Girls on Fire
It is 1991 and Hannah Dexter is navigating high school in Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, trying to fit in without attracting too much attention from mean girl Nikki Drummond.
Then two things happen: The school is shaken when Nikki’s boyfriend, Craig, a popular high school athlete, is found shot dead in the woods after an apparent suicide, and Hannah meets Lacey Champlain, the school renegade.
Author Robin Wasserman depicts the all-consuming and borderline obsessive nature of teenage friendships with a deft touch in Girls on Fire. She gives the usual stereotypes of high school – the good girl, the popular girl, the outcast – a twist by revealing unexpected relationships between the characters.
However, the novel moves into shakier terrain when it expands into chapters told from the point of view of Hannah’s parents.
And while the characters do have more depth than their high-school stereotypes initially suggest, they never quite feel fully fleshed out, either.
Though at times more smoke than sizzle, Girls on Fire is an enveloping page-turner that could be a good holiday beach read for those who like some darkness with their sunshine.
* Associated Press
Source: art & life