Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Stones are just stones and rain is just rain and misfortune is just bad luck. Some things are simply more rare than others, and that’s why there are locks.”

-Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Synopsis: Marie-Laure is a blind girl in France who adores her father, a museum keeper who carries a valuable, magic diamond. Werner is an orphan in Germany with a special talent for fixing radios that earns him a spot at a prestigious yet brutal academy for Hitler Youth. Through incidents of war and youthful curiosity, their worlds eventually collide.

The Good: Doerr’s writing is almost like poetry, with short sentences that are rich with description (frankly, I’m surprised I liked that about his writing, since I’m usually thinking “get on with the plot, dammit!” when reading, but seriously his writing is beautiful). When he finally reaches the story’s climax, it is so entrancing that you can’t stop turning the pages.

The Bad: The book is long. And as much as I enjoyed reading it, it truly did not need to be quite as long as it was. I enjoyed it a lot, but it didn’t capture my attention as deeply as I had hoped based on all the glowing reviews it has on Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Challenge(s) satisfied: #10, read a book over 500 pages long.

Additional notes: I’m not big on war stories, and this is technically a war story. However, it’s more about the people and cultures behind World War II than any particular battles, so I didn’t glaze over.


All the Light We Cannot See is book 1 of my Read Harder Challenge.

An affiliate link is used in this post. All opinions in this review are my own and are not influenced by the affiliate.

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6 thoughts on “Review: All The Light We Cannot See

  1. Oooh, the Read Harder Challenge! Yes, yes, yes! I may have to steal your idea to read this one for the 500+ category. It sounds complex and human (I hope you understand what I mean by that!)…and a bling protagonist will satisfy the diversity requirement. Thanks for always posting your reviews!

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