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Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine - Review

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I recently picked up this book as one of the Carnegie Shortlist. I finished it while at a gig watching terrible support bands! Haha

Where did I get it? I bought it off Wordery.com when I bought the rest of the shortlist. 

What's it about? Iris' dad has just died, when she barely knew him. The narrative in this book isn't at all linear, so I'm sorry if my round up is a bit confusing. Iris and her mother Hannah left Ernest when Iris was only little, and settled in Hollywood with Iris' stepfather, Lowell, who was trying to get his big break in movies. Iris makes a friend called Thurston, and she also likes to set fires. Hannah decides to move the family back to England because she's up to her eyeballs in debt and she intends to take Ernest for a ride and gain ownership of several of his priceless paintings. 
I started off the book not really getting it, but things became clearer and the non-linear structure does mean that twists and turns come in really pleasing ways. The actual story doesn't take place over a long amount of time, but the novel itself is really well-paced and the ending is really really good!
I do have one criticism that the narrator seemed to really hate fat people - there were quite a few times when she comments quite horribly about someone's size. I felt that part of it was Hannah's issue and not Iris', but it isn't written in such a way to be sure. 
What age range is it for? 13+
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No
Are any main characters non-white? Not that it's mentioned
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Ernest is pretty ill by the time they see him
Is there any sex stuff? No
Are drugs mentioned or used? A little bit about Ernest's pain medication like morphine.
Is there any talk of death? Yes, it isn't graphic.
Are there swear words? No
Would I recommend the book? Yes, it's good and I liked how it all came together at the end. I felt that Iris was quite an unreliable narrator but I think this added to the novel. I don't think it'll win the Carnegie Medal but I do think it deserved to be shortlisted.
How many stars? Seven out of ten
Where is the book going now? I'll keep it I think

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