind of odd, I know, but I feel like it's something that is barely ever talked about in YA. Drinking is one thing but so many teens smoke pot, especially with it becoming legal in so many states. Honestly, I feel like nowadays people will use marijuana or CBD products more often than drink alcohol—but that's just my opinion. Callie's journey with smoking was an important aspect of the novel; she starts by using it as a way to self-medicate and as she starts to move through her grief she finds she doesn't need to smoke.  I'm not that well-versed in mystery, but I thought that part of the plot was really strong as it went simultaneously with the supernatural aspect of the story. The book in general felt really reminiscent to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer H.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Swoon Reads! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Struggling with the tragic death of her younger sister, Callie Ryan has pushed aside everything and everyone that ever meant something to her and returning to her aunt's home - one year later -in a small coastal town isn't exactly high up on her summer to-do list. Needing a distraction from herself though, Callie re Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Swoon Reads! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Struggling with the tragic death of her younger sister, Callie Ryan has pushed aside everything and everyone that ever meant something to her and returning to her aunt's home - one year later -in a small coastal town isn't exactly high up on her summer to-do list. Needing a distraction from herself though, Callie reluctantly begins helping her aunt restore her old Victorian into a working bed and breakfast, but local boy Tucker Morgan proves to be an even bigger distraction, sneaking between the cracks of the wall Callie has built around herself. But while Tucker can keep the ghosts away during the day, they can't help but find Callie at night. Strange noises, sensations of being watched, and mysterious occurrences have Callie on edge, believing it is her sister trying to communicate with her, but what exactly is she trying to say? With time ticking against her before she returns home, Callie works to find the answers and stumbles across something else, bringing with it more pain and heartbreak to the small coastal town. Katy Upperman is one of my auto buy authors so requesting this arc was a no brainer. You are always guaranteed a feeltrip with Katy's storytelling and this was no exception to her awesomeness! Callie is such a great voice. She's broken and guilt-ridden over her sister's death in the beginning and you can feel the wall that she throws up at every turn, leading to fast assumptions and misunderstandings early on. But with each passing chapter, her aunt as well as Tucker slowly pulls her out of herself and you see that wall start to crumble and this lively, smart, determined, funny girl emerge. Tucker was probably my favorite though! He was literally a ball of sunshine - annoyingly so to Callie at times which made their banter all the more fun, but of course even he isn't without ghosts from the past. But together Tucker and Callie are swoon-city. One of my new favorites! And of course, the spook elements had me shivering and were just enough to keep me turning pages! How the Light Gets In is a haunting, yet sweet and satisfying contemporary that is sure to please readers whether you're familiar with Katy's work or not. Couldn't recommend enough!

  23. 5 out of 5

    B.R. Myers

    In Katy Upperman’s HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, Callie Ryan is a swimming star who shares the pool and the spotlight with her little sister. But after Chloe’s unexpected death Callie falls apart, secretly blaming herself for what happened that night. With her parents struggling with their own grief, Callie reluctantly returns to her aunt’s place on the Pacific coast for the summer to help fix up her bed and breakfast—a Victorian seaside mansion full of family secrets. But a chance for hope In Katy Upperman’s HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, Callie Ryan is a swimming star who shares the pool and the spotlight with her little sister. But after Chloe’s unexpected death Callie falls apart, secretly blaming herself for what happened that night. With her parents struggling with their own grief, Callie reluctantly returns to her aunt’s place on the Pacific coast for the summer to help fix up her bed and breakfast—a Victorian seaside mansion full of family secrets. But a chance for hope comes in the form of Tate, a local boy with bronzed shoulders and a kind smile. Thinking this might be a sign that she’s forgiven, Callie slowly lets Tate into her life, remembering what it’s like to be happy again. However, the old house isn’t all it seems, and Callie soon begins to see and hear things that seem unnatural, making her wonder if her sister isn’t gone after all. Upperman takes the contemporary coming of age genre and seamlessly blends in a paranormal mystery with the irresistible pull of first love. Romance figures prominently and is delivered with a pitch perfect voice. Equal parts hope and fear, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN is a poignant novel about dealing with loss in all forms and will leave readers illuminated and satisfied.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Hastings

