Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper (May 17, 2016)
Three girls went into the woods; two came out.
It sounds like a joke, or a riddle. But it was only, would ever after be, the rest of our life.
Shortly after Halloween, 1991, the local high-school basketball star is found in the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of satanic worship in the region.
In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshipping bad influence. Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image—and unleashing a fierce defiance with unexpected and harrowing consequences. By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship, Girls on Fire is an incendiary and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls weak and strong, girls who burn bright and brighter—and girls who flicker away.
Reviewed by Felita Daniels
This book is forcefully written by someone who doesn’t just see young girls as pretty things. We like to think that we send our children to school to learn skills for their future and make friends. We tell ourselves they are safe there and making friends is always a good thing. Right?
Wasserman tells a story that we hope wouldn’t and couldn’t be true. It has to be fiction. Yet, in the back of our brain, there’s a tiny voice that says, “it could be true, what a nightmare.” Toxic relationships, we’ve all heard of them. Yet, the word intoxicating implies a draw to something bad for us. How far afield could young girls go? For a parent, reading this book might make you afraid for your children. It is scary and raw. There’s harsh language and situations. Is it well written and certainly tells a dark and compelling story.
About Robin Wasserman
Robin Wasserman is a graduate of Harvard University and the author of several successful novels for young adults. A recent recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Girls on Fire is her first novel for adults.