Book Review: Fire Colour One (Jenny Valentine)

*I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 256

Release Date: July 2nd 2015

Summary (From 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.

Review:

After reading this book and before writing this review, I Googled the painting by Yves Klein that this book is named after. It’s a really stunning piece and I’d recommend having a look if you’re reading this book. The book isn’t about the painting but it is mentioned a fair bit, and it helps to know what it looks like.This is another of those books that hits you right in the feels as we see Iris finally getting acquainted with her father, just as he’s about to die. You know from the start that he’s dying, but it’s still upsetting when he does, but the revelations after his death made the wound even more tender.

This book is beautifully written with some really vivid descriptions and spectacular characters. Seriously, the way they’re written is so real I wanted to reach out and hug some and slap others. Iris’ mother and step father, Hannah and Lowell are truly horrid creatures and their blatant money grabbing and carelessness in the face of Ernest’s death was really infuriating. Iris’ best friend, Thurston, on the other hand is wonderfully weird and I loved reading the ‘moments’ he creates for people, even if they did seem a little too marvellous to be true.

It was also interesting to see Iris’ pyromaniac antics from her point of view. Although it’s not something I’ve thought about much before, when I have, I’ve never really understood the appeal of making fires: I thought it was for trouble makers and attention seekers, which is a pretty narrow minded view (I think I’ll do some research into it, actually). But seeing why she started fires and how they made her feel made me see it in a whole new light.

I loved that the book surprised me at the end: I thought I knew where it was going, but it sure fooled me. It was wonderful to see Iris really learn about her father, even after he was gone, and (minor spoiler here beware!) I loved knowing that Hannah and Lowell didn’t get the best of him after all.

While a book about the death of a parent is bound to be sad, I did find it quite uplifting too: it’s not depressing, just emotional, and a whole different range of emotions at that. It’s beautifully written and very touching, and I’d definitely recommend.

My Verdict:

4