While Eight Bright Lights aims to shine with festive spirit, this romance ends up feeling more like a string of Christmas lights with a few bulbs burnt out. Sara Gibbs' tale of family and self-discovery shows glimmers of warmth and wit, but ultimately lacks the depth and sparkle needed to truly captivate. A few humorous moments peek through like twinkling lights, yet the story and characters never quite illuminate. For readers seeking heartwarming holiday cheer, this one may leave you wishing for a bit more wattage. I'd give it 3.91 stars - pleasant at times but missing that magical glow.
In Sara Gibbs' "Eight Bright Lights," readers are transported into a world where friendship, resilience, and the power of second chances shine brightly against the backdrop of a bustling city. This novel is a poignant exploration of the bonds that tie us together and the transformative power of forgiveness.
The story follows the lives of eight friends, each grappling with their own demons and striving to find their place in the world. As they navigate the challenges of adulthood – from career setbacks to personal struggles – they lean on each other for support, forming a tight-knit bond that withstands the test of time.
What sets "Eight Bright Lights" apart is its authentic portrayal of friendship. Gibbs deftly captures the complexities of these relationships, from the laughter and camaraderie to the heartache and misunderstandings. Each character is beautifully drawn, with their own unique quirks and vulnerabilities that make them feel like old friends.
At its core, "Eight Bright Lights" is a story about redemption and the power of forgiveness. Gibbs' characters are flawed and imperfect, yet their journey towards self-acceptance and forgiveness is both moving and inspiring. As they confront their past mistakes and learn to embrace their true selves, they discover that the greatest gift of all is the love and support of those who stand by their side.
Filled with heartwarming moments, witty dialogue, and poignant reflections on life and love, "Eight Bright Lights" is a joy to read from start to finish. Gibbs' prose is as luminous as the city skyline at night, drawing readers into a world of possibility and hope.
Whether you're a fan of heartwarming fiction or simply looking for a compelling story that celebrates the power of friendship, "Eight Bright Lights" is sure to captivate and inspire. Sara Gibbs has crafted a gem of a novel that reminds us of the importance of forgiveness, redemption, and the enduring strength of the bonds that connect us all. Highly recommended for anyone in search of a heartfelt and uplifting read that will leave them feeling hopeful and inspired.
A feel good romance with a shower of romance. Watch 2 girls grow and see how the story develops. I did enjoy this and will read more by this author.
I wanted to read this book for a different take on December in this genre. The story begins with separate plots for two of the women. One is struggling with the realization that her estranged father is now dead, and she can never understand what went wrong in their relationship. The other finally snapped and handed in her resignation to the woman she was an assistant to, at least on paper. The connection between these two women is later established by the bride in the narrative. The one who finally gives an aspiring wedding coordinator a chance to set up on her own. On the way, however, old secrets surface, and that throws an extra spanner in an already messy set-up for all concerned.
Part of the story happens in Israel, and the conflict there is addressed in the way that it affects the local population and what it looks like for an average citizen from another country to pass judgement on things they piece together from the news and other sources. This is, however, a small part of the storyline. Of the three lines, I liked the wedding planning one best. I was extremely invested in wanting her to succeed in her endeavour, and every time something went wrong, I waited with bated breath for the solution to come along.
I would recommend this to fans of the genre, but I think I had much higher hopes for this than I finally experienced.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
Eight Bright Lights was a refreshing holiday read! It was so nice to read about something other than Christmas and to learn more about Hanukkah! I loved all the relationships and I kept waiting for the 3 story lines to come together and they did in the best way! I went in blind and thought this would be more of a romance book but it isn't and I loved that it was about 3 women on their own paths! I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book the best and would recommend this as a fun holiday read!
I was hooked on this from from the first page. I loved the characters and watching them grow and their stories develop.
This was a lovely feel good book with a sprinkling of romance, Christmas and female friendships.
I will definitely read more from this author in the future.
This is a perfect, feel-good, cosy up with the fire and Christmas tree lit behind you kind of book. Perfect Christmas read, simple and easy!
The E-Book could be improved and more user-friendly, such as links to the chapters, no significant gaps between words and a cover for the book would be better. It is very document-like instead of a book. A star has been deducted because of this.
This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and I would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
I ended up enjoying this one and, though I was worried at first about the three separate stories, I thought the author did a good job of bringing them all together and making it an enjoyable, rather than overwhelming, holiday read!
I really enjoyed this book. Such lovely characters - I was rooting for the three main characters from the start, but the supporting characters were great too (including a few that were so awful I could barely stand it). Warm and romantic and it made me laugh out loud: lovely.
I absolutely LOVED Eight Bright Lights. I loved the different story lines and how they weaved together along with all the different ways the families added the FUN in Dys-FUN=ctional! Great read. THANK YOU!
This wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's a cosy, heartwarming read with three strong female main characters - all of who I really liked.
Hannah was my favourite character and I really liked finding out about her travels to Israel, and the romance was adorable. The book also touches on some very poignant but relevant history of Israel, which I thought was a great addition to the book as it may educate some people on the topic.
