Book Review: Girl on Fire
This story starts with a bang (literally) and is paced like wildfire, zipping through a tale of a young girl’s burning fury being unleashed upon the world. Ruby’s traumatic past haunts her still, and all she wants to do is see the world burn. She is the girl on fire, and her killing rage is both righteous and overwhelmingly destructive. Unfortunately for those around her it is only going to escalate.
SUMMARY: Ruby Miller is free at last. Free from her past, her tormentor, her shitty family and the even shittier odds she was given at birth. But freedom has a price, and when the young girl hell-bent on starting a new life crashes her cherry red 1989 Pontiac Bonneville on America’s loneliest road, she finds out just how dear that price is. From the Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Dear Laura and White Pines comes a new novella, a searing tale of fire, revenge and redemption, a coming-of-age tale with a bite, because, let’s face it… happy endings are for children, and some girls just want to watch the world burn.
I understand Ruby’s pain, but after a few chapters I was afraid she was just going to be this angry, unstoppable force for the whole book (which, honestly, would become tedious). Thankfully the author begins to switch things up more in the second half. We begin to see cracks in Ruby’s tough exterior. She briefly finds companionship, allowing us to see a more vulnerable side. Something is starting to go wrong with her awesome powers. And so on. All of these aspects add engaging layers to what could have just been a straight-forward revenge story, and they’re what elevated this book to the next level for me.
There are also hints at a larger world of super human beings and unnatural oddities. These brief glimpses are a welcome addition, but unfortunately that’s all we get. I absolutely need a sequel to this book, and it’s certainly set up for one. In fact, no spoilers, but I loved the way this ended. It’s a nice blend of tragedy and redemption.
Overall I really enjoyed this novella. I love the quick pace and laser-focused writing style, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice variety of perspectives. Some of my favorite chapters are ones told from other character’s POVs, and seeing Ruby’s destructive force from an outsider’s eyes added an interesting dimension to the storytelling. There pretty much has to be a sequel, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!