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Year on Fire

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It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned. The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year for twins Arch and Immie and their best friend, Paige, a spontaneous kiss shakes the very foundation of their friendship. But some ties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal. The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of Londo It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned. The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year for twins Arch and Immie and their best friend, Paige, a spontaneous kiss shakes the very foundation of their friendship. But some ties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal. The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of London, who walks into school on the first day completely overwhelmed by his sudden move halfway around the world. When Paige calls dibs on him—he’s too cute to ignore—Immie is in no position to argue, certainly not after taking the fall for the disloyal kiss. Too bad for Immie that Ro feels like the best kind of familiar. The Kindling: Former lab partners Arch and Jackson, Paige’s ex-boyfriend, have never considered themselves more than friends. But sometimes feelings can grow like wildfire. The Flames: When the girls’ bathroom at Wood Valley is set ablaze, no one doubts it’s arson. But in this bastion of privilege, who’d be angry enough to want to burn down the school? Answer: pretty much everyone. Year on Fire explores the blinding power of the lies we tell others and those we tell ourselves, the tight grip of family secrets, the magic of first love, and the grounding beauty of friendship. What secrets will people keep—or reveal—to protect those they love? This novel, set against the frightening backdrop of an encroaching fire season, sparks reflection about friendship, the allure of romantic love, and loyalty to family. Can a single kiss change everything?


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It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned. The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year for twins Arch and Immie and their best friend, Paige, a spontaneous kiss shakes the very foundation of their friendship. But some ties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal. The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of Londo It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned. The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year for twins Arch and Immie and their best friend, Paige, a spontaneous kiss shakes the very foundation of their friendship. But some ties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal. The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of London, who walks into school on the first day completely overwhelmed by his sudden move halfway around the world. When Paige calls dibs on him—he’s too cute to ignore—Immie is in no position to argue, certainly not after taking the fall for the disloyal kiss. Too bad for Immie that Ro feels like the best kind of familiar. The Kindling: Former lab partners Arch and Jackson, Paige’s ex-boyfriend, have never considered themselves more than friends. But sometimes feelings can grow like wildfire. The Flames: When the girls’ bathroom at Wood Valley is set ablaze, no one doubts it’s arson. But in this bastion of privilege, who’d be angry enough to want to burn down the school? Answer: pretty much everyone. Year on Fire explores the blinding power of the lies we tell others and those we tell ourselves, the tight grip of family secrets, the magic of first love, and the grounding beauty of friendship. What secrets will people keep—or reveal—to protect those they love? This novel, set against the frightening backdrop of an encroaching fire season, sparks reflection about friendship, the allure of romantic love, and loyalty to family. Can a single kiss change everything?

