Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

Welcome to the Girls on Fire book tour!! A huge thank you to Grace and Little Brown for sending me this book and allowing me the opportunity to share me thoughts on this novel during this virtual tour. Although not a debut, this is Robin Wasserman’s first adult novel, dealing with many adult themes- definitely not suitable for those under 16!!Hannah Dexter is the unpopular nobody in school, picked on by the complete opposite Nikki Drummond. That’s until Nikki’s boyfriend, Craig Ellison, takes himself into the woods with a gun and ends his life. That’s when Hannah meets Lacey, the new girl in school, and finds herself changing everything about who she is, becoming a bad girl called Dex. Dex and Lacey are soon causing trouble in town and causing residents to get worried, including their own parents. But Lacey holds a big secret from before they met.

The thing that stood out about this novel was the writing, pure excellence. It is written from the view point of multiple character, but mostly focuses on Dex and Lacey; unlike in some joint point of view novels, I found that this had a brilliant sense of which character was talking- each having a very distinct voice. During sections of the novel, these same characters are then different again being under the influence of drugs and alcohol; the writing style matched this, to show the mental thought and brain processing at the time of the characters- this has to be my favourite aspect of the novel, pure brilliance and simply stunning.

Despite this my rating for the novel came out to only be 3 out of 5, and my overall opinion is still generally confused. Although the beautiful writing, I found that it never seemed to have an overly clear plot. At times, I found that I was not too sure what was actually going on in terms of plot and what the point of the novel was; however, though slow in the majority it did build up for a climax making it worth persevering with. In general I found that little happened until you were about 200 pages in, and even then it felt a bit broken at times between event and event.

Finally though, I have to mention my love for these characters. They were thoroughly developed, with complex personalities that were beautifully detailed. Although all so vastly different, I longed for all of the main characters to succeed and to be well in the end- even those portrayed as more of the enemy. I loved the variations in Dex’s character, from her being Hannah compared to Dex, although still the basics made it clear to always be the one person.

Overall this is definitely worth a read, purely for the complex lovable characters and the just stunning writing style. Its possibly the most beautiful example of writing that I have read in a long while.

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