Thanks to #TheWriteReads for including me on the tour!
Title: Lies Like Wildfire
Author: Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: September 9th, 2021
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.
As someone who grew up in California—and in an area with lots of wildfires—this was kind of a surreal story to read about. I didn’t have snow days as a kid, we had fire days where the sky would be orange and ash would fall from the sky, the wind determining if you were forced to leave your home for potentially the last time.
All because of a stupid, seemingly inconsequential mistake, Hannah and her four best friends—the monsters— are fighting like hell to not get caught for starting a fire in their small town of Gap Mountain. And like a wildfire, one lie snowballs away from you, only to get bigger and so out of your control that you get lost in it. That’s what happened to the monsters.
This book was incredibly fast paced and exciting to read. I kept wanting to know more and more—the toxic friendships, love triangle, and an unreliable narrator with memory loss. It’s a shame that all the characters were pretty despicable people, and not in a fun or endearing way. I also still don’t understand the Justin subplot. Why have Hannah mixed up with an older man if it didn’t add to the story in any way.
While things about this story bothered me, I was intrigued from start to finish.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.