30 review for Year on Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    this was okay. not JBs best, but she has had some books that are absolute winners, so shes set a super high standard for herself. there are some attempts at some deep reflection and emotional impact. the motif of fire and flames is seen throughout, but its very basic. the connection of that theme to what the characters are going through is just not quite as strong as it could have been. also, when it comes to the characters and their development, i saw a lot of similarities between this story an this was okay. not JBs best, but she has had some books that are absolute winners, so shes set a super high standard for herself. there are some attempts at some deep reflection and emotional impact. the motif of fire and flames is seen throughout, but its very basic. the connection of that theme to what the characters are going through is just not quite as strong as it could have been. also, when it comes to the characters and their development, i saw a lot of similarities between this story and ‘ill give you the sun.’ which is one of my favourite books ever, so its a little bit of an unfair comparison. but if you enjoy brother/sister twin connections, that you will really enjoy this. immie and arch are pretty much the highlight of this. and a british love interest always makes things better. so some good things are present in this, but its not quite as amazing as it could have been. ↠ 3.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Julie Buxbaum is such an expert to develop realistic coming of age stories! This book is another great example of her unique approach to dysfunctional families and teen problems! Multi POVs of teenage stories about family dramas, traumas, daily struggles, resentments, buried anger, secrets they kept blended so well. The characters were vivid, easy to resonate and empathize with. Even though I found the beginning chapters’ writing a little choppy, I eventually got into the story and the mystery m Julie Buxbaum is such an expert to develop realistic coming of age stories! This book is another great example of her unique approach to dysfunctional families and teen problems! Multi POVs of teenage stories about family dramas, traumas, daily struggles, resentments, buried anger, secrets they kept blended so well. The characters were vivid, easy to resonate and empathize with. Even though I found the beginning chapters’ writing a little choppy, I eventually got into the story and the mystery meets cute romance with triggering issues were truly well executed and honestly approached! Welcome to the Wood Valley High : a school for elites. Let’s meet with our multi MCs to learn more about the relationship dynamics! Immie is the center of the story, taking the blame on kissing her best friend Paige’s boyfriend to protect her twin brother Archer, still trying so hard to soothe things with Paige. But a mysterious, hot British boy’s sudden move halfway from the world and involvement to their inner circle change the entire balance of their friendships. Rohan: the British boy gets attention of entire class including Paige who get used to take what she wants. Too bad for Immie who also has a secret crush to him. But she already took the fall for the kids incident and so she has no intention to go against Paige’s wishes! Let’s not forget Paige’s ex Jason and Archer’s combustible attraction! There are so many secrets, resentments, lies lurk around the corridors of Wood Valley High. Like the feelings blast like wildfires, somebody dared to put the girls’ bathroom into fire! But who and why? Who may hold the grudge against specifically one of the girls? It was gripping reading with satisfying conclusion! Highly recommended to the YA coming of age/ mystery/ romance readers! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Delacorte for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    3.5 stars I love Julie Buxbaum's books and I was so excited to read her newest release Year of Fire. This book follows four characters through their junior year of high school. First there is Immie, then her twin brother Arch. They have a best friend named Paige, and there is a new international student named Rohan. The book starts with a lie and a secret and at the same time there is a bit of a mysterious aspect regarding multiple fires at their school. What I liked about this one- I loved the t 3.5 stars I love Julie Buxbaum's books and I was so excited to read her newest release Year of Fire. This book follows four characters through their junior year of high school. First there is Immie, then her twin brother Arch. They have a best friend named Paige, and there is a new international student named Rohan. The book starts with a lie and a secret and at the same time there is a bit of a mysterious aspect regarding multiple fires at their school. What I liked about this one- I loved the twins. Immie and Arch were my favorite part about this story. I always love a good coming of age story and I enjoyed a lot of the scenes with Ro and Immie. Also, Jackson was wonderful. I wish we would have gotten his perspective. What didn't quite work for me. This was written in third person and followed four people. It honestly just felt like a lot. I also wasn't a fan of Paige and didn't like her chapters at all. This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me but more enjoyable than not!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Of course I might be a little bit biased but I think this book is….wait for it…FIRE.