This week’s BotW is Jenny Valentine’s Fire Colour One. I do try to mix my choices up a bit – although when I go on a massive reading jag of one author that doesn’t help – so here’s some new YA fiction. I got my copy via NetGalley and raced through it in two train journeys.
Iris likes lighting fires. She doesn’t like her mum – or her mum’s boyfriend. She’s lost touch with her best (and only) friend Thurston. Then the dad that she hasn’t seen for years gets in contact to say he’s dying. Her mum is delighted – she wants Ernest’s art collection to fund her lifestyle. Iris is angry. But her dad has things he wants to tell her.
Now, it took me a while to warm to Iris. She’s a bit difficult to like at first, but then you see what she’s dealing with. And she’s dealing with a lot. Her mum sees her as an inconvenience and really isn’t on her side. Her mum’s partner is the most narcissistic guy I’ve come across in a book this year. Iris can control the fires. She can’t control her life, or stop her dad from dying (and she’s not sure she wants to either).
Death is such a theme in YA literature at the moment, that I was worried that this book was going to leave me miserable and upset*, but I got to the last page with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face. Then I went back and read the last chapter all over again. I can’t really say much more about why the end worked for me, without giving it away and that would really spoil the book, but it’s clever. Really clever. And I’m desperate to know what Iris does next.
So, I didn’t read a lot last week, but I’m still thinking about this one – and I’m wondering if there are any teenagers in my life that I can buy it for (I’m not sure there are). I know that I’ll go back and read it again too, which is unusual for me and YA fiction that’s not boarding school stories. I’ve added Jenny Valentine’s other books to my to-read list too
* A la the 3am Fault in Our Stars crying jag.