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!

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

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“If your intentions are pure I’m seeking a friend for the end of the world…”

I absolutely adored this book! It was funny, poignant, endearing, heartbreaking and relatable. It truly is an ode to J.D. Salinger in the best way possible.

The author seamlessly blends the influence of singer Jeff Buckley’s album, Grace, throughout the novel. I have listened to some of his music in the past but never knew much about him.

INTERESTING FACT: Jeff Buckley was born in California and died in Memphis, Tennessee.

Once you’ve finished reading this novel, I recommend reading about Jeff Buckley’s life and listening to Grace; it will give you an idea of where the author derived some of her influences.

Highlights of my favourite quotes from this novel:

“All my life I waited for someone who would say things like that to me. And for someone I didn’t feel alone in the presence of.”

“You can’t put life on pause and then catch up with it later when you have more energy to give. You have to play it all the way through to the end.”

I recommend this book to anyone seeking a friend for the end of the world. I won’t soon forget Trixie and Jacob.