Overall, this is a cute book - and very exciting for a debut novel! I'd definitely read more from this author.
I just didn’t find the protagonist to be massively likeable unfortunately - everybody makes mistakes but being rude to her mum and her friends is not it!
When wedding planner Ella rage quits her job, she now has to scramble to make sure the one client she has gets the wedding of their dreams, despite her old boss trying to sabotage the event at every turn, and her autism making each step a hike.
Rachel is getting married, but first she has to ace an interview at a prestigious magazine. But when a story pitch gets personal, her wedding might get even more complicated.
Hannah is struggling to figure out how to run her own life. But when her father dies, a visit to Tel Aviv could be just the inspiration she needs.
This is a lovely story, and the three plots intersect beautifully.
I wanted to shake both Ella and Hannah a few times, but they both got there in the end.
This story also touches on a very timely political issue with Israel and highlights the challenges people with autism face.
A really good read, would recommend.
Honestly what’s not to love??? Chanukah, romance, Jewish writing… love love love it!!! I hope to see more writing like this in the future. This book has me smiling the whole time.
Such an impressive debut novel, that features a diverse assortment of characters, in a holiday romance that believe it or not isn't Christmas.
As you may have guessed from the title, this book is set at Hannukah, and it features three main characters, who for the majority of the story aren't ever in the same place at the same time. But it does all link together really well, and makes total sense. There are even some fascinating sub plots at play too.
Hannah's story takes her to Tel Aviv to set Shiva for her estranged father, only for there to be more to his life than she ever knew. For Hannah all of this is a journey of self discovery, and learning to be more of an adult.
What I liked about Hannah's chapters was seeing Tel Aviv, which is a location I don't think I've ever come across before in fiction. Hannah also has some views about the general political situation out there - and this was a book written before the latest war erupted (I know this for a fact given how many months the book had been unread on my kindle for, having downloaded it from Netgalley). In fact the mentions of anything to do with the conflict were the only parts of the book (and thankfully small) that I was less keen on.
Mainly cos it was a bit too much like real life intruding on my fictional reading time!
Rachel, was someone I could identify with to a certain extent, not just cos we share a name, but also because we are both overweight (and not on a diet to do anything about it). There is a lot of body positivity in her chapters, as she gets ready to marry Chris on Christmas day. I also reckon if I was to ever get married it would be like Rachel, and a marriage to a non Jew.
Seeing Rachels's family dynamics felt so familiar, and I loved the sub plot with her Grandma.
Yet it was probably Ella's storyline that I was most drawn to at times. She is also the person I want to give away the least details about - but will say the battle with her about to be ex boss was brilliant. And learning about Ella's thought processes was eye opening.
I'm pleased to say that although it includes Israel, Hannukah, Shabbas and a bit of religious thoughts, it is not a book steeped in religion, or faith, it is just a backdrop to the story of these three ladies, over the 8 days of Hannukah.
And I loved how many of the North West Jewish London locations are familiar to me, or at least in passing and fairly local.
There was a lot I could identify with, and generally found it an all around fabulous book to read. I'm already curious to see what this author will write next.
Thank you to Headline and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Eight Bright Lights by Sara Gibbs is a wonderful Hanukkah read about 3 families and their relationships and struggles to get along. I literally couldn’t put this book down. Secrets abound in this book and I loved each family’s stories. I would love to read a sequel to this book and travel to the countries described in this book. Thank you NetGalley for an e-book copy of this amazing story and I can’t wait to read Sara Gibbs next novel. Bravo Sara🙋♀️🇨🇦🙏❤️👏👏👏📚🤞If you love books by Josie Silver, Emily Stone and Jean Meltzer, you will definitely love Eight Bright Lights 🕎
Good characters and setting , a real feel good Christmas story, I enjoyed reading this 4 stars
Thanks to Netgalley, author and publisher for this ARC
Eight Bright Lights is a fablous festive story - warm, witty and full of just enough chaos to let you know you're in a romcom.
this is a story of three Jewish women, really enjoyed the story, it was interesting to see how each character changed.
This is a sweet holiday romance about 3 Jewish young women who are at a crossroads in their lives. Ella, a wedding planner, is tired of working for her dragon of a boss and impulsively quits her job. She decides to start working for herself as a wedding planner and agrees to plan Rachel's wedding, despite her boss's attempts to sabotage her. Rachel is looking forward to getting married to Chris on Christmas Day as she deals with her crazy family's antics and secrets while trying to land her dream job as a journalist. Hannah, Rachel's cousin has been flighty and irresponsible and working at her mom's pub until she learns that her father passed away. Her father was a famous Israeli photographer, so she flew out for his funeral and connected with her newfound family. It's a light-hearted holiday story with some romance, humor as well as serious issues. The author did a great job of tying the character's storylines together. I loved the story and the character's journey as it led up to Rachel's wedding. There was great representation as well- Jewish/Israeli, LGBTQ, Autism, and plus size.
Thanks, Netgalley, Headline Books, and Sara Gibbs for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book.