ARC Book Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter


ashley | I’ve been a fan of Krysten Ritter since she popped up on Veronica Mars in 2005. I am forever looking for ways to relive Veronica Mars, but Ritter has proven herself a badass with a lot of the work she’s done aside from VM over the years and I was curious to see how that translated into her debut novel, Bonfire. The description sounded intriguing and I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about it, so I was excited to be able to pick it up before its release.

I won’t say I had small expectations, but I will say I was happily impressed with the tone, flow and overall feel of this book. It’s a gritty thriller, not scared to show its scars, and kept me on the edge of my seat through pretty much most of it. I was especially impressed with how it remained suspenseful and thrilling while dealing with a corporate environmental case, which honestly could end up being a bit of a drag. But it wasn’t, at all. It was smart, well written and with lots of twists and turns. 

Bonfire had all the qualities I like in a book: flawed heroine, mystery/thriller, group of mean girls, sordid past, and most of all, it took place in a small town. But what was even better than this was that while the book fit nicely into these categories, it also defied them. The mean girls weren’t rich, privileged girls. The flawed heroine wasn’t entirely the outcast growing up. Ritter pulled from these comfortable places, but made the characters entirely her own and took things deeper and darker than expected.

I whipped through this in a couple of sittings. I enjoyed how each character had their own story and you never fully knew who to trust. I liked how pieces from all these little stories came together to start making the big story that Abby was trying to uncover. And I especially loved how Abby suddenly became unreliable herself, which seemed out of the blue, but also fit so well with the rest of the story. It complimented the complexity of the ending and added a few final obstacles to overcome before it was all laid out for us. This was a really clever way to throw the reader off, reminding them that anything can happen in a good book.

And this was a good book. I really enjoyed everything about it. There were familiar elements and expected outcomes, but there was also a much, much deeper take on this story. Deeper and darker. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was thrilled to be taken by surprise and thought it all wrapped up really well. Turns out this badass woman can write a badass book. I can’t wait to read more.


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november 7, 2017

book provided for honest review by
Net Galley