Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Okay seriously... this is the best book I've read this year. THIS. IS. THE. BEST. BOOK. I'VE. READ. THIS. YEAR (had to repeat myself for the people in the back). This book has easily gone into my personal top 10 books of all time. So when you ask me for a recommendation for a book, read this first and then ask me again, because All The Light We Cannot See will be my response.  

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is one of those books that reminds you why you love reading so much and ignites a literary fire inside your heart. Instead of wanting more of the plot and the characters, it made me inspired to want to read other great works of fiction. It literally made me want to read every book on the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction list just off the caliber of this book alone (currently reading 2014's winner: The Goldfinch). It. was. that. good.

The Stats

  • Author: Anthony Doerr (website)
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 531 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Release Date: May 6, 2014
  • Time it took me to read: 2 weeks

The Plot

All the Light We Cannot See is a historical story about an orphaned German boy (Werner) and a blind French girl (Marie-Laure) during the occupation of France during World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris where he works as a locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When France is occupied by the Germans, Marie-Laure and her father flee to Saint-Malo, France where they stay with her great-uncle. On the opposite side of the war, Werner is living in a mining town in Germany where he grows up with his younger sister (among other orphaned children). His life takes a turn for the "better", when he shows a talent in radios that lands him at the academy for Hitler Youth. With Germany and France on opposite sides of the war, the book follows both Werner and Marie-Laure's in alternating voices and paint how their stories collide in "present day" (present being 1944). 


I picked this book up knowing absolutely nothing about it. When I worked at Barnes & Noble for a cute second, this book was FLYING off the shelf and it peaked my interest. My first thought when I picked up this book was: "oh, typical boy-meets-girl", but how surprised and PLEASED was I to find out that it was not.  Not saying I don't enjoy a good love story, I do, but I appreciate when authors can stretch past the norm and write what's not familiar. There are so many moving parts to this story, yet it's woven together so beautifully that you don't lose track of what's happening. I found myself interested in both Marie-Laure and Werner's story equally even though they are on opposite ends of the war. The writing in this book is so intense and vivid that I felt as if I was in the story with them. I related to BOTH Marie-Laure and Werner and found myself cheering for both. I highly anticipate that this book will be made into a movie and I will be the first in line. 



Seriously, this book was perfection, I literally cannot praise it enough. All The Light We Cannot See will wrap you up like a snug blanket on a cold winter day and keep you entertained like a monkey balancing on a beach ball. This is definitely a book to be read at the end of the day after-dinner. This is a book that deserves your full attention and you want to be FULLY present for it. If any of Anthony Doerr's other books are as half as good as All The Light We Cannot See, he has a fan in me for life. Overall, this book gets a 5 out 5.