Great Reads

ARC REVIEW OUT TOMORROW -Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Publish Date: 
 Katherine Center

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley who provided me this book to read in exchange for my honest opinion.

Goodreads Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

My Review:

There has been many books that highlight mental illnesses recently. I think it’s great but because I’ve read so many recently, I think that I need a break and it may have influenced my overall thoughts on the book. Many of these books have been giving us just a glimpse on how dark mental illness can actually be and they’re all too similar in my opinion. I have recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (review found here) and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill which I really enjoyed and the review will be posted closer to publication date. However, even though I enjoyed these books, they are all too similar to one another.

Dear Lily is a tad different as it is presented by letters to our narrator, Joy, to her sister, Lily. It’s through letters that we learn of the struggles Lily is going through in her new country of Denmark. The letters convey so many different levels of emotions. I found myself laughing, cringing, feeling sad, and even upset during some of the letters. There is  a lot of depth to Joy and the letters definitely portray that, however; I was always searching for more. Many of the books that I’ve mentioned have done a good job just portraying everyday humans going through hardships and mental illness, and maybe that’s what’s needed but I am always looking for more drama and more of a story line to follow. This is at no fault to the book itself but more of my preference so I can see many people really enjoying Dear Lily. 

Overall, it delivers a great message and can be very insightful. The format was unique and really helps the story feel personal. I commend Davies for this and do suggest it for a light read on dark themes.


My Review:

Wow, just wow! I don’t usually enjoy romance type novels but I LOVED this. I actually almost put it down. It started very slow for me and it seemed like it was going to be predictable but it was not! There is definitely romance in here but so much drama I ended up loving it. At first I was thinking, “Okay, I get it. We’re going to read about a badass woman firefighter that isn’t getting the credit she deserves. She’s going to fall in love and repair some broken relationship with her mother.” And yes, there is all of that in there but so so much more! Once, I got over my hump of wanting to put it down, I couldn’t put it down!

The theme of forgiveness is so prominent in this story and I can’t begin to express how much I truly admire Ana. If this was a true story, she’d deserve all the awards not only in firefighting but in life itself. The book is inspiring in every way and I recommend the novel to everyone. I feel like there is so much that people who enjoy every different genre would enjoy this.

This was my first Center novel and as soon as I was finished, I ordered her previous How to Walk Away.  I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and it was my first five star read of books being published this year! It’ll definitely be a favorite of mine for the year and I will be purchasing a finished copy to admire for years to come!

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