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review 2019-01-24 16:00
Review: Bonfire
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

I received a copy from Netgalley.


I snagged this one when it was offered on a read it now for the first 100 members. I take a break from the YA I read for grown up mysteries and thrillers, this one sounded good and the fact it was written by Krysten Ritter caught my attention immediately.


Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this book. The story has been done before in one form or another, there wasn’t any particular character I necessarily liked. Most of them were horrible people. The story line was interesting enough – a small town girl leaves and goes to college, becomes a lawyer and winds up working for a centre for legal advocacy. Something to do with environmental law. Finds herself returning home to investigate a big company who make plastic and give the dying town new life and new employment opportunities. With some nasty side effects to the environment and some of the people who live there.


Nothing unfamiliar. The main character fell fowl of the school’s mean girls. The most popular one who used to be a childhood best friend turned toxic became the queen bee and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Some sort of sinister Game is hinted at, to do with risqué pictures and blackmail and a whole host of perverted things related to it. There’s something going on and may be related to things that happened when the MC went to high school there, only things have taken a significantly darker turn. And of course there are people who don’t want the past digging up or the MC to connect the dots to what’s really happening.


Technically speaking there wasn’t anything terrible about the way it was written – it had its moment and really managed to capture the small dull life of a town without much going for it. The novel did a pretty good job of showing how horrible people can be behind the smiling facades they put on. Girls who were bullies in high school that don’t learn from it and don’t become good people.  The main character is reasonably level headed and intelligent and the investigation is interesting enough that it kept me wanting to know what was going on. One or two characters had some redeeming moments, but for the most part, nothing stood out.


Overall, it was just okay.


Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone for the review copy.

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text 2018-10-07 21:55
My September 2018
Bonfire – Sie gehörte nie dazu: Thriller - Krysten Ritter,Norbert Möllemann,Charlotte Breuer
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous - Nico Leon,G. Willow Wilson,Cliff Chiang,Takeshi Miyazawa,Adrian Alphona
Moxie. Zeit, zurückzuschlagen - Jennifer Mathieu,Alice Jakubeit
Clean - Christel Kröning,Juno Dawson
Bonfire – Sie gehörte nie dazu - 3.5 stars
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous - 5 stars
Moxie. Zeit, zurückzuschlagen - 5 stars
Clean - 5 stars


Favorite book(s) of the month: Moxie, Clean, and Ms. Marvel (always)


Books started this month but haven't finished yet: Harry Potter, Flugangst 7A, Ghachar Ghochar, Power Woman


Theme of the month, starting ALL the books, finishing only half of them.
My wrap ups this year are mostly me crying about how little I'm reading. I don't like it. On the other hand, if I would make a tv show wrap up with all the episodes I have watched, we would all see, why I only finish three or four books a month. UGH.

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review 2018-09-05 13:20
Bonfire – Sie gehörte nie dazu: Thriller - Krysten Ritter,Norbert Möllemann,Charlotte Breuer

German and english review (spoilerfree)
First things first: I received this book through booklikes.


Inhalt: Die schrecklichen Ereignisse ihrer Jugend haben Abby Williams zehn Jahre lang verfolgt. Als Anwältin muss sie nun noch einmal in ihre Heimat zurückkehren, um in einem Umweltskandal zu ermitteln. Kaum hat Abby die Provinzstadt in Indiana betreten, wird sie von der Clique empfangen, die sie damals tyrannisiert hat. Der Einfluss der drei Frauen scheint mit den Jahren noch größer geworden zu sein. Aber Abby lässt sich heute nicht mehr einschüchtern. Bald erkennt sie, dass das verstörende Ritual der Clique namens Das Spiel noch immer existiert. Laufen die Fäden tatsächlich in einem Netzwerk der Grausamkeit und Korruption zusammen? Und wird Abby ihre Angst überwinden, um dem perfiden Spiel ein Ende zu setzen?


Das Buch war schwierig. Hier habe ich gemerkt, was es für einen Unterschied macht, wenn es sich um eine Fernsehserie handelt oder um ein Buch. Bei Serien liebe ich es, wenn sie sich langsam entwickeln und langsam voran kommen, vor allem dann wenn man mehrere Folgen an einem Stück sehen kann. Bei Büchern, macht es mich fast schon wahnsinnig, wenn sich die Geschichte nur langsam entwickelt und die Handlung erst ab einem gewissen Punkt, der viel zu spät kommt, so richtig in Schwung kommt. Genau das hatten wir hier bei dem Buch. Trotzdem muss ich sagen, dass es mir zum Ende hin, doch viel besser gefallen hat, als ich es am Anfang noch gedacht hätte.


Ich hab bei Bewertungen oft gelesen, dass Leute das Buch abgebrochen haben, was ich absolut verstehen kann, denn wirklich erst ab der Hälfte des Buches habe ich so richtig in die Geschichte reingefunden, bin ich wärmer mit unserem Hauptcharakter Abby geworden und erst ab der Hälfte, kam so richtig Schwung ins Buch und die Handlung wurde wirklich vorwärts getrieben.


Obwohl es ein eher langsames Buch war, fand ich den Schreibstil wirklich gut. Die Story war wirklich gut durchdacht und ich mochte es wie am Ende alles zusammen gekommen ist und alles gut mit einer Schleife verpackt wurde.




