All the Light We Cannot See – ★★★★★

I started and quit this book on Audible back in 2014, but after seeing me read Cloud Cuckoo Land by Doerr last year my 6th grader bought me the All the Light We Cannot See paperback for Christmas. Not 100% sure why I bounced off it so quickly in 2014 (it’s been 10 years and I’m old) but glad her urging made me finally pick it up and read it now because it was a great read that I enjoyed quite a bit.

Considering how recently I read Cloud Cuckoo Land it’s hard not to compare the two. In All the Light We Cannot See Doerr employs some of the same tricks (not meant pejoratively) of telling an interweaving story from multiple perspectives and timelines he would eventually expand on in Cloud Cuckoo. This story is much more grounded in World War II and the historical fiction genre though and lacks the science fiction elements and genre bending that made me really enjoy that made me like that book so much.

Still the fantastic writing and heart and characters (particularly Marie-Laure my goodness) made this a remarkably engaging and occasionally heartbreaking read. While I didn’t like it quite as much as Cloud Cuckoo Land, it was still one of my favorite recent reads and one that will stay with me for a while.

(I have thoughts/questions on how Doerr spent an entire book getting you to sympathize with some young Nazis and then eventually wrapped up that plot line but those are a bit too spoilery for this space.)

Rating: 5 stars

Crossposted on Goodreads
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