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Year on Fire was an interesting book. I think this is the third book of Julie's that I have read and so far, they've been good. It did take me a while to get into this though and I wasn't in love with all the characters either. The twins, Immie and Arch, were lovable and I adored them so much. It's just unfortunate that I really didn't like their best friend, Paige. Even the new kid, Ro, was way more likable than her. Other I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Year on Fire was an interesting book. I think this is the third book of Julie's that I have read and so far, they've been good. It did take me a while to get into this though and I wasn't in love with all the characters either. The twins, Immie and Arch, were lovable and I adored them so much. It's just unfortunate that I really didn't like their best friend, Paige. Even the new kid, Ro, was way more likable than her. Other than that, the drama and mystery were entertaining. Some of the secrets that came out were a little predictable. While others annoyed me a smidge because I just wanted them to come out and for everyone to know already. I definitely had a problem being patient when it came to these four and will need to work on that. In the end, I'm happy that I got the chance to jump into this. I kind of wished that I liked Paige more than I originally did because I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more. Also, I really liked how Julie dove into certain hard topics throughout the book. She did an amazing job, and I can't wait for her next book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    13.03.2022 i expect chaos and i want chaos.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    In a way reminiscent of John Green’s Turtles All The Ways Down, Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum is a novel that makes its readers think about their minds, their actions, and their place in the world. At its core, this story about twins Arch and Immie Gibson, their joint best friend Paige Cohen-Chen, the new guy Rohan “Ro” Singh, and how their desires strengthen or weaken the ties that bind them together. Our story begins with the first day of school at a private Los Angeles high school. Readers are In a way reminiscent of John Green’s Turtles All The Ways Down, Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum is a novel that makes its readers think about their minds, their actions, and their place in the world. At its core, this story about twins Arch and Immie Gibson, their joint best friend Paige Cohen-Chen, the new guy Rohan “Ro” Singh, and how their desires strengthen or weaken the ties that bind them together. Our story begins with the first day of school at a private Los Angeles high school. Readers are immediately witness to the strain now between Paige and Immie, who has confessed to betraying Paige and kissing her then-boyfriend Jackson days before. Once easier than breathing, Immie does not know how to act around Paige but is eager to atone. As such, she agrees when Paige calls dibs on new-boy Rohan, even though Immie has her own crush on him. Within minutes, their day is disrupted and school is evacuated after a fire begins in a girl’s bathroom. Students know this is arson but not who would commit the act. This dramatic beginning provides the event conversations and thoughts return to time and time again over the next few hundred pages. When deciding whether or not to read Year on Fire, potential readers need to understand that this book is so character driven that I believe you must enjoy at least 3 of the four in the main set to enjoy the plot. My experience with Year on Fire was colored by the fact that Arch was the only character I found to be interesting in any way, with my excitement at a chapter obvious whether or not it was his POV as the by-line. He was nothing like I expected, while Immie, Paige, and Ro all were to the degree that I had pegged the arsonist in their first chapter. Perhaps it was that Arch’s subplot was more complex than Immie’s conflict over lying to Paige, Paige’s unsustainable perfection, or Ro’s failure to adapt, but I wanted to read more than was written about how Arch was handling the impact his sexuality would cause with his abusive father. Arch was more than a stock YA Novel character type. His thoughts were real and messy and interesting. I deeply wish Buxbaum had managed to capture that spark (ha) with her other three main characters that she did with Arch. Considering Year on Fire is such an internally focused novel, I was then surprised at the focus Buxbaum has given to building up the world. Her novel is set up in post-COVID Los Angeles without addressing what that would actually imply. Rather, throwaway comments about how hard a year in isolation last school year is said by a twin and then promptly forgotten. Keep in mind that this timing influences the attitude of all characters, or at least it does theoretically. The locations most of the book takes place in are mostly limited to the following places: the twins’s bedroom; Paige’s mansion; Ro’s apartment; Wood Valley High; Espresso Yourself, where the twins work; and to a lesser degree, the twins’s car. Some other places pop up for smaller scene, but none were given the level of attention as the main haunts. I liked how well I could see the way their home environments would create their characters and color their actions, but from the book’s summary, I expected more from Wood Valley High. It remarks, “But in this bastion of privilege, who’d be angry enough to want to burn down the school? Answer: pretty much everyone.” Despite this teaser, very little attention is given to school as an influencing institution and it becomes a rather non-place next to the other settings. As somebody disillusioned with elite schools, the idea of tackling such a place is part of why I requested an ARC for Year on Fire. If you can imagine, finding it to be so unimportant just made me further jaded towards the book. If I could give partial stars on reviews, Year on Fire would get a 2.5 from me, but unfortunately, I cannot justify rounding my review up to 3 for this system. For a book with four unique points of view, each chapter read to me as nearly the same. Characters are different in their names and appearances but had similar mindsets, motivations, and actions in my reading. Everything else is so small as to be irrelevant. Perhaps if I had picked this ARC up earlier in the year or had been in a different mood when I dove in, I’d have enjoyed its reflective nature more. As is, I am unlikely to either buy a second copy on its publishing date or commit myself to a reread. **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Hartman

