Title: Fire Colour One
Author: Jenny Valentine
Published: July 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: 256 pages
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
A teenage girl will soon discover, there are some things which burn even brighter than fire.
Iris’s father Ernest is at the end of his life.
Her best friend Thurston seems like a distant memory to her.
Her mother has declared war. She means to get her hands on Ernest’s priceless art collection so that she can afford to live the high life.
But Ernest has other ideas.
There are things he wants Iris to know. Things he can tell her and things that must wait till he’s gone.
What she does after that is up to her.
This book is like a breath of fresh air. Fire Colour One sweeps you up in Iris’s world and doesn’t let you down. It grabs you instantly. Beautifully written, this book is filled with hidden secrets, family wars, and a journey of discovery.
Iris has never met her father, Ernest, before, but now that he’s dying, her mother has flown them back to England after years spent in the US. Ernest is rich, you see, mega rich, and Iris’s mother wants his money. Iris couldn’t care less, all she wants is to find her best friend and tell him how sorry she is for leaving the way they did.
Iris has a small issue with fire – she likes to light small fires in order to clear her head. When this ended up causing too much trouble in America, her father’s dying request to see her couldn’t have come at a better time for her mother; the perfect excuse to escape all their impending lawsuits and crushing debts, they hop on a plane back to England.
I loved the dynamics between the characters in this book. Hannah, Iris’s mother, is vindictive and spiteful and downright rotten. Her boyfriend, Lowell, is completely obsessed with himself and his dead-end acting career. The pair of them have never really cared about Iris. Hannah has told Iris that Ernest never cared for her, didn’t want to be a dad, abandoned them and left them penniless, but slowly Iris begins to see the truth behind her separation from her father.
With secrets about both her mother and her father’s pasts coming out, Iris is in for a huge shock when a mysterious stranger shows up at Ernest’s funeral with important information for Iris. The clever twist at the end is genius. I wasn’t prepared for it and looking back, it’s expertly executed. It had a perfect ending to a perfect book.
A great contemporary book that focuses on family ties, this is one not to miss.
This book is available at the following links:
About the Author
Jenny Valentine moved house every two years when she was growing up. She has just moved house again, probably not for the last time. She worked in a wholefood shop in Primrose Hill for fifteen years where she met many extraordinary people and sold more organic loaves than there are words in her first novel. She has also worked as a teaching assistant and a jewellery maker. She studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College, which almost put her off reading but not quite.
Jenny is married to a singer/songwriter and has two children.
In 2007, Jenny won the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction with her debut novel FINDING VIOLET PARK.