Fire Color One

“Haven’t you worked it out yet?” Margot asked him.
“What?”
“Life’s big secret. If a thing’s not dangerous, it’s hardly worth doing.”

Title: Fire Color One

Author: Jenny Valentine

Series: Standalone

Publication: January 31st 2017 by Philomel Books

Pages: 240

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Iris itches constantly for the strike of a match. But when she’s caught setting one too many fires, she’s whisked away to London before she can get arrested—at least that’s the story her mother tells. Mounting debt actually drove them out of LA, and it’s greed that brings them to a home Iris doesn’t recognize, where her millionaire father—a man she’s never met—lives. Though not for much longer.

Iris’s father is dying, and her mother is determined to claim his life’s fortune, including his priceless art collection. Forced to live with him as part of an exploitive scheme, Iris soon realizes her father is far different than the man she’s been schooled to hate, and everything she thought she knew—about her father and herself—is suddenly unclear. There may be hidden beauty in Iris’s uncertain past, and future, if only she can see beyond the flames.


My Thoughts:

Sometimes an impact can be made in a short amount of space. Like poetry, Fire Color One uses its small size to pack each page full of imagery and deeper meaning. It might be a short, quick read – but it leaves a lasting impact. Fire Color One stays with you, lingering like the crisp aftertaste of a ripe apple or the scent of turpentine after painting a masterpiece. This book is art celebrating other art. It’s fresh, beautiful, and full of meaning. Fire Color Once is a magically brief glimpse into something more than normal.

Iris was a likable narrator. I wouldn’t say my feelings for her go beyond that mark, though. She was likable, but she wasn’t the star of the show. For me, the beauty of this book is in its handling of the intricacies of human relationships. There is no real plot to this story; it’s all feeling and fire and flow. Fire Color One delves deeply into the intimate nature of human connection. It toys with the strings that are frayed at the edges and shows how to glue some of them back together. It unwinds, unravels, and unifies. Fire Color One is a journey worth taking.

The narrative leaps and bounds all over the place, in a good way. It starts here, jumps there, and leaves you hanging on the edge of a chapter only to take you back three months before. It pulls itself together like a beautifully mismatched puzzle that won’t make sense until the picture is complete. It’s smart, strong, and explosive.

Fire Color One is poignant and powerful. It details the destruction and reformation of relationships in the ways that matter most. It’s clever and will leave you thinking on the details for days, maybe even months or years, to come after you finally put it down. This is a story about family, loss, and fixing the things that are broken. It was fantastic.


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