Title: Lies Like Wildfire
Author: Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Release Date: 9/9/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 53
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free ARC copy from Penguin random House ,via The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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.
I could not put this book down. I was exhausted, sleep deprived and wanting nothing more than my bed when I picked up this book. I thought I would read a couple of pages and drift off, hours later I was completely absorbed and no longer tired. I was enthralled by the story and needed to know what would happen next.
The pace is ferocious in the beginning of this book and it just sweeps you up into the sheer panic and pandemonium of a wildfire, I could feel my heart racing as the fire grew. The way that this was written and paced perfectly to just hook the reader and lead them not only through the terrifyingly quick raging pace of a wildfire building, then holds you ransom as you wander if the truth is going to be ousted, before plunging you into another mystery that tangles it up even more. The plot is just fantastic.
The relationships, friendships and mismanaged romances in this book were also really realistic. It was teenagers making stupid choices, the emotional, mental and even physical games and torment of teenage life are recognisable. The petty jealousy, unrequited love, self confidence issues and rushing into damaging and unhealthy situations were just such natural responses and worked so seamlessly with the mystery plotline. I really enjoyed how this built all the emotional facets of the characters and how it twisted and changed as the pressure built. The character’s themselves were all morally grey in the best possible way. They are not likable people, they all have their own agendas and that makes them unpredictable which made me really enjoy reading about them.
This was just a fantastically well paced, well structured YA thriller. I can see why it has already been optioned as I can see it really working as a TV show with the descriptive imagery and the tension/drama of the plot. I really enjoyed reading it.