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 I was a little worried I had outgrown YA novels as I wasn’t connecting with this book right away but after a few chapters I was hooked! (Phew - I’m really not ready to grow up yet… 😂😅) This was such a sweet read. I really enjoy Julie Buxbaum’s writing and story telling, and I appreciate how she effortlessly incorporates heavier topics into her books. I also love the diversity we got with the characters in this book. I think my favorite character was Ro, our London transplant who was just ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 I was a little worried I had outgrown YA novels as I wasn’t connecting with this book right away but after a few chapters I was hooked! (Phew - I’m really not ready to grow up yet… 😂😅) This was such a sweet read. I really enjoy Julie Buxbaum’s writing and story telling, and I appreciate how she effortlessly incorporates heavier topics into her books. I also love the diversity we got with the characters in this book. I think my favorite character was Ro, our London transplant who was just trying to figure out life in the US while simultaneously trying to figure out the next steps in his life with his complicated family. After another solid book, I have every intention of reading Julie’s books for the rest of my life. ❤️ I gotta give big thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s publishing for the advanced copy of this book. Year on Fire releases on April 12 so get it added to your tbr!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This young adult novel alternates between four different perspectives, all juniors at a private high school in California: twins Immie and Arch, their best friend since middle school Paige, and newly arrived from London Rohan. Each are dealing with their own issues of family, relationship, and just the general issues accompanying being a teenager - plus the fires happening at their high school. I am an OG Julie Buxbaum fan, dating all the way back to when I read her debut novel in 2009. She is on This young adult novel alternates between four different perspectives, all juniors at a private high school in California: twins Immie and Arch, their best friend since middle school Paige, and newly arrived from London Rohan. Each are dealing with their own issues of family, relationship, and just the general issues accompanying being a teenager - plus the fires happening at their high school. I am an OG Julie Buxbaum fan, dating all the way back to when I read her debut novel in 2009. She is one of my favorite writers of both YA and contemporary fiction, and a new book from her is a can’t miss occasion for me. This, her latest book, comes out on April 12th, and I wanted to read it so badly that I did something I’ve almost never done - sent an email to the publisher begging them to grant my Netgalley request and gushing about how much I love her. So a huge thank you to Random House Children’s/Delacorte for granting my request! If you like realistic YA fiction, do yourself a favor and read this and her other 4 YA books if you haven’t already!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    This is a wonderful coming of age book geared for young adults but enjoyable for any age. Told in the alternating points of view of four 16 year old who are juniors at a prestigious high school in Los Angeles. Arch and Immie are twins that have a stressful home life but are always there for each other. Paige is their best friend who has her own stress filled life at home and school. Ro is the new boy in the group after moving to Los Angeles from London with his Dad. These characters are written This is a wonderful coming of age book geared for young adults but enjoyable for any age. Told in the alternating points of view of four 16 year old who are juniors at a prestigious high school in Los Angeles. Arch and Immie are twins that have a stressful home life but are always there for each other. Paige is their best friend who has her own stress filled life at home and school. Ro is the new boy in the group after moving to Los Angeles from London with his Dad. These characters are written very realistically and their adolescent problems are sadly very relevant these days. This book started off a bit slow but as I got to know the characters I truly started to enjoy it thoroughly. It tackles hard topics such as sexuality, friendships, family dynamics, betrayal, and mental health in a very realistic way. I may be being selfish because I was not ready to say goodbye to these characters but I wish there were a couple of more chapters toward the end to wrap up the storylines better. But even with the slow beginning and the quickly wrapped up ending I highly recommend this superb book. I am extremely grateful to Delacourte Press/Random House Children's Books and Netgalley for an egalley of this book in exchange for a honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5 stars I really enjoyed Julie Buxbaum's previous works of Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next. But this one just did not work for me. Year on Fire is about Immie and her twin brother, Arch, have been best friends with Paige since middle school. But one night at a party, Arch kisses Paige's boyfriend. Arch isn't ready to come out, so Immie takes the blame for the kiss, straining her friendship with Paige. Shortly after, a new boy, Ro (Rohan) transfers to their school from London, and both 2.5 stars I really enjoyed Julie Buxbaum's previous works of Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next. But this one just did not work for me. Year on Fire is about Immie and her twin brother, Arch, have been best friends with Paige since middle school. But one night at a party, Arch kisses Paige's boyfriend. Arch isn't ready to come out, so Immie takes the blame for the kiss, straining her friendship with Paige. Shortly after, a new boy, Ro (Rohan) transfers to their school from London, and both Paige and Immie are interested in him. Paige calls dibs on him, so Immie pushes her feelings for him aside, even though there is clearly a connection. I just couldn't get into the writing style. Year on Fire is written so vastly different from her other books, it's a little hard to believe it's the same author. Year on Fire is told in 3rd person, and told from FOUR different povs; Immie, Arch, Paige and Ro. Between the shorter chapters, and switching between so many narrators, I couldn't really connect to the characters and to the plot. And there was a lot going on with the plot- Struggling to be yourself, family issues, relationships, and fixing of friendships. Since each narration only had so much time to work through their given conflict, nothing really flowed naturally, and it all felt a little rushed. I honestly feel if this was cut down to one or two povs it would've worked a lot better. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  12. 4 out of 5

