Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost. Opening with a suicide whose aftermath brings good girl Hannah together with the town's bad girl, Lacey, the two bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.
But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it's a secret that will change everything...
After a string of less than entertaining books and entertaining but poorly written books, I am so thrilled to have found this one! The writing is just stunning - I don't usually highlight in fiction, but I've found myself marking several pages up because the writing is just so stunning. It's super smart and much more literary than I expected, but doesn't sacrifice any entertainment.
Again, it was such a relief to find a book that combines literary talent with a super engrossing plot line. Wasserman does a great job of creating characters who are both sympathetic and also gritty. She's really captured adolescence and the desire to be adult and experienced while still being so young and immature. In these girls, she also captures a striking balance between innocence and danger that I think is just the essence of the teenage experience. In this case, of course, that danger is ramped up quite a bit, but that only added to my enjoyment of the story.
If you like Megan Abbott's work in The Fever and Dare Me, you're going to have to pick this one up. It's not for the faint of heart - it's got plenty of underage exploits that can be difficult to read, but worth it if you can handle it. I think it fits in well with the psychological page-turners, but does so with a literary bent that makes it stand out from many of the other Gone Girl read-alikes.
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