Summary: Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?


This book was difficult. With this I really came to realize what a difference it makes if it's a tv show or a book. While I love tv shows that are more of a slowburn, were you feel like nothing is ever happening until it does. Especially tv shows that you marathon. On the other hand, books. Books that don't seem to go anywhere come pretty close to actually driving me insane. When the story is moving so very slow and nothing seems to happen, until that point (that most of the time comes too late). That's the problem I had with the beginning of the book. But now that I finished it, I have to admit that I like it now, more than I thought in the beginning.


Most of the reviews I read were from people that actually didn't finish the book, something that I can totally understand now. Cause let's be real, the book really gets going in the second half. That's when I really got into the story and when Abby finally grew on me. And the second half of the book is when this book comes to alive and the storyline really gets going.


Even though it was a really slow book, I thought the writing was really well done. The story was well thought through and I loved how everything came together and the end and how everything was wrapped up with a nice little bow.

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review 2018-04-21 21:25
Krysten Ritter: Bonfire
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

In her debut novel, Krysten Ritter takes the readers to a small town that has it's fair share of town secrets:

Abby Williams  could not wait to get out of Barrens, Indiana after she graduated high school. Now 10 years later she is back to investigate Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, for environmental reasons but Abby believes that Optimal Plastics holds the information that would also solve an age old disappearance of Kaycee Mitchell, Abby's best friend in high school. Abby knows that the she is there to investigate the environmental transgressions of the company but she cannot put Kaycee's disappearance behind her. What Abby will find that is that all towns have secrets, some more diabolical than other.

This book was pretty good for a debut novel, I found the plot was well laid out and I'm a sucker for a small town read, I love that everyone knows each other and that there is always at least one town dirty secret that they do not want outsiders to know about. When it comes to secrets Ally's hometown of Barrens has them in spades. 

Although the premise of this book is very interesting, the main character was such a let down. She doesn't really do any investigating in the book, just kind of goes from rumour to rumour (albeit between drinks) and from two different men that seem to have nothing to do with or affect the plot at all. I'm all for flawed characters, I mean this is what makes them more real, but they need to have some sort or redeeming quality or intelligence to get the job done. I kept trying to find this with Ally and it never materialized.

Overall, I found the book was somewhat predictable and not the thriller that it was pegged to be. Yes, I will agree with the tag line that it is a slow burner, yep slow is true as the first half of the book is not about Abby investigating Optimal Plastics (though Abby investigating anything is hard to come by in this book) but more about getting to know Abby as a character and her relationship with Barrens and it's residences. I just wish this book was more investigative than a returning home type book.

If you like small town based books then I think you will enjoy this book. I think that Ritter does have the ability to tell a story, and I think executed a bit differently I would have loved this book, but this was just an okay read, with me continually wanting to strangle the main character hindered my enjoyment of this book. It will be interesting to see what Ritter comes up with next and I would pick it up.


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review 2018-03-10 14:19
Book Falls Apart
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

 I have to say that this one didn't work for me at all.


I think the main issue is that there are way too many plot elements going throughout this book. I also don't think that the main character Abby Williams was that engaging at all. I kind of ended up disliking her and her indifference to her father just turned me off. Her also being obsessed with a childhood friend that's been gone didn't didn't ring true. The whole  book read like a Lifetime murder mystery.


"Bonfire" is about an environmental lawyer named Abby Williams that returns to her small town of Barrens, Indiana. Abby's returns home to lay some ghosts to rest and also to see if a big chemical company (Optimal) in her town is behind a recent rash of people becoming sick.  While there though Abbey starts looking into the disappearance of a former friend of hers that was never seen again after senior year.


Unfortunately I don't think that the character of Abby was very developed. I think that most of this book was a lot of "tell" not show and the secondary characters never really come alive. I also was able to figure out who the guilty party was because there's very few people in this book so you know it's not that hard to figure out who the guilty party(is) are while reading this.


The writing at times was really clunky. Ritter is also little bit repetitive, actually I'm going to say it, she's a lot repetitive. Be prepared to read about crows. l also think that the writing was hampered by the lack of flow. This book just stopped and started in a lot of awkward places and I think ultimately the mystery of Kaycee and all of that just didn't work along with everything else that was happening in this book.


The setting of Barren's is a small town with a lot to hide. It was interesting to read about what was going on underneath the surface of the town, I guess part of me just didn't think that something like that could be kept hidden for as long as it was especially in this day and age and with how much kids talk and social media these days. That part of it didn't really work for me and it didn't help that Abby is given a pretty big clue in order to figure things out. I rather she had realized it instead of her fumbling along with things as she did. The whole collar (Abby's dog) explanation equaled zero sense. I had to re-read three times and just didn't buy it. There's a lot of moving parts that Ritter tries to force fit. 


The ending was not good. It honestly doesn't make any sense to me like the decisions that's Abby is taking feels like she's just going to force herself to be alone and sad just because she definitely seems to want to still be seen as a victim to me. I don't know if Ritter has plans on continuing with this character in a future series, but I definitely hope that Abby gets developed a lot better than she was in this book.


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