Happy 2022! I hope you all had an amazing time over the festive period. I decided to take a break from reading and blogging for December and I’m so glad that I did. I read a LOT of books in 2021 and I think my brain had gotten a bit fried. I needed the small break to make me realise how much I adore books and reading. I’m excited to be back for more amazing books in 2022 and can’t wait to find out what my favourite reads of the year will be.
Thank you to @ciderwithrosie and @0neMoreChapter_ for this advanced copy of The House Fire in return for an honest review. The House Fire was published today (6th January 2022) and you can get a copy here.
Who would have thought that so many arson attacks could have taken place in one tired old seaside town? And who would have thought that an old Manor House that had fallen victim to one of these fires would remain standing and filled with the belongings of the family that once lived there?
Jamie is making a documentary about the local fires but when her investigation gets a little too close to the truth, she risks putting her own family in danger. However her little sister Cleo is desperate for Jamie to continue on as she believes that what she finds will finally give her what she wants; rid of their toxic new step dad.
Things start to escalate within the family and it’s hard to know what is the truth and what is a lie. However what is clear is that there is no smoke without fire.
General Thoughts 🤔
I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book. I hadn’t read any of the blurb or any reviews so I was going in completely blind to what the storyline was going to be about. Overall I thought it was an entertaining book and I did want to read more the further I got into the story, however it did lack a touch of the excitement I like in a thriller. I didn’t get the edge of my seat feeling, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the story. The fires and the mystery were just one part of it. The sensitive issues that were covered like mental health and abusive relationships were written into the plot really well.
The characters were probably what I liked most about this book and there’s a lot to unpack with all of them so I’ll just choose two. I’ll start off with Cleo as although she was the problem child and probably the most dramatic character in the story, I personally thought that she was the most transparent. She was obviously a child crying out for help without the right people around her to provide it. I felt sorry for this teenage girl that needed attention and most importantly, genuine love.
Although Jamie was the older sister, she was the weaker of the two in my opinion. I think that Jamie had strong feelings about some things but felt nervous or anxious about following through on some of those feelings with action. I felt sorry for Jamie in a different way than I did for Cleo and she actually made me feel quite sad towards the end of the book.
Writing Style ✍️
I liked that the story was told from alternating perspectives; Cleo’s and Jamies. It often made me question which of their experiences was the closest to the truth and I found it intriguing to see how they both processed the same events.
As I mentioned, the writing of this story didn’t have me tense and I didn’t feel particularly thrilled, but I did enjoy the unravelling of the story and seeing all of the lies come tumbling out. There was potential to make this book a little more hard hitting and dramatic, but I’m not sure that it needed it or if more importantly, it’s what the author wanted.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
This was a good book to kick off the year with. It wasn’t too intense that I felt overwhelmed but it was engaging enough to keep me turning the pages. I believe that this is the second book this author has written and I will be adding her first to my TBR list. I enjoyed her writing and I look forward to reading more.