Sunlight – A review

SUNLIGHT by Josie Montano

Josie Montano is the author of more than forty books and her experience as an author shines through in the way she seamlessly handles a difficult topic in her new YA novel, Sunlight.

16 year-old Paulini has just been diagnosed with cancer, and apart from her best friend Amy, nobody seems to be handling it all that well.

Paulini’s boyfriend, Ryan has dumped her without bothering to tell her, and her father can’t stop crying. Paulini wishes her mother was here to talk to about things, but that’s not going to happen.

I can’t even think about Ryan, his face when he heard that I was being locked away. Not sympathy or shock, but disgust, like I was dirt. All of a sudden I was dirt. I wasn’t dirt last week when you wanted to…well…was I?

In this poignant story, Paulini discovers the true meaning of friendship and love, and finds an inner strength she never knew she had.

Sunlight is hard to put down, and readers are swept along on Paulini’s difficult journey, as she struggles to cope with the treatment and the full impact of her illness.

Paulini is a great character with a strength and sense of humour that make her story even more poignant.

“Oh my God! Paulini, do you have cancer?”

Did she have to yell it out? Might as well have taken out an ad in one of those trash mags, ‘Girl, 16, cancer, might as well be dead.’ Just wanted to run into the toilets and hide. I could hear the whispers, could see the solemn faces, they didn’t know what to say, what to do. Honestly neither did I. I felt so sick in my stomach and so angry.

Josie Montano uses strong symbolism to share Paulini’s plight and allow the reader to experience the depths of her emotions.

There’s also a realism to Paulini’s family that make her story so believable. Apart from her traumatised dad, there’s her dramatic grandmother,  Ya Ya and her younger brother, Theo who has his own way of dealing with things.

Sadly, teenagers do go through Paulini’s experiences and it’s important that stories like this be told. Teens need to be able to read and talk about these issues and find characters like Paulini that they can connect and empathise with.

In spite of its difficult topic and some heartbreak in the book, Sunlight ends on a positive note and gives the reader hope.


You can win an e-book version of Josie’s new YA novel, Sunlight by sharing a funny or positive cancer experience in the comments section of this post.


You can buy Sunlight at the following locations:

for print version in Australia

Happy writing:)


Thanks for sharing this special day here at DeeScribe Writing. We hope you have enjoyed it.

Thanks, Josie for sharing your journey with us:)


14 thoughts on “Sunlight – A review

  1. wow wow WOW! What a review, thanks so much Dee – this book still brings tears and jerks emotions, even just reading the extracts above! xx
    Thank you so much everyone for your support 😎

  2. wow Josie. This is fantastic. I can’t wait to read the book. Am trying ot decide whether to ebook or buy a copy. Anna

  3. Hey Josie, I am a bit behind the others as Dubai is six hours behind Oz, This books sounds amazing. Cancer and spec fiction together. Brilliant! I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 16. For the first time in my life I saw my father cry. My boyfriend ‘loved me so much’ that he couldn’t bear to see me die, so wanted to break up. My dog became my best friend as we went on long walks together. And then the diagnosis was changed and I didn’t have cancer any more. The experience changed my life. So your story resonates with me big time. Congratulations for being brave enough to tackle such a difficult and worthwhile subject.


  4. wow Kathy I never knew that story about you, amazing how sharing a story allows others to share. I think you will really relate to Paulini my character. Thanks for visiting from Dubai 😎

  5. A friend of mine had breast cancer. She was fortunate to catch it early. Months of treatment though, but it’s looking very positive.

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