Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng | Review

little fires everywhere by celeste ng review, kindle version flatlay with plant and bedding

I've read Celeste's previous novel Everything I Never Told You earlier on in the year and really enjoyed it so assumed I'd like Little Fires Everywhere as well as it was a similar style. Surprisingly I actually liked it even better. Maybe because it was less about discovering why a dead person was dead and more following the interactions of two very different families.

The thing I really like about Celeste's novels is her ability to flow from one character's point of view to another seamlessly, even more so in Little Fires Everywhere. Instead of changing points of view each chapter like most YA books do, she would switch and change each sentence or paragraph, whatever suited the current moment. It sounds confusing but trust me it was very easy to follow, enough that I would say it's easier and flows better than chapter point of view changes.

The other thing Celeste does well is character development and more importantly, the ability to control many different characters and make them all feel needed to the story instead of a few main characters and many filler characters. In the beginning, we're thrown to after the incident, it enables us to form opinions on characters and ideas about what caused the incident. Then in the next chapter, we're immediately thrown back to the past to begin reading the developments and reasoning behind the incident happening. While my first instincts about who set the fire turned out to be true throughout the story there's definitely enough plot twists to make you question your thoughts and change your mind more than once.

If you've read Everything I Never Told You you'd know Celeste doesn't do fast-paced action novels. Her books are the slow-paced everyday drama that wouldn't stand out in real life. That's what makes them so lovely and easy to read. The minor incidents are so relatable because we'd never look twice if they were happening to a friend or someone else in the neighbourhood. Family angst, abortions, teenage girls first love, rich vs poor money issues, the usual life of everyday people. The most 'non-everyday' storyline was one of an adoption case gone wrong and needing a custody court battle and even that is happening regularly around the world. This may be why some people don't like it, too boring and slow, but I enjoyed it.

The one problem I had were some of the minor cliffhangers, the unanswered questions I was left with when I reached the last page. Where did Izzy end up? Did Mrs Richardson ever find out the real victim of the abortion? I don't know, and we'll probably never know as the ending wasn't a sort of cliffhanger to imply a sequel.

If you've read and enjoyed Everything I Never Told You or enjoy similarly slower paced everyday lifestyle books I totally recommend this one too! If you've read it already let me know what you thought!

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