Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I think every book person longs for those reads that are so fantastic that you just have to tell everyone about it. A book so good you have to shout it from the rooftops! Krysten Ritter's debut, Bonfire, was one of those books for me.

First off yes, that Krysten Ritter. Known for her roles on Jessica Jones, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, and (my favorite) Veronica Mars. And given I'm a fan, Bonfire made my must have list as soon as it was announced. And while I hoped, as is the case with any book, that I would like it, it turns out I actually quite adored it!

Abby Williams left Barrens, Indiana after graduation and never planned to return. But, ten years later, working as an environmental lawyer, she finds Barrens calling her home once again. 

Optimal Plastics took a dying town and breathed new life into it. They've given money for new additions to the local school, for a brand new community center, and, of course, employ a massive number of locals. But when a farmer complains that his crops are suffering because of tainted water, he places the blame right at the feet of Optimal. And his isn't the only complaint. Which is where Abby and her team come in. 

For Abby, though, it's much more than just the current claims against Optimal. When Abby was a senior, a fellow group of classmates began exhibiting strange symptoms. In the end, the girls responsible convinced everyone it was all fake, but the leader of the so called prank disappeared shortly after. Abby always wondered what happened to Kaycee Mitchell, but returning to Barrens has turned that wondering into obsession. Especially when she convinces herself Kaycee might have been telling the truth about her illness and that Optimal could have been the cause.  

Bonfire is a great mystery but it's more than that too. It's a story about a girl facing her past.

Abby wasn't popular. She was actually bullied by Kaycee Mitchell and her friends, which is part of the reason she left in the first place. But her home life wasn't great either and her drive as a lawyer is at odds with her almost overwhelming desire to avoid her father at all cost.

So she's there for work, and it's not an easy job investigating a company that can basically do no wrong in the eyes of most of the community, she's reunited with the very people she didn't get along with in school, and avoiding her father is out of the question. We soon learn, too, that Abby turns to the bottle a little too quickly when under stress - and returning the Barrens is nothing but!

And that's all in the beginning of the book. As we get deeper into the story, we learn much more about the town Abby grew up in and the secrets that have been buried there for so long.

Bonfire is an abandon everything read. A book that sucks you in and demands that you finish it in as few sittings as possible. I know, because I would have finished in one sitting but obligations tore me away! So it took me two sittings. But don't think it wasn't on my mind every second I was away from it! Ritter's story invaded my brain and actually hasn't left it. And now I want all of you to read it and love it too!

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