Bookreview: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG

Omg, I finished a book for the first time in months! Can you believe it?! I don’t know what it is, but I just read a lot less than I used to. But maybe this will be the book that finally breaks the curse, who knows? I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG. I had seen this book around on social media for quite a while, it sparked my interest but I had never picked it up. Then it got chosen for the Zoella Book Club. I started reading it, and even though I didn’t actually finish it during that book club I’m happy I picked it up.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG
Published by Penguin Press on September 12th 2017
338 pages

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. 

The interesting thing about this book is that it starts off with the ending. That might seem rather strange, but trust me when you read it it’ll make sense. It starts with the fire at the Richardson house. And no this is not a spoiler. You also more or less straight away find out who set fire to the house. The only thing that is left out is the why. And that is what the rest of the book is all about. Everything leading up to the fire.

The thing that I probably loved most about this book is how the author manages to bring all the characters alive. You don’t just get the story of one main character, you get the story of multiple people that are in some way or another entangled with each other. I really started caring for some characters, and really disliking others. While reading this book, these people felt real to me. And I guess that is one of the most important ingredients to a good book.

This is not just a simple beach read – not that you can’t read this at the beach, by all means, it’d be lovely for that. But it has so many underlying themes, it really makes you think about a lot of things, gives you food for thought. I’ve felt conflicted multiple times reading this book. And I still haven’t made up my mind on some situations. It is a really interesting book!

I’m not all positive about this book though. I feel like there is still some unfinished business here. I honestly wish that there would be a sequel. I just wasn’t satisfied by the ending and I was left with questions. So Celeste, if you’re reading this – which is highly unlikely – please write me a sequel will you? Thanks!

I’d definitely recommend Little Fires Everywhere. It is an interesting and unique read. It’s a book that swallows you up and keeps you on your toes. I gave it 4 stars and not 5 mostly because of the unsatisfying ending. But still, I really enjoyed it!

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