I was so excited to read this after reading so many rave reviews and the cover is absolutely gorgeous so I couldn’t put it off any longer. I’m so glad to say it lived up to the hype and I absolutely loved it!
It tells the story of Audrey Harper who is woken up by firemen evacuating her neighbourhood due to an approaching wildfire. Over the next day she has to deal with potentially losing her family home and worrying about her boyfriend Brooks who is a volunteer firefighter. The book alternates chapters between the present day and the past with the present chapters slowly building the tension and the past showing the beginnings of her relationship with Brooks, which seems like a normal teenage romance but slowly, secrets are revealed that indicate their relationship is far from perfect.
The writing was lyrical and poetic but also completely captivating. The short chapters and the switching between past and present kept me gripped and the fast pace meant I could not put this book down – I read it in the space of a few days. The book very successfully builds the tension and suspense which draws the reader in and includes many twists and turns which keep the reader hooked.
The book demonstrates how easily an emotionally abusive relationship can form. It was almost uncomfortable to read at points as Brooks becomes manipulative and deceitful, isolating Audrey from her friends and influencing her decisions. However, he could also be charming and charismatic making it easy to see how Audrey falls for him even as she becomes aware of how toxic their relationship has become. The increasingly destructive behaviour of Brooks unfolds in parallel with the destruction of the fire engulfing Audrey’s hometown which was very effective. I think its very important for the exploration of a relationship of this type to be shown in YA.
Overall this was an amazing book with a beautiful and unique writing style that mean I will automatically be picking up another book by this author. I highly recommend this fantastic book.