Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: received for review via SandS Galley Grab
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm. (from Goodreads)
First off - have to get it out of the way -- "Holy Cliff Hanger Batman!"
The story was pretty much over and there was some wrapping up to do, which I liked, and then….wham! Seriously?! What the hell was that!?
With all the things that bug me in YA lit (love triangles and vampires that sparkle instead of kill to name a few) you would think I would also hate cliff hangers, right? They are kind of mean. Like the author is dangling book 2 in front of your face going "Oh, you want to know what happens next? Sucks to be you!" But no, I don't hate them. I personally think they are inspiring. Cliff hangers fully root a book into my brain. It stays with me. It lingers and when book 2 does come around, I am so ready! Even if I wasn't already really enjoying Wildefire by the end, those last couple of sentences did me in!
Aside from really digging the suspenseful ending, I absolutely loved Ashline. She is strong and she is determined and she never backs down - no nonsense and tough as nails. Characters like her really appeal to me. I felt invested in her story and I was routing for her. I love when this happens.
I also really loved Ash and her sister's back story as there is so much more there to explore. Also, I'm hoping we find out more about the other gods and goddesses. There is a lot going on and I'm not sure who to believe yet. The mystery of it all really moved the story along.
With Wildefire, there wasn't one main thing that I loved about it. Rather, it was all the little pieces individually. If you were to take out any one element and drop it in another book it would still work for me. Ashline, I loved. The setting was believable and easy to envision. The supporting cast were original and pretty kick ass in their own respects. And the myth and mystery? Spot on. Love it.
The elements you'll find in Widlefire aren't ones you typically find in young adult novels these days and that, in my opinion, is a very good thing. It's more mythology then paranormal. More mystery then adventure. Wildefire has a lot more...well...just more. Every page was a pleasure to read and seriously, that cliff hanger was just...arg!
I highly recommend this one and I'm dying to get my hands on book 2!
5 / 5 Stars
Simon and Schuster