    Like a flower the story slowly unfurls petal by petal, until the reader sees the full poppy in all of its beauty, breathtaking sadness, and bright hope. Callie is a heroine full of regret because of her little sister Chloe’s untimely death last year. She’s lost herself in her grief and can’t move forward. Her dad sends her to live with her aunt for the summer and help the aunt finish remodeling an old Victorian house. A house they has as many secrets as Callie and possibly a ghost. Th Like a flower the story slowly unfurls petal by petal, until the reader sees the full poppy in all of its beauty, breathtaking sadness, and bright hope. Callie is a heroine full of regret because of her little sister Chloe’s untimely death last year. She’s lost herself in her grief and can’t move forward. Her dad sends her to live with her aunt for the summer and help the aunt finish remodeling an old Victorian house. A house they has as many secrets as Callie and possibly a ghost. This bittersweet beach town read has all of the feels. Haunting backstory, shocking present, melty romance, and oh, so many secrets. You’ll long to get lost in its pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Katy Upperman has become one of my favorite authors; someone I actively research to learn when their next book is coming out and with her latest novel she didn't disappoint me. I was instantly sucked in and I didn't want to put the book down until I reached the very last page. I am going to refrain from fangirling over this book, more than I already have, especially since it comes out so late next year but I will say that you must buy this book (8/6/19 so mark your calendars!!!) and make sure wh Katy Upperman has become one of my favorite authors; someone I actively research to learn when their next book is coming out and with her latest novel she didn't disappoint me. I was instantly sucked in and I didn't want to put the book down until I reached the very last page. I am going to refrain from fangirling over this book, more than I already have, especially since it comes out so late next year but I will say that you must buy this book (8/6/19 so mark your calendars!!!) and make sure when you start this book you have cleared your schedule so you can fall in love with Tucker, Chloe and Callie! Thanks to Swoon & MPS for the ARC!

  26. 4 out of 5

    DJ

    Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Katy Upperman has the exceptional ability to make you fall head over heels in love with her characters. She also crafts beautiful contemporaries that are both heartwarming and profound. How the Light Gets in is no different. It's a story about Callie who's struggling to find her place in the world after the tragic death of her sister. It's about falling in love, spirits, and the bond of sisters. I was mesmerized by the s Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Katy Upperman has the exceptional ability to make you fall head over heels in love with her characters. She also crafts beautiful contemporaries that are both heartwarming and profound. How the Light Gets in is no different. It's a story about Callie who's struggling to find her place in the world after the tragic death of her sister. It's about falling in love, spirits, and the bond of sisters. I was mesmerized by the story and how it dealt with grief. How the Light Gets in handles loss, love and grief in an alluring way that will leave you wanting more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Makenna Fournier

    This is a book where I hope other people can find it a moving or heartbreaking book, but it just didn’t do anything for me and I really had to force myself to finish it. What really threw me off about about this book was how big the ghost aspect of this book was. Like, I knew there was going to be something about the ghosts in the plot because it had very briefly mentioned it in the summary on the back, but it has always come across more as a summer contemporary that just dealt with grief to m This is a book where I hope other people can find it a moving or heartbreaking book, but it just didn’t do anything for me and I really had to force myself to finish it. What really threw me off about about this book was how big the ghost aspect of this book was. Like, I knew there was going to be something about the ghosts in the plot because it had very briefly mentioned it in the summary on the back, but it has always come across more as a summer contemporary that just dealt with grief to me (and to people looking at it in a bookstore I could see it coming off as a normal contemporary book) so I had assumed it was going to be something along the lines of she was visiting this old house and it had spooky vibes because it was an old house, not her actually talking to her dead sister's ghost. It just was not at all what I was expecting from the book, and if I had liked it, that would have been one thing, but I didn't, so add that to it being unexpected just made it worse. I will say though, there was a mystery aspect about the house that Callie was uncovering while looking through old stuff in the house that I did find interesting and was the only thing I really liked about the book, but when you combine that with everything else going on, it did start to feel like a lot of things happening. The biggest downfall of the book though really ended up being our MC Callie who just wasn’t likable to me, so I wasn’t really invested at all about her story. Oh, also, I didn’t need to read about her getting high every five seconds. You do you, this isn’t a “wow a character got high so it can’t be a good book" rant, but when we are only 50 pages in and we have seen that character get high 6+ time, it’s no surprise that I was getting bored with the book. The thing is, if the story had revolved around around her having this serious problem where like, her whole family gets involved and she has to admit to using it as a coping mechanism to deal with grief, I think there is a good story that I like and it would make sense to put such an emphasis on it, but with Katy’s writing, it came off on the lighter side and definitely felt like a teenager just lashing out. Not to mention there is this whole scene where Tucker, the love interest in this book, tells her she needs to stop smoking, that whole scene just felt so awkward to me and I just go back to the fact that I didn’t like Katy’s writing. I feel like this is all just a mess of a review because I can't quite capture what I am thinking about this book, but I hope it came across semi coherent. Again, I really hope other people who read this feel the opposite, that it comes off as someone who is just grieving and struggling, because that would make the story a lot better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shalini | Book Rambler

    This book is SO good!!! How the Light Gets In is a perfect mix of YA contemporary, romance and paranormal. This haunting tale is about Callie who has lost her sister almost a year ago and she doesn’t know how to live on. Her father can’t see her spiralling so he sends her to live with her Aunt Lucy in Bell Cove, to help her renovate an old inn. When Callie arrives at the old inn, she meets a guy called Tucker Morgan and her dead sister. I did NOT see this coming! The moment since Callie starts to/>I This book is SO good!!! How the Light Gets In is a perfect mix of YA contemporary, romance and paranormal. This haunting tale is about Callie who has lost her sister almost a year ago and she doesn’t know how to live on. Her father can’t see her spiralling so he sends her to live with her Aunt Lucy in Bell Cove, to help her renovate an old inn. When Callie arrives at the old inn, she meets a guy called Tucker Morgan and her dead sister. I did NOT see this coming! The moment since Callie starts to find Chloe’s things in her room at Bell Cove, I was hooked. At first, she suspects her Aunt Lucy of playing tricks on her but later, she finds out how wrong she is. It seems that even in death, the sisters’ bond remains unbroken and that proves troublesome for Callie who finds herself in danger every time she converses with Chloe’s ghost. If this isn’t intriguing enough for you, then let me tell you about the slow-burn romance between Callie and Tucker, which is one of the best things about the book. Like the old inn, Callie lives in, Tucker is not without secrets and I didn’t expect his secrets to having a connection with Callie. I’m not a believer in paranormal but I’ve seen people go to seances where they hope to communicate with their dead loved ones. It is said it helps bring peace and perhaps, closure. I don’t normally write my musings in my reviews but this book hit me hard. I know the feeling of wanting so badly to talk to a dead loved one for one last time. Katy Upperman has beautifully written characters dealing with the death of a loved one while piecing themselves back together. From the quiet small town with its secrets to the mysterious incidents in the house to Callie and Tucker’s romance felt real. It felt as if the book ended too soon. Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love Katy Upperman’s books, YA contemporary with a twist, romance with some angst, small towns with lots of secrets, and relatable characters. Please pre-order this order this book or request at your nearest library or borrow it from someone!! You won’t regret reading this. Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Links: BLOG | TWITTER | INSTA

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily Nicholas | Emily The Book Nerd

    REVIEW FOUND ON BLOG https://emilythebooknerdxo.blogspot.c... *Thank you to The FFBC, Katy Upperman and Swoon Reads for sending me an advance copy of How The Light Gets In!* The protagonist, Callie lost her sister tragically and is grieving throughout the novel. I really enjoyed the stages of grief shown in the book. It was both heartwarming and tragic all at the same time. Callie has been rebelliou REVIEW FOUND ON BLOG https://emilythebooknerdxo.blogspot.c... *Thank you to The FFBC, Katy Upperman and Swoon Reads for sending me an advance copy of How The Light Gets In!* The protagonist, Callie lost her sister tragically and is grieving throughout the novel. I really enjoyed the stages of grief shown in the book. It was both heartwarming and tragic all at the same time. Callie has been rebellious ever since losing her sister and her father makes her go to her aunt's house during the summer. She is expected to help her aunt fix her old home to turn into a B&B. Of course, like any young adult contemporary, she ends up meeting a boy and falling in love. While she is helping her aunt restore the old beach house, Callie begins to see signs of her sister. Almost as if she is being haunted by her. I really enjoyed watching Callie grow as a character and go through the stages of grief. She learns how to laugh and smile again. The book shows how important it is to see that life does, in fact, go on even if you never truly forget the person you lost. The book really hit home for me seeing how depressed Callie became. How she used weed to numb out. The depression of her mother and her isolating. It was all very well developed. I very much enjoyed the authors writing style and will be picking up more of her books after this one. I wasn't much a fan of the love interest but it's very hard for me to ship romances in books. So I don't fault the author for this. Romance isn't huge for me. There is some mystery with the book because you don't know exactly how Callie's sister died right away. I enjoyed this aspect very much. The summer setting made it all the more interesting. All we get in the beginning is that the death took place at the house the prior summer. I loved seeing the mystery unfold. Adding the paranormal aspect was also different but equally enjoyable. The book only had some minor flaws but overall it kept my attention and was enjoyable. If you like summer easy contemporary reads you should pick this one up!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    Review was originally posted at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ Callie has checked out the last year since her sister died, barely getting through the school year and spending all her time getting high. When her father gives her an ultimatum to either go to a reform camp or spend the summer helping her aunt renovate her old Bed and Breakfast, Callie begrudgingly chooses to help her aunt. Against her will though, Callie finds herself being sucked into the mystery of the old building as well as the spunk of her aunt and Review was originally posted at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ Callie has checked out the last year since her sister died, barely getting through the school year and spending all her time getting high. When her father gives her an ultimatum to either go to a reform camp or spend the summer helping her aunt renovate her old Bed and Breakfast, Callie begrudgingly chooses to help her aunt. Against her will though, Callie finds herself being sucked into the mystery of the old building as well as the spunk of her aunt and the charm of the "Yard Boy". But will ghosts from the past stop Callie from being able to move on with her life? Can I just mention that I think Tucker is basically a saint? I just love this boy, I could basically feel the lightness and happiness he exuded come off the pages every scene he showed up on. He was legitimately the sun shining through Callie's gray and stormy skies, and his patience knew no bounds. The relationship between the two of them was sweet, endearing and honest and I rooted for them hard (regardless of all the roadblocks Callie through up)! I can easily say that How The Light Gets In has become one of my new favorite YA romances. And yes, I just called this a YA romance, but really there was so much else going on in the book that I just ate up also including a mystery and some paranormal creepiness (I just had to mention the romance because it melted my heart a little bit- and yes, I am gushing, get over it). Callie gets sucked into so many different kinds of mysteries, be it what is going on in the house, what happened to the girl Annabelle, and the one that she has spent the last year stewing over- what was really going on with her sister. Everything comes together so cohesively and Katy is the master of pacing and writing short chapters that suck me in every time, telling myself "just one more" until I reached the end. While I was a little hesitant that this would be too dark or depressing when I first started the book, I was happy to find that it did not stay that way. The story was incredibly easy to read, the mystery was engaging, the paranormal perfectly creepy and there was sweetness and hope that helped to round everything out. I really enjoyed this story and I feel like it is the perfect read for those who like paranormal-ish mysteries, sweet romance and if you want a more grown-up version of the ghostly Mary Downing Hannah stories from your childhood. I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book.

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