REVIEW: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

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Things You Save in a Fire tells the story of Cassie Hanwell, a tenacious female firefighter, as she battles her past, deals with trials in her career, and confronts abandonment issues with her mother.

The novel is well-paced and the characters are relatable and likable. The main character didn’t fall into any overused tropes, either. For example, she is a firefighter and dresses for her job. She never refers to herself as a “tomboy”. When she dons formal attire for an event later in the book, you’d expect one of those dramatic makeover moments that are so overused in both books and movies. I LOVED that, instead, the character thinks, “I’m not ‘better’, just different”. She doesn’t have the typical transformation moment wherein now that she’s dressed “feminine” she realizes she was beautiful all along. She acknowledges the difference and moves on.

Another marking of a good novel is one that introduces you to a world you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. This novel contains interesting passages and explanations regarding the work of a firefighter without being overly technical.

This novel has suspense, mystery, emotion, romance, and humour…I can’t recommend it enough.

RELEASE DATE: August 13 2019.

Thank you to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me the ARC of this book!

The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite

 

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I’ll admit, the inner emo kid within me was what initially drew me to this graphic novel. Gerard Way, front man of My Chemical Romance, is a creative guy and I thought his creativity would lend itself well to a graphic novel.

While the opening was a bit confusing, as you’re thrown right into the story without much introduction, I found I was swept up in the story quickly. Also the style slowly teases out information about the characters as the story progresses.

The artwork is stunning and the creation of Vanya was brilliant. Her look and storyline were the most captivating for me. I’m glad the artists decided to produce this in full colour–definitely worthwhile. The first volume left me wanting more and I look forward to the second!

And for those who keep saying this is a rehash of the X-Men…I disagree. There may be similar tropes but there are countless other stories involving kids with special powers. It’s all about the journey 🙂

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

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This was my first Bukowski novel and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The protagonist, Henry Chinaski, is a downtrodden working man who has his sights set on booze, women and surviving his work day. When I read the synopsis on the back of the book, the feminist in me rolled her eyes.

I was surprised to find so much depth to Chinaski, a real human side that peaked through the cracks of his harsh exterior. What he deemed to be true happiness was always slightly out of reach. I think that is a strong commentary that can resonate with most people; we’re always looking at the next level of happiness we can achieve. I made it through the work day. When I get to the weekend I’ll be happy. Once I land this new, better job I’ll finally be happy. Chinaski is constantly chasing his next level of happiness and it’s always just out of his grasp. His thoughts and speech made me laugh out loud.

There were passages in the novel where my heart ached for him and the other characters he interacted with as well. This book is punchy, heartfelt and is an overall easy/light read.