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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.

Enjoy!!!

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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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text 2018-03-09 18:07
Reading progress update: I've read 72 out of 288 pages.
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

Huh. Technically the hardcover I have is 276 pages. The chapters are moving pretty quickly. I think the flow is off though. Ritter isn't allowing me a chance to get settled. We seem to move from one terrible incident after the other with the main character recounting to us how bad the small town she is from was when she was a kid. And seriously this place sounds awful. 


The main character (Abby) seems hell bent on proving something is wrong with Barrens (she is now an environmental lawyer) since she wants the town/people to pay for what happened to her as a kid. She also is haunted by a childhood friend who turned enemy that disappeared when they were seniors. I honestly don't get why she cares about this person (Kaycee) since she sounds just as bad as anything.

 

Not really getting a feel for the secondary characters at all. The setting of Barrens is very well done though. 

 

I am happy to say that this book fits two things on this card. It takes place in a small town and a father is one of the characters in this book. Abby's father (very religious) is in this and now that the man is now older seems broken. 

 

Will see if justice appears in the text. I think it has to be considering the themes in this book. 

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text 2018-03-08 02:19
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 288 pages.
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

Reading this for:

 

 

This book is a mystery so it counts towards the first part of the card. 

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text 2018-03-01 23:54
February Recap
UNSUB: A Novel - Meg Gardiner
Things We Know by Heart - Jessi Kirby
Rhapsodic - Laura Thalassa
Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel
Good Me Bad Me - Ali Land
White Bodies: An Addictive Psychological Thriller - Jane Robins
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter
Mists of the Serengeti - Leylah Attar
Twelve: The Naturals E-novella (Naturals, The) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

A sorta slow reading month for me...but I've had a lot going on, and I'm going on Vacation in 6 days.  After I get back from vacation I'm only working 5 more days and I'm having surgery on my foot.  That means at least 8 weeks off work and lots of down time...so, translation...lots of reading time.

 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) UNSUB by Meg Gardiner

Finish Date:  02/04

☆5☆ STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Finish Date:  02/07

☆4☆ STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Kindle eBook) Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa

Finish Date:  02/10

☆4.3☆ STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Reread on Audio) Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Finish Date:  02/10

☆5+☆ STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

Finish Date:  02/16

☆2.5☆ STARS - GRADE=D+

 

(Audiobook) White Bodies by Jane Robins

Finish Date:  02/21

☆2.7☆ STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Finish Date:  02/24

☆3.8☆ STARS - GRADE=B

 

(eBook) Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar

Finish Date:  02/24

☆4.8☆ STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Kindle eBook) Twelve by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finish Date:  02/27

☆4.3☆ STARS - GRADE=A-

 

9 Books Total, 6 (1 a reread/listen) Audiobooks,  & 3 eBooks

2,825 Total Pages (including Audios)

 

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