#allthebookreviews – Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Happy belated release day!

Thanks to Crown for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

BONFIRE by Krysten Ritter (released November 7th, 2017)

My #allthebookreviews partner was able to make the tour date yesterday! So make sure to check out Chandra’s blog to see more information about that 🙂

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars

“There’s evil in this world, Abby. You remember that. You look for it. You look so it can’t look for you.”

What can’t Krysten Ritter do? We certainly know her from her pivotal role in Breaking Bad and as the whiskey drinking, leather jacket wearing, bad ass from Jessica Jones. She also does much more than that and one more thing she’s accomplished is writing this debut novel.

There’s two stories here – the environmental case is very reminiscent of Erin Brockovich but the REAL story is regarding the disappearance of Kaycee – the lead mean girl from Abby’s high school. What Ritter does well here is get us to really know Abby’s character. From past to present, we understand why it’s difficult for her to be back in the town where the memories that she has are not great ones… yet somehow she feels a responsibility to it. You can leave the town, but the town won’t leave you.

This is a solid debut novel, without a doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Abby and empathized with her character. Themes of bullying, environmental issues, sexual deviance… etc. etc. are portrayed and the feel of a small town where everyone seems to know your business before you do was presented clearly and coherently. Was this perfect? Definitely not. However, she pulls the entire story together towards the end and while I felt the ending was slightly underwhelming, I was happy to see where it landed. I would certainly pick up more books by Ritter.

If you like the slow burn of a small town mystery with a slight twist and the characterization of a strong female protagonist who will NOT back down, then you will enjoy this tale of Barren, Indiana. I know I did.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

The synopsis and cover instantly grabbed my attention when picking up BONFIRE by Krysten Ritter. This was a mix of two different storylines that both connected to the main character, Abby Williams. A small town with mysteries and secrets and no one wants them disturbed.

Abby Williams hasn’t been back to her hometown of Barrens, Indiana for almost a decade. She left for Chicago and has her thriving career as a lawyer, but a case will bring her back home. She is in charge of investigating Optimal Plastics – the town’s most high-profile and important companies. She knows that her presence there will cause unease because most of the town is employed there. The more she investigates the more she begins to realize that there seems to be a connection to a missing person’s case from a decade ago. Kaycee Mitchell, one of her friends and the most popular girl in school at the time, had become very ill and then vanished for good.

Abby continues to search for answers she begins to uncover a web of blackmail, sexual deviance, and a disturbing ritual called The Game. With most of the town involved and their reputations threatened, Abby must tread carefully. She can’t help but become consumed by her memories of the torture she endured at the hands of Kaycee (and her other friends) in high school. Can you ever truly escape your past?

BONFIRE is a great and solid debut for Krysten Ritter! This book was incredibly atmospheric. Ritter does a great job pulling the reader into Barrens and making you feel just as claustrophobic as Abby feels.Then the development of Abby was gradual and the reader can really connect with her. Who doesn’t love a strong, female lead? There were some very prevalent topics addressed in this novel, mainly the bullying that Abby endured. Seeing the last effects they’ve had on her and how she copes made her feel even more human. I enjoyed the slow burning mystery and the little twist in the novel. The ending felt a tad flat compared to the build up, but everything got pulled together nicely!

Overall, if you like a slow building mystery then you’ll love BONFIRE. Fans of Erin Brockovich will love this book. I definitely will look for more from Ritter in the future!

 

Anyone else planning on adding this to their TBR?

–Jess

 

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