Taking a break from the BBNYA spotlights to bring you my stop on an exciting blog tour for The Write Reads! The book for this tour is a young adult thriller that flares brightly and will capture you in its heat: Lies Like Wildfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. How did I feel about this read? Well, I read it in one day, so you could say that I kinda liked it!
Before we get to the heart of this post, though, I must get my thank yous in! I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads for giving me a spot on this tour and generally being awesome. And I want to thank the publisher, Penguin, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. It is, as always, appreciated!
Now, let’s get the this post 🔥
“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.”
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!
It’s been a minute since I’ve read a thriller in one day, but, once I picked this book up, I just couldn’t stop!
This story follows a young woman named Hannah and her group of friends nicknamed “the monsters”. They’re in the process of enjoying their last summer before college and the real world in Gap Mountain, California when one terrible mistake changes the courses of their lives forever. A small spark ignites into a devastating wildfire that eats through their town. Hannah, being the daughter of the town sheriff, knows the consequences their facing and so she and the monster come to a decision: to lie. But things quickly get out of hand and Hannah needs to decide what she’s willing to do to protect and her friends.
This was such a fast-paced and wild ride! I do love a thriller that can capture me so completely that I can’t bring myself to stop reading and this book certainly delivered. The plot is so brilliantly woven that you absolutely have to keep turning the pages because you have to know what happens! And that ending! I had some thought about what was going to happen and every single one of them were blown out of the water, lol. I will say that the ending, though surprising, left me feeling a teensy bit unsatisfied, but I still loved it. I also loved how the chapters are broken up, with the dates, times, and percentage of the fire containment. It just added to the tension that was building throughout the story.
Another aspect of this story that I really enjoyed was the incredibly compelling characters. Most of “the monsters” are… not great, but damn if they don’t completely remind me of people I knew when I was a young college student. Young adults who don’t make the best decisions because of so many different factors and the fact that they’re still figuring out how to function as an adult. All of the main characters were so well-written; nuanced and layered to the point that I could easily imagine them as real people. The author does an amazing job of getting you to empathize with them while also shaking your head at the piss poor decisions they make!
Final thoughts: Overall, this book was incredible ride that made me feel the fear of fleeing a wildfire and kept me on my toes from page one until the very end. I was absolutely wrapped up in this story, these characters, and the way the whole mystery unraveled. Though the ending did hit a lot softer than I was expecting, it was still a satisfying and interesting way to wrap up the plot. If you’re looking for a compulsively readable thriller that will have you completely consumed, then look no further than Lies Like Wildfire!