This Light Between Us is Already a Top Contender for Best Book of 2020... and it's Not 2020 Yet! | Blog Tour + Review: This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda

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Attention all! This Light Between should be on your radar. It's up there with my favourites of the year (we're talking right alongside White Rose and Birthday) and honestly it's a must read for 2020.


From award-winning YA author Andrew Fukuda comes The Light Between Us, a powerfully affecting story of World War II about the unlikeliest of pen pals--a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl--as they fight to maintain hope in a time of war.

"I remember visiting Manzanar Camp in California and standing in the windswept plains where over ten thousand internees were once imprisoned, their voices cut off. I remember how much I wanted to write a story that did right by them. Hopefully this book delivers."--Andrew Fukuda

In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is disgusted when he's forced to become pen pals with Charlie Levy of Paris, France--a girl. He thought she was a boy. In spite of Alex's reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic--and along with them the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.

From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them.

This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda 
Rating: ★★★★★

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review and/or participation in the blog tour. This does not effect my opinion in any way. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Review also found here at Booked J.

How do you describe This Light Between Us? It's nearly impossible. I paused at my screen many times as I tried to bring forth the words to describe how reading this made me feel. Here's what I know: it is one of the best books I've read all year. Absolutely breathtaking. This was my first glimpse into the prose of Andrew Fukuda, but it certainly won't be my last. This Light Between Us is something special.

Consider this your first required read of 2020.

Historical fiction can be difficult to navigate, but Fukuda is more than up for the task and creates an emotionally charged story that will surely leave an impression on those who read it. This Light Between Us possesses all the qualities that a good novel requires and portrays every inch of our history as humans with a blunt force of honesty, care and complexities.

We often hear of the horror of World War II, but not nearly enough--we so rarely shine that light against the most shadowy parts of history. Exploration of the internment camps, which served up sheer cruelty, is not something that is often spoken of. Many don't even know, fully, the extent of this fractured part of history--and that is completely devastating. This story, too, is devastating and stunning all at once--the way that Fukuda weaves these historical events together is as cold and smooth as you'd expect; poignant and thought-provoking.

I feel like there are so few novels that explore horrendous acts in our history in the way that Fukuda does. It is this ache throughout our body. It is about remembering. It is art that reflects life. It will leave readers feeling awe when it comes to the way Andrew Fukuda brings this story to life. It is fiction that could easily be reality, because it's based within reality and the gravity of this story weighs at the reader.

Readers who appreciated the messages behind The Book Thief and White Rose will gravitate towards this one easily.

And be warned. Reading This Light Between Us will leave an echo of this story at the back of your minds for life. At least, this is true for me. Closing this book was bittersweet and left me feeling an array of emotions. I'd expected to love this book with my whole heart from the getgo, but something about it managed to exceed those expectations.

One thing is or certain: I will never forget This Light Between Us, the history, and the way Fukuda tells the story of Alex and Charlie, and the light between them. Every page of this novel is worthy of your devotion, and will surely require tissues and annotation. This should be at the top of everyone's lists next year. 

About Andrew Fukuda 

Andrew Fukuda is the author of five books, including Crossing, which was selected as a Booklist Top Ten First Novel and Top Ten Crime Novel, and The Hunt series, which has been translated into ten languages. Born in New York and raised in Hong Kong, he graduated from Cornell University with a BA in History. He has since lived in Kyoto and New York City, and now calls Long Island home where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Connect with Andrew Fukuda: 

Find me on Instagram and/or Twitter.

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