Review: Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine

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A father and daughter reconnect after a life spent apart to find their mutual love of art isn’t the only thing they share.

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.

review

3/5 Stars 

Fire Color One is a kind of Vonnegut meets Palahniuk brand of bizarre and insightful. The kind of book that’s blunt, raw, and challenges perceptions by showing people as they are in all their horrible glory. 

PROS:

  • Insightful, honest looks at the hard truths. Sometimes people are flawed and corrupt and greedy and sometimes those people are your family. Not everyone is redeemable, not everything is sunshine and roses and crystal clear. The shades of gray are vast in each individual. Fire Color One explores the complexity of human nature and the relationships that manifest between the most unlikely of people. Characters are nuanced.You love to hate them and enjoy their randomness. 
  • The story is creative. Pyromania, getting into Iris’ head and how the fire makes her feel was beautifully written and thoughtful. There are some serious epiphanies in this book that read like concise and thought-provoking life advice. The way art functions in the story is equally as magnetic. The twist is epic and a long-game revenge that will make you feel gleeful and satisfied. 
  • Hannah and Lowell are these laughable caricatures of truly despicable people who are so real it’s unsettling. Greedy, selfish, verbally abusive, Iris is seen as a burden and a mistake. Their characters were the most developed. Some of their personality traits and actions and laugh out loud funny because they are so ridiculous and occasionally sickening. Absolutely pathetic, money-hungry people. 

CONS:

  • As flawed and compelling as these characters are, they’re mere glimpses into their personalities. It felt like the author was just scratching the surface. She laid the foundation, but she could have taken many characters much further and it would have made for not only a better story but stronger connections to each character, whether good or bad. Characters that were inherently interesting were foisted for the main character. For all of the influence Thurston has on Iris, he’s only seen in snaps that fade away. There’s hardly any interaction or even voice. It’s stuff you hear secondhand and don’t entirely experience. The same with Iris’ father. The emphasis was always off. 
  • The book was super short and would have benefited from more development in terms of exploring characters and how they related to Iris, her pyromania, and how she perceives the world, i.e. Thurston and her father. Instead, the story seems packed into the last handful of chapters, rushed after a very slow pace, and while it did help to magnify the twist, it was jarring and offset the whole book. 50+ more pages would have fleshed out the story, but what was actually presented felt a little like a summary.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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Cover Reveal: Before the Sky Fell-Aria Michaels

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RELEASE DATE: 2/15/15

Book 0.5 in the Icarus series

cooltext1790897456 copy*A prequel novella to the dystopian thriller, Icarus Series*

Seventeen year old Liv Larson’s world came crashing down around her six months before Solar Storm Icarus devastated the rest of the planet. Suddenly orphaned, and with all of her carefully constructed plans laid to ruin, Liv is forced to make a decision that could change everything. Will give in to her grief, or fight for what is left of her family, her friendships, and the future that existed…before the sky fell. 

-Includes a special sneak peek at Killshot (Icarus Series, Book One)-

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TRAILER

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Aria Michaels live in a small town in Illinois with her husband, who also happens to be an author, and her six (yes, SIX) energetic boys. Always the creative type, Aria began writing and illustrating her own stories at a very young age. Her first book, a story about a fox and a chicken, had a brief stint with publication in her third grade classroom and elementary school library. Aria’s passion for creation and love of the human spirit followed her to the university level where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts, and a Bachelors Degree in Communications with a minor in psychology. After years of juggling parenthood with a hectic career in higher education, the universe gave Aria the shove she needed to get me back to her original passion…writing.  

According to Aria, writing has been the single greatest adventure (outside of motherhood) she has ever had the pleasure of experiencing! When she’s not glued to her computer or painting her next masterpiece, Aria can be found playing in the dirt with her kids, snuggling up to a good zombie flick with her husband, or sipping a glass of wine by the fire with friends.

WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Check out the first book in the Icarus series, Killshot.

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