    T. Rosado

    4.25 Stars I enjoyed this so much. Easy and compelling reading with some depth and none of the fluffy, silly romance. This had two romances that were swoony, but not fluffy. Very sweet mixed with some light angst. It’s why Julie Buxbaum is one of my top favorite YA authors. I loved Paige, Immie, Rohan, and Archer’s intersecting stories. Buxbaum seamlessly interwove these four narratives into a lightly complex story about being honest with who you are, what you need, and all the demands of life be 4.25 Stars I enjoyed this so much. Easy and compelling reading with some depth and none of the fluffy, silly romance. This had two romances that were swoony, but not fluffy. Very sweet mixed with some light angst. It’s why Julie Buxbaum is one of my top favorite YA authors. I loved Paige, Immie, Rohan, and Archer’s intersecting stories. Buxbaum seamlessly interwove these four narratives into a lightly complex story about being honest with who you are, what you need, and all the demands of life before being thrust into “the real world.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I adore every novel written by Julie Buxbaum, yet this one is my favorite of all time. Friends Immie and Paige navigate high school in LA with Immie’s twin Arch and Paige’s boyfriend Jackson. But a stolen kiss changea the dynamic and then the new boy from London shows up. It’s about to get really hot in LA! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cel

    When you are young and uncertain, every little thing means the world. 📖Book Review📖 Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 This is my 5th Julie Buxbaum’s book and by now I can say that I have enjoyed all of it. They always say terrible two’s are the age where parents gets warned but as now a mom of two driving teens, my vote for the cautionary warning is on the terrifying teens age. Somehow, Julie Buxbaum is expertly navigating teen life by writing the warmest, the most relatable and realist When you are young and uncertain, every little thing means the world. 📖Book Review📖 Year on Fire by Julie Buxbaum My Rating:🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 This is my 5th Julie Buxbaum’s book and by now I can say that I have enjoyed all of it. They always say terrible two’s are the age where parents gets warned but as now a mom of two driving teens, my vote for the cautionary warning is on the terrifying teens age. Somehow, Julie Buxbaum is expertly navigating teen life by writing the warmest, the most relatable and realistic contemporary YA novels. Twins Arch and Immie are best friends with the rich kid and popular Paige. In one pool party, Arch kissed Jackson, the class president and Paige’s boyfriend. Immie decided to protect her twin and took the blame by lying to Paige about the kiss with the goal of keeping her twin brother’s biggest secret. Ro is from London and the new kid at Wood Valley High . Overcoming the break up from Jackson, Paige called dibs on Ro. But, Ro likes Immie and Immie can’t once again “kiss” her best friend’ Paige’s boy. Can’t she? On the other hand, while fires are blazing in most parts of LA, the fire alarms of Wood Valley High is simultaneously going off quite frequently. The school is on fire and someone is setting it up. The question is- WHO? This book started slow for me but I can’t ignore how very well presented the plots were. Julie Bauxbaum once again has given us a delicate coming of age story by this multi-POV teen characters. They all were unique and have their own indifferences. They each have their issues with dysfunctional family set ups and social expectations. The story wrapped around their secrets, the drama, their dreams and worries, the expectations, their success, their struggles and these makes a reader a bit more empathic and deeply connected. It was fast and soothing. Special thanks to @prhaudio for the complimentary listening copy to review and @delacortepress via @netgalley for the advance e-arc in exchange of my honest review. Please check out more of Julie Buxbaum’s work, I always had fun reading them! . . #bookreview #yearonfire #yacontemporary #bookworms #bookish #book #bookstagram #bookishlove #booknerd #bibliophile #bookrecommendation #bookstagramphilippines #bookishpinoys #netgalley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    “That was one of the many prices we paid to be human: the bitter acceptance that we’d never truly know the people we love best.” I actually ending up really enjoying this book. The first few chapters don’t fully give away the how the book will end being like and are more so superficial. We meet the four main characters, Immi and and Arch, the twins. Paige, their best friend. And Rohan, the new kid from London. The plot starts after