Girls on Fire, Robin Wasserman
Published May 17th 2016 by Harper
Hardcover, 368 pages
Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost. Opening with a suicide whose aftermath brings good girl Hannah together with the town’s bad girl, Lacey, the two bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.
But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything..
Let me just say, I’m among a few black sheep on this book. I saw Michelle at That’s What She Read raving about this story of unhealthy high school friendships in the 90s and I couldn’t wait to pick it up. As one who had my share of unhealthy high school friendships in the 90s I thought this description sounded amazing. But for me, it just wasn’t.
It isn’t the writing – I thought that was great. Something about Hannah and Lacey’s story just went too far for me. It went from feeling real to just shy of ridiculous. Yes friendships are that intense as Hannah and Lacey’s was – two girls against the world. Music can be a lifeline as with Lacey’s beloved Kurt Cobain, drugs are there for experimenting and horrible things happen between teenagers. But all in all it was just too much for me – the drugs, the perception of satanism, the sex, the violence – too much!
Shannon at River City Reading has this post praising The Girls by Emma Cline and Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe both of which I’m dying to get my hands on. It sounds like maybe these will give me the look back into the teenage girl that I wanted from Girls on Fire. If I ever get off the library hold list that is!
Thank you Harper and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
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