Cover Image: Eight Bright Lights

Eight Bright Lights

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Member Reviews

this is a story of three Jewish women, really enjoyed the story, it was interesting to see how each character changed.

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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.

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This book was so good!!
A perfect Christmas reading to read under a warm blanket in front of a crackling fireplace and a hot chocolate!

I liked all the characters and they seemed very vivid and real.
The story is sweet and never boring, the timing has been managed perfectly!
The sweet and evocative writing was also truly enjoyable!

In short, a perfect Christmas reading!
Highly recommended !!

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with this ARC!

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I love books like this that have seemingly separate narratives that it turns out have a connection - not a spoiler it's revealed very early on these characters are connected through family and work.

I enjoyed the characters and their separate, very different journeys.

The writing was great, and the characters really fleshed out with descriptive writing and development. Can't wait to read more from Sara!

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What a lovely festive read!
It was heartwarming, affirming and wonderful. I really enjoyed the lighthearted comedy and loved how the cultural differences between Hannah, Rachel and Ella were portrayed.

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An emotional family drama that is sure to delight fans of #ownvoices autistic and Jewish authors. This wasn't so much a holiday romance as a story about three estranged sisters who have to deal with the sudden death of their father. Recommended for fans of books like Jenny Bayliss's A December to remember. This wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be but it was still a solid read. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!

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Lovely story with interwoven aspects - the wedding planner, the wannabe journalist and the bereaved daughter. At first i wasnt sure what was going on but as the book progressed i loved the interplay between the characters.

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I really did enjoy this read, it's about 3 women becoming who they want and were meant to be, the characters are likeable and the arcs that each travel on, makes for an almost unputdownable read!

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Thank you netgalley for an advanced copy. So this book is quite a mixed bag, if you are expecting a cosy Christmas story, then this isn't quite that. There are several issues and conditions that are addressed within the story that maybe you aren't expecting in a chrismassy book, but some of the situations are a reality. Overall a well written story.

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This story is about three different woman. It deals with loss, romance, funny bits.

Hannah ends up going to Israel as her Father has just died who she hasn’t seen for years, she is at a crossroads does not know what to do for work. Rachel is her cousin who is getting married on Christmas Day and wants to work for this magazine but needs to come up with a good story. Ella is the wedding planner who quit her job but Rachel agreed to stay with her, everything seems to go wrong for Ella with the planning.

The book was very enjoyable found some of the situations funny. It was interesting to read about the Jewish community. I read the book quickly. I liked all the characters and they all worked well together.

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Eight Bright Lights by Sara Gibbs

Rachel is getting married on Christmas Day but there are many problems in the run up to the big day. Ella the wedding planner loses her job and tries to deal with all the suppliers dropping out one by one with very little time to find new ones. Rachel has her own problems with her family which threaten to sabotage the entire day. And her cousin Hannah is dealing with a bombshell too.

Oh what a fabulous book this is! Exactly the right mix of great characters, fun and comedy, serious issues and a story that keeps you turning the pages. I absolutely loved it - very VERY highly recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

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Sara Gibbs is a first time author for me. First few chapters were a delight, so I knew it would be a good read for me. Good characters, which made for an excellent read.

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A festive story with a twist.

Eight bright lights follows three women, all with their own POV and journeys that intertwine in unexpected ways.

I really enjoyed this read. The first of the festive books for me. I thought it was going to be a festive romance but was met with much more plot and dialogue than I expected.

There was representation of different cultures, autism and some other heavy topics that were discussed in a natural and understandable way which was educational and enjoyable to read about.

There was a bit of humour and romance but it wasn’t the typical festive rom-com I was expecting. I did have to take a break or two and get back into it over the week.

My only negative was the over-use of certain brand or name drops. I also found it hard to connect with the characters because we were being reminded of their
‘Traits’ or ‘likes’ repeatedly at the beginning but once the story began to build, this became less. Sometimes I personally prefer a less is more approach but this may just be how I read into the introduction of the characters.

Overall recommend for those looking for a thought provoking story which is festive but not based on the usual Christmas love and romance!

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Unfortunately this book was not what I thought it would be like so I have not been able to finish this. I thought this was going to be a lot more light hearted and funny, some of the topics seem quite hard including death, fat shaming and also shaming/ not taking seriously people with learning difficulties.

