TITLE: Lies Like Wildfire
BY: Jennifer Lyn Alvarez
GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery
LENGTH: 384 pages
PUBLICATION: 7th September 2021 by Penguin
NOTES: I received an e-copy of this book from the author, publisher and blog tour host in exchange for an honest review and promotion. This did not affect my opinion regarding the book in any way.
I’m here for another blog tour. I’m really grateful to Dave @The_WriteReads and Penguin for letting me join this blog tour. I’m really stoked to read this one because the theme is very important and I might say, controversial.
An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.
In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff’s daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.
But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah’s friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.
As I already mentioned, the theme of this book, the wildfire, is quite important and timely. I grew up and lived in a country filled with forests, but I never really experienced a tragedy like this. And hopefully never. But I’ve seen global news and am horrified every time there’s wildfire news. It’s always tragic. So yes, that is the main reason why I was intrigued by this book.
One reason I was hesitant to read it is the characters. I knew they will be terrible. The blurb clearly stated about their lie, and mind you, there are lots of lies in this book. The characters are not the kind of characters you will love because they’re good people. They’re not. They’re terrible, more so are their actions. But did I hate them? Surprisingly no. I don’t tolerate or agree with their actions, but these characters were incredibly well-written in that they were so realistic. All I could think of was, wow, the author clearly knows how to be god creating these people.
It was very interesting because it’s not often that I read a book where most, if not all, characters are not likable, and yet I liked the book. You see, I love books that are character-driven so I want characters I can root for. In the second part of the book, I appreciate Hannah more. It was quite an experience following her piecing together every secret of the plot. I also found the element of friendship fascinating. It is fascinating to see a group of friends and fell out. I think the author handled the part of friendship really well. It’s not a happy friendship of course, but still, it was so realistic. It was so toxic and filled with lies.
Even though I knew there will be a mystery element in the story, I wasn’t expecting it to be atmospheric and really intense. The pacing was really fast, in a good way, and it didn’t fizzle till the end. I wouldn’t call any of the reveals shocking or unexpected, but the pacing really helped the story become interesting till the end. I really like the writing style of this author.
RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies
Overall, Lies Like Wildfire is a great read. It is fast-paced and realistic. Anyone who loves mystery and intense storylines would love this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I received my B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. I’m fascinated by underdogs and power dynamics between groups of people.
I’m the author of LIES LIKE WILDFIRE, a teen thriller soon-to-be published by Delacorte Press, and two middle grade book series, each published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, THE GUARDIAN HERD (a quartet) and RIDERS OF THE REALM (a trilogy). Before this, I self-published a middle grade fantasy called THE PET WASHER.
When I’m not writing, you’ll find me galloping my little black mare through the foothills of Sonoma County or teaching free creative writing workshops to kids and adults at various branches of our local library system.
The Healdsburg Literary Guild selected me as their 2019/2020 Literary Laureate for my work in building literacy in my community. It is an honor I hold dear. I am also the current SCBWI Sonoma County Coordinator and a volunteer on the Sonoma County Library Advisory Board.
I live in Northern California with my husband, three children, and more than my fair share of pets!
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat!