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Publisher's Summary

On Halloween 1991, a popular high school basketball star ventures into the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, and disappears. Three days later he's found with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand - a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of Satanic worship in the region.

In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshiping bad influence in lip gloss and Doc Martens. The charismatic, seductive Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image and unleashing a fierce defiance that neither girl expected. But as Lacey gradually lures Dex away from her safe life into a feverish spiral of obsession, rebellion, and ever greater risk, an unwelcome figure appears on the horizon - and Lacey's secret history collides with Dex's worst nightmare.

By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship set against the unsettled backdrop of a town gripped by moral panic, Girls on Fire is an unflinching and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls strong and weak, girls who burn bright and brighter - and some who flicker away.

©2016 Robin Wasserman (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    27
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    24
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Shocking isn't the word I'd use.

I didn't find this book to be "shocking" as the summary implies, it all seemed quite normal to me. High school is hard on everyone, there are mean girls, nice girls, and sad kids, some who even kill themselves. Girls have special bonds at that age, because it can be so hard, and it's a time of change, and sometimes, those close friends become something else. Girls you thought you hated, turn out to not be so bad. It all sounds very normal

I think that's supposed to be the thing that messes with you. How so many things that are so common can go wrong in a way that seems to snowball until it's out of control. I think the author was reaching with a lot of stuff, and didn't always hit the mark (like three-somes in an abandoned train car), but when it does, it hits hard (drunk girl defiled at a party, in graphic detail).

The graphic details and language try and put you on edge, make you uncomfortable, and drive home the passion the author is trying to portray, but I think it misses the mark. I think she's trying too hard and it just comes across vulgar for the sake of it.

All that aside, I like this book, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. I'd suggest they read the summary, tell them that it's "just OK", and if they still felt inclined to read it, that's on them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • KL100
  • Lakeland, FL United States
  • 05-23-16

A disturbing mean girls story that is not believable.

This was one of those books that started out okay, but went downhill from there. The writing is very mediocre and the narration is terrible. I stuck it out until the end, but I honestly couldn't wait for it to finish.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Meh. Not impressed.

It felt like the book was a little impressed by itself, much like the girls. And, I didn't think it was realistic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Little bit of an eye-roller

GIRLS ON FIRE starts out strong, but quickly I became dubious due to the exaggerated use of vulgar language. The unceremonious use of the "c" word right away, constant f-bombs, and graphic sexual imagery end up cheapening the overall dark mood. The plot is not really shocking at all; its "dangerous" content is hit-you-over the head with zero subtlety. It does draw you in and is engaging, but ultimately never delivers the shock that you want and expect because the "climax" comes after so many repetitive chapters. By the climax, the circumstances and the characters seem unlikely and are just plain hard to believe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite.

This book held promise of 90s nostalgia along with a suspenseful story, but didn't really deliver. I found the story to be very predictable and none of the characters to be particularly interesting. Additionally, three narrators are used, I assume to differentiate point of view. However, the main two voices were so similar (and grating) that it did little to move that idea forward. I was disappointed.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The dark side of too many teenage girls.

What would have made Girls on Fire better?

Engaging more characters and more expressive reading. The story and performance gradually became flat and literally "lifeless".

Would you recommend Girls on Fire to your friends? Why or why not?

Perhaps ... depending upon how dysfunctional their children become.

What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

Less monotone.... as in monotonoous.

What character would you cut from Girls on Fire?

Nikki's mother ... she was a small irrelevant personality.

Any additional comments?

This book was depresingly realistic.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Conflicted about this one

Let me just say, the writing and the performance were absolutely fantastic. I loved that they had different narrators reading the different chapters; added an extra layer to the experience.

As for the story...I'm very torn. This is a good book, to be sure. But I can't tell you if I liked it. All of the character really do kind of suck. I couldn't tell who I actually felt sorry for. But I love it when characters make me feel that way. It definitely reminded me a bit of "The Girls" by Emma Cline (which is probably why Audible recommended this one to me). I just don't know if the ending...was how it would have gone. Can't really reveal more without spoiling anything.

But yeah. Definitely worth a listen. It's a little darker, I guess, so be a bit wary. There is also a LOT of sex. Not a whole lot of gore though, so just be aware of your own sensitivities.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It was hard to get through.

It was the same story line as some recent, better new releases. I just wanted it to finish. Too much prose, not enough story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Alexandria, VA, United States
  • 11-08-16

Trying to hard

Trying to hard to seem deep. Didn't love it but it kept my interest enough to finish.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Girls on Fire ignites your desire to keep reading!

Where does Girls on Fire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the top audio books I have read. One of the key factors for me in ranking books is the unpredictability of a book. I never saw the ending coming.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lacey. Without giving too much away, she is epitome of teenage angst.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. They were fantastic and embodied the characters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Come as you are. Readers/Listeners of the book will understand how appropriate this tag line is.

Any additional comments?

A novel about teenage angst and fighting the desire to fit in. As a teenager who often did not fit in with the popular kids, I found myself rooting for Lacey and Dex and their friendship.