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This was such a lovely story full of the feels of Christmas but, obviously, without much Christmas at all! There was so much tolerance and understanding of others amongst the usual festive angst that it made a beautiful story come alive.
The story is told to us broken up into each of the days by the 3 main ladies:
Hannah who needs some direction in her life and gets just that when she receives the news on her Father and even with all that is going on in the world right now as I write this, it is worth remembering those who just live in this disputed part of the world
Rachel who seems to have issues with most of her family members but still wont get married without them present. She's a great role model for us larger ladies in her work writing magazine and local news articles.
Ella understands her limitations due to her condition and tries to live within ways that keep her feeling comfortable, when that comfort is destroyed and then repeatedly bombed, it's wonderful to see her working to rise above and conquer!
I really did enjoy this read, it's about 3 women becoming who they want and were meant to be, the characters are likeable and the arcs that each travel on, makes for an almost unputdownable read!

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The story is centred around three main characters, Rachel, who is due to be married on Christmas Day, Hannah, her cousin, and Ella, the wedding coordinator.
All three of the main characters are Jewish, which gave me an insight into their culture, but this is both the main part of the story yet conversely not so important. It is more about the struggles that they each have, Rachel about her body image, Hannah about her being abandoned by her father when she was still young. Ella is autistic, which presents it's own challenges, but she is the character that I can most associate with. It is told from each of the three's viewpoint, which can be confusing but is clearly signposted and is the only way that it could be told. There is humour to counteract the more somber moments, with a generally upbeat feeling. Again this is one of the books that you have to pay attention to, rather than flick through, but I did enjoy reading it.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, however this did not influence my review of the book.

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3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. I want to express my gratitude to NetGalley and Headline Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest feedback.

This book marked the beginning of my holiday reading for the season, and I must say it was an absolute delight! It is narrated through the perspectives of three women, whose lives are intertwined yet also distinct and fascinating. What stood out to me is the remarkable positive representation in this book, which includes characters who are neurodivergent, body-positive, and of Jewish and Israeli backgrounds. This made the reading experience all the more enriching. This book was truly such a fun way to get into the holiday spirit and does an excellent job of giving a quick and easy explanation of some Jewish and Hanukkah traditions.

I initially had reservations when I saw that a portion of the story is set in Israel, given the current situation. However, I was relieved to discover that the author adeptly addresses the conflict and the struggles faced by both Israelis and Palestinians. She seamlessly weaves these elements into the narrative in a manner that is easy to comprehend and digest. The author has also made a statement regarding this, which can be found on her social media pages. I highly recommend reading it before delving into the book.

All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this book as a delightful holiday read. I truly loved all of the characters and their stories. The book offers a unique breath of fresh air in the world of holiday romcoms!

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This was an author I had never heard of before so I was going in blind but I loved it! The characters had their flaws but I thoroughly enjoyed how all of the stories intertwined and the characters were so well written. I look forward to seeing what the author produces next.

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Eight Bright Lights is the interwoven stories of 3 women just before Christmas. At first the different characters appeared to be totally unconnected but gradually the links appeared and I loved the way that all three storylines came together at the end. Each of the characters, Hannah, Ella and Rachel are at a turning point in their lives and I really enjoyed seeing how they coped with everything that life threw at them.
All three women have a Jewish background and the story plays out over the period of Hanukkah up to Christmas day. It was interesting to have a slightly different take on a festive romantic comedy and I really loved the part of the story that took place in Tel Aviv. As well as having some very humorous scenes, the book also had some touching moments which really put the humour into perspective.
One of the women Ella, is autistic, a characteristic that she shares with the author and I guess that one of the reasons some of the events ring so true is because the author is drawing on her own experience.
This was a really enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more by Sara Gibbs. Many thanks to Net Galley and Headline Publishers for providing my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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"Eight Bright Lights" by Sara Gibbs is a mesmerizing novel that seamlessly combines dark humor and poignant moments. It follows eight women facing the complexities of modern life, from motherhood to heartache. Gibbs' witty storytelling reveals the lives of these vibrant characters and their intertwining stories. As the narrative unfolds, it offers an astute examination of resilience and the beauty of female friendships. This book is a beautifully written testament to the strength of women and their enduring connection in the face of adversity.

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