the aftermath of a kiss. Immi takes the blame for her broth “That was one of the many prices we paid to be human: the bitter acceptance that we’d never truly know the people we love best.” I actually ending up really enjoying this book. The first few chapters don’t fully give away the how the book will end being like and are more so superficial. We meet the four main characters, Immi and and Arch, the twins. Paige, their best friend. And Rohan, the new kid from London. The plot starts after the aftermath of a kiss. Immi takes the blame for her brother kissing Paige’s boyfriend Jackson. Immi feels guilty (even though she hasn’t actually kissed him) and is trying to get things to go back to normal with Paige, which means when she calls dibs on the new kid, Immi backs off and tries not to get involved with him. On the outside this seems like a very cut and dry ya novel about life during high school, which it is but the depth into each character the book goes into had me hooked. Learning about Immi and Arch’s problems at home and their inability to talk about it both at home with each other or with Paige and instead pretend like it’s not really happening, and excusing it away till now that is. Rohan is dealing with his own family issues after his dad has cheated on his mom and they both come to California when his dad gets a job opportunity while his mom stays behind. He’s bitter about being here and away from his mom and friends but he’s still a kind person and becomes closer with the trio, especially Immi. And Paige, she is such a complex person. I would be so irritated with her especially in the beginning but seeing past her exterior and learning about her lifestyle and loneliness made me empathize with her. All these characters find a breaking point and start to heal. I really enjoyed many of the individual relationships and friendships. Immi and Arch ofc are there at the top. This brother sister twin duo was everything. The way the care about each and know each other like the back of their hands, I adored it. Rohan and Immi were cute as well, twin flames with their outlook on life and wanting to explore and move away. Loved the growth between Paige and the twins as well, as they become honest with each other and let go of past actions and move forwards. Jackson and Arch were also incredibly cute and I wish we saw a little more of them. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. All opinions stated here are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Year on Fire follows four teens -- twins Immie and Arch, Paige, and Rohan -- as they navigate friendships, romance, and growing up. This was a sweet YA coming-of-age story that felt incredibly real and honest. Our four narrators all have to navigate different issues, such as parental pressure, being a child of divorce, and abuse, and spend a majority of the book figuring out who they are and what it Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Year on Fire follows four teens -- twins Immie and Arch, Paige, and Rohan -- as they navigate friendships, romance, and growing up. This was a sweet YA coming-of-age story that felt incredibly real and honest. Our four narrators all have to navigate different issues, such as parental pressure, being a child of divorce, and abuse, and spend a majority of the book figuring out who they are and what it means to be a good friend and a good person. Though I did find the arc of the plot ultimately predictable -- the "who" behind the fires, the way the romances would play out, etc. -- I didn't think the predictability majorly detracted from the story in any way. I still loved getting to know the characters, and it hurt to watch them go through the difficult parts of growing up. I was glad that everything really did turn out all right in the end, even if it wasn't all picture perfect. I also adored Buxbaum's writing, and the choice to follow all four narrators in a close third. As there was a lot to like, it feels weird to be picky, but one thing that came up relatively early in the book that kind of bugged me was the idea that this LA that our characters live in is supposedly a post-COVID LA. There's one specific mention of the pandemic that I recall, and nothing about the world our characters live in feels like our post-pandemic world. I spent a lot of time wondering what the purpose was of including it at all if the ways in which the pandemic has changed the way we navigate the world are not really present on the page. I'm not sure what exactly sets this book apart from other stellar YA coming-of-age stories -- the revelations of the story were not particularly unique -- however I still feel like this book has earned its place among the best.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thamy

