All The Light We Cannot See – Book Club

The House Of Hipsters’ book club has been reading All The Light We Cannot See this month. I really hope no one hates on me after reading this post. I can’t say I loved it, but I didn’t hate it either. It was for sure not one of my favorites. In fact, if it wasn’t for the book club, I would have put it back on the shelf; however, I felt obligated to read it. It was a beast of a book for me. The flowery, embellished written words combo’d with its jumping around in time. Oy. To be honest, the book made me feel dumb because I was mainly confused. I was frustrated and felt I needed a dictionary. It was sentences like, “Mazes in nodules on murex shells and in the textures of sycamore bark and inside the hollow bones of eagles.” What does that even mean?

All The Light We Cannot See



I feel awful for writing this because there are so many people who told me this book was, “amazing”, “life changing”, “best book ever”, “couldn’t put it down”. Was that you? I wanted to get to that point so badly. I wanted to reach the pinnacle. I felt I was climbing a mountain but was exhausted. It wasn’t until page 406 when I finally started to kinda sorta enjoy this book. Dedication folks, pure dedication. The ending was somewhat worth the painful 405 pages that came before. I had no emotional connection with any character, and reading this book was a nightly chore for me, but I felt obligated to trudge on.

At times I felt I was almost there…I’d get excited thinking here we go, it’s going to get a bit more interesting. Only to turn the page feeling defeated and depressed. Maybe I’m shallow or trite. Maybe if it were to have been written in chronological order, would that have changed my opinion? The last few books have time traveled around without issue. Were the time changes too abrupt? I don’t know. Did you have the same problems?

All The Light We Cannot See

There was one line that repeated itself. “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.” Life is short. Death is something I think about and carry with me on a daily basis. Ever since my sister died, I try to enjoy my life to it’s fullest. However, when you get too close to death, you can fear it…and fear life. The littlest tasks. Etienne lived his life this way. In fear. I do as well…anxiety…she’s a bitch. I need control of my environment to enjoy life just like Etienne in his little room. But death and dangers can still sneak up on you no matter how careful you are. Seize the day. Maybe that is what Madame Manec meant when she spoke about the boiling frog analogy.

So I want to hear from you. What did you think? Am I shallow? Do I need to stick with books like Twilight and 50 Shades? Most importantly, what do you want to read next? There are a few on my list: No Time For Goodbye, The Kitchen House, Heft: A Novel and Wild (I want to see the movie but not until I read the book). Do any of these sound like a good read to you? I can’t wait to read your comments below.

In case you are new around here, you might also like these book club discussion pages: #GIRLBOSS, Yes Please, and The Girl on the Train.

#GIRLBOSS Book of the month

Book Club Yes Please Amy Poehler

The Girl On The Train Book Club Discussion Page


Linking up with Carolyn’s Homework, Carrisa Miss



  1. Betsy May 4, 2015

    I loved this book. I read it a while ago, so I don’t remember the details anymore, but I thought it was so atmospheric and just a touch fantastic in a really horribly real time, which I enjoyed. I honeymooned in Paris, with a trip to St Malo, so I really liked the reminder of that city. The characters were so realistic, so believable, and so so sad.

    But no, you shouldn’t push through Twilight and 50 Shades. There’s too many great books out there for wasting time on trash.

  2. I don’t think you are shallow. =) I found the time changes throughout the book not well done and confusing. I did enjoy the journey of the book, but don’t feel like it was life-changing or anything. Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to others.

    I will disagree with Betsy…ha! Sometimes, you just need a little Twilight, Divergent or 50 Shades (or all three!) in your life. Sometimes, especially after a bad day with a toddler (tantrums in public!)… I need an easy read with a few glasses of wine.

    My vote is for Wild. I can’t wait to see the movie, but would love to read the book first as well!

  3. brendakula May 4, 2015

    I didn’t read the book. But I think traveling back and forth in time can be done well. It just depends on the writer and the grasp they have on the characters. I have read some that I just loved and didn’t wonder what was going on at all. And there are some that lost me. Depends on the narrative, I think.

  4. Alexandria May 5, 2015

    I love The Girl On A Train, i got completely caught up in the thrill of it! I listened to the audio book for yes, Please.. it added a little extra to the whole experience. I’ve started All The Lights We Cannot See, but I just cannot seem to get through it!

  5. Megan May 5, 2015

    I just got done with All the Lights We Cannot See with my book club and the group was split on loving it and hating it. I also felt bad for not liking it or feeling any connection to this book and had a really hard time getting through it. It was slow and fell flat. I’m with ya sista you are not shallow!

    • kyla May 5, 2015

      Dude! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hated it. Every night it was like a chore to pick it up. Bring on the Twilight series!

  6. Jackie May 12, 2015

    This reviews on this remind me of “Goldfinch” – in the same way some loved it, some hated it lol. “The Kitchen House” is a good choice for a read. I would like to recommend “My Sunshine Away” by M.O. Walsh – one of my favorites from the past year’s books..

  7. Carolyn July 12, 2015

    I like novels based on WWII, especially the impact on the lives of ordinary people/children. I enjoyed the ‘girl’ and thought her character was interesting. Her strength and the ‘mystery’ was established by the uncle. The ‘boy’ character did not seem well developed and was harder to follow. In retrospect, the boy’s childhood did not have strong family support, and given his talent, he was controlled by others. The two scenarios probably indicate the reality of their situation.

  8. Lydia August 8, 2015

    Hated the title, browsed through it and hated it even more. Pretentious, sappy, pointless! Did I say pompous? It’s like someone trying to be deep and poetic but who truly has nothing original to say. So much for prize committees…

    • kyla August 8, 2015

      Ha! I agree with everything! Every time it started to get good, it went nowhere. Pointless. I felt horrible for making you guys read it. And I felt bad for me that I had to force myself to read it every night. We are going to read a good one next! The Vacationers. I’ll be announcing it soon. And I’ll also be posting a discussion page for Wild as well! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. […] curious to hear how you liked All The Light. Everyone I talk to either loves it or hates it. My review is here. […]


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