Aug 28, 2012
Title: (You) Set Me on Fire
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Publisher: RazOrbill Canada
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
This is a story about college, about fire and also about love.
Allison Lee is seventeen and off to college in the fall. So far, she’s been in love once (total catastrophe) and on fire twice (also pretty bad). Both love and fire have left their scars.
Looking a little more burnt chicken and a little less radiant phoenix, Allison takes up residence in Dylan Hall (a.k.a. Dyke Hall) at St. Joseph’s College, where she discovers the true gift of freshman year: the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Miles away from the high school she’s happy to leave behind, her all-female dorm is a strange new world, home to new social circles and challenges. Allison still feels like the odd girl out … until Shar appears. Beautiful and blinding, Shar quickly becomes the sun at the centre of Allison’s universe, drawing her in with dangerous allure.
Will Allison get burned again? And, if she does, what kind of scars will she earn this time?
Allison was never the popular girl in school; in fact, she was one of the least popular students throughout her high school years. Although she did her best to keep to herself, there were two instances where Allison made her way into the spotlight. By spotlight, I mean Allison was nearly engulfed in flames. Allison was set on fire in both instances.
To put everything behind her and get a fresh start, Allison decides to attend St. Joseph’s college, somewhere as far from her high school as possible. She believes that this is her chance to make friends and forget the past.
To Allison’s surprise, she is befriended by other students she meets when arriving on campus. Everything is going great until the moment she meets Shar, a student that is known to be a bad influence. Allison can’t help it but want to be friends with Shar, and when they do, this is where things begin to spiral out of control…
My favorite aspect of the novel is the way the story is presented to the reader. It’s written in first person point of view, with Allison as the narrator. I personally had the impression that Allison was speaking directly to the reader in most instances, and sharing her experiences of her past and present. This made the story feel more personal as I was reading it and also made it easier to relate with the main character. I also appreciated that there wasn’t much dialogue and that the main focus was on what was going through Allison’s thoughts as she was sharing her story.
Mariko Tamaki’s (You) Set Me on Fire was an easy and enjoyable read with relateable and engaging characters. I definitely recommend (You) Set Me on Fire to those who enjoy Contemporary Young Adult Fiction.
An Enjoyable Read, Well Written!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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