I first read 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons in November 2019 and reviewed it on Amazon. This is a sweet, contemporary YA novel that was independently published in August of the same year.
As a writer myself, I came across this book while YouTubing indie publishing tips. That’s where I initially heard about Abbie Emmons. I signed up for her email newsletters, which made it easy to stay connected to her YouTube channel. And as of recently, she and her sister launched The Kate & Abbie Show podcast (they are both writers). Give it a listen!
Emmons has given me a lot of writing and indie publishing insights in my own author journey, and I can’t recommend her enough. Definitely give her a follow on YouTube and Instagram if you’re interested in those same topics.
With that said, let’s jump into a brief summary.
100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons summary
100 Days of Sunlight is written in first-person from the perspectives of Tessa Dickinson and Weston Ludovico. At just over 70K words, I easily read this novel in one sitting. Regardless, the story itself is chock-full of emotional depth. Emmons talks a lot about finding a story’s “truth.” Here’s a quote from the front cover:
“When life knocks you down… Get up.”
I’m pleased to report that this book didn’t disappoint. If I read a book and can sit and stew about it for days or weeks after, that’s what makes the story worthwhile to me.
Emmons’s debut novel is about a 16-year-old girl named Tessa who gets into a car accident while out shopping with her grandmother. Grandma is okay, but Tessa goes blind. And as the title hints, it takes roughly 100 days before she regains her eyesight. Until then, it sucks for Tessa because she is a writer—a poetry blogger. Losing her sight draws out bitterness and resentment as she struggles to regain some form of normalcy. She finds it next to impossible to blog or interact with her tribe on social media. Understandingly, her usually sunny outlook becomes anything but.
Against Tessa’s wishes, her grandparents put an ad in the paper to hire a typist. The job posting is answered by the son of the local newspaper owner, a boy named Weston. Weston lost his legs in a freak accident, so he knows a thing or two about hardship and overcoming.
Tessa sees Weston as being obnoxiously optimistic, and she doesn’t make it easy to help her. But over the months, Weston comes back—never deterred—and uses each of the other five senses to teach Tessa how to enjoy the world around her once again.
During this time, the two become close, but we find out that Weston is insecure about not having his legs. When she starts getting her sight back, he disappears, thinking she’ll forget all about him and continue on with her life as she did before.
We, the reader, get to see how this all plays out.
Book review: 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
Overall, I gave this story five stars on Goodreads. Some people thought the story came off too Christian or had some other religious motive in that regard, but I didn’t get that impression at all. Other complaints from the reviews I saw included the story being too PG or having too much cussing (definitely not, IMO). But then again, I’m used to reading Sarah J Maas, Anna Todd, and Stephen King. My threshold for mature language and subject matter is really high.
This was a fun after-summer read for me. I actually bought it on Kindle first but it inspired me so much that I went and bought the paperback, too. 100 Days of Sunlight will make you giddy with the excitement of first love, all the while squeezing your heart for those aching moments revealed in Tessa and Weston’s pasts. Emmons’s message is to overcome, to never give up, and I adored every word of this book.
If you’re looking for an innocent, heartrending romance, pick this one up. It’s a feel-good spring or summer read that satisfies the soul. This novel is yet another reason why I love and support indie work. I can’t wait to read more of Abbie Emmons’s stories!