    I find Buxbaum's writing so good it pulls in. Even in this case of a story that wasn't that interesting. 3+ Told in four points of view, we're introduced to a double love triangle? A pentagon? The mess had already started when Immie lied to protect her twin still in the closed in fear of what it could trigger in his family. The lie, that she had kissed her best friend's boyfriend, which ended the relationship. It gets worse when Immie falls for Ro, the new guy in school, for whom her friend had a I find Buxbaum's writing so good it pulls in. Even in this case of a story that wasn't that interesting. 3+ Told in four points of view, we're introduced to a double love triangle? A pentagon? The mess had already started when Immie lied to protect her twin still in the closed in fear of what it could trigger in his family. The lie, that she had kissed her best friend's boyfriend, which ended the relationship. It gets worse when Immie falls for Ro, the new guy in school, for whom her friend had already called dibs. The read is dynamic, for we have three stories, Immie's romance, her brother's journey to dealing with his feelings and identity, and Immie's friend's feeling on the verge of a breakdown. they're well connected, in a way it doesn't feel like they were three separate stories forced together to be a book long enough, but it's not confusing. As always, the writing is wonderful, a pleasing read. However, I feel that I couldn't feel interested enough for most of it. I liked the premise for Immie's part, but the more we advanced the less I couldn't care—Immie is a nice character, but the story by itself felt like a thousand others I've read before. Her friend Paige's part was a little better, but I couldn't connect this time. In the end, her brother's, Arch, was the gem in this. It's quick to read and the chapters are short enough that will get you reading a couple more even when you already feel it's time to stop, which made it go by even faster. I know the author tried to lend it the depth her stories usually have but it didn't do it, unfortunately. It's still above average for a YA, so don't feel discouraged. It is good. Good but it could have been excellent. Honest review based on an ARC provided by Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I love Julie Buxbaum. Period. That's the review. But seriously, she creates such vivid, realistic characters and this book was totally unputdownable. Each of the four main character's struggles were unique and their voices stood out, despite the story being written from 4 POVs. I just found it to be engaging as a whole and I still would have enjoyed it if it was twice as long. 5 stars, definitely recommend. She is a real YA author hero of mine. Thank you to Delacorte, Netgalley, and the author for I love Julie Buxbaum. Period. That's the review. But seriously, she creates such vivid, realistic characters and this book was totally unputdownable. Each of the four main character's struggles were unique and their voices stood out, despite the story being written from 4 POVs. I just found it to be engaging as a whole and I still would have enjoyed it if it was twice as long. 5 stars, definitely recommend. She is a real YA author hero of mine. Thank you to Delacorte, Netgalley, and the author for the eARC in exchange for my review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate (kate_reads_)

    Being a teenager is really really hard. If you are a teenager and pick this book up - I hope it can help you feel seen in all the challenges of navigating friends and relationships and families and school stress. If you are an adult who reads this - as I am - you may find it fills you with gratitude to be past that stage. Sometimes I read YA and can be right back in that mindset and other times I find myself relating to the parents these days. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the adva Being a teenager is really really hard. If you are a teenager and pick this book up - I hope it can help you feel seen in all the challenges of navigating friends and relationships and families and school stress. If you are an adult who reads this - as I am - you may find it fills you with gratitude to be past that stage. Sometimes I read YA and can be right back in that mindset and other times I find myself relating to the parents these days. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was good. I appreciate Julie Buxbaum’s ability to write a light yet heavy book. This story was mostly about the interpersonal relationships and the secrets between them all, so while all of the characters were not fleshed out perfectly (is Ro an artist or is he just awkwardly wanting to draw her ankles?), the plot is not lacking and proceeds seamlessly. The little mystery that weaves from the beginning of the book to the end was really fun, and by the end, I really wasn’t even expecting a r This was good. I appreciate Julie Buxbaum’s ability to write a light yet heavy book. This story was mostly about the interpersonal relationships and the secrets between them all, so while all of the characters were not fleshed out perfectly (is Ro an artist or is he just awkwardly wanting to draw her ankles?), the plot is not lacking and proceeds seamlessly. The little mystery that weaves from the beginning of the book to the end was really fun, and by the end, I really wasn’t even expecting a real answer, though I am glad I got one and that it was legit. I kinda feel dumb 😂

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    First: I want to say that I think Julie Buxbaum is amazing, and Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next are in my top ten YA books of all time. Second: I did not love this book. I'm not sure if it was too many POVs for me (four different characters), or the flow of the story, or just that...I'm not sure there really was a story here? I think the fire/arsonist plotline was meant to feel pervasive, but mostly felt like an afterthought; so much so that when the arsonist was "revealed" my primary r First: I want to say that I think Julie Buxbaum is amazing, and Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next are in my top ten YA books of all time. Second: I did not love this book. I'm not sure if it was too many POVs for me (four different characters), or the flow of the story, or just that...I'm not sure there really was a story here? I think the fire/arsonist plotline was meant to feel pervasive, but mostly felt like an afterthought; so much so that when the arsonist was "revealed" my primary reaction was (in the immortal words of John Oliver): "cool." I think the book was fine, but certainly not one I'd re-read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bosse

    3.5 stars This book was a little hard for me to get into. With 4 main characters and hearing all their voices it was a struggle for me to get going. I really enjoyed the twins, Arch and Immie, relationship and the new student, Ro, from London. I had a harder time with Paige. Once I figured her out she was a little easier to handle. This was a good coming of age story but I felt like it ended rather abruptly.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Zeman

    This one just didn’t grab me as much as her other books. Definitely a story about coming to terms with who you are and what you want to be. Being the perfect girl isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be and when you get to close to the flames, without asking for help, you can get burned. Learning how to speak up and ask for help is a major theme throughout the book. I enjoyed the dynamic of the twins Immie & Arch: two halves of a whole, who also need to discover where they fit in without each ot This one just didn’t grab me as much as her other books. Definitely a story about coming to terms with who you are and what you want to be. Being the perfect girl isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be and when you get to close to the flames, without asking for help, you can get burned. Learning how to speak up and ask for help is a major theme throughout the book. I enjoyed the dynamic of the twins Immie & Arch: two halves of a whole, who also need to discover where they fit in without each other. Told from four different perspectives, it wasn’t hard to keep up with and discovering who was setting the fire was easier to figure out than I thought.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Yusko

    Not my favorite of her titles but still good.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Plutzer

    I loved this one. I loved the relationships that developed in this story. I loved the depth that each character had. When I started reading, I hated Paige but the more I read the more I loved her and understood her. This book was beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hill

    Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 12th, 2022. Writing: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Plot: 4/5 A quartet of students at the elite Los Angeles Wood Valley High School — each facing their own coming-of-age difficulties. Twins Immie and Archer, so close they tend to think conjoined thoughts; Paige, the strong, fearless, and ultra-competent; and Rohan, newly arrived from London with his fat Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 12th, 2022. Writing: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Plot: 4/5 A quartet of students at the elite Los Angeles Wood Valley High School — each facing their own coming-of-age difficulties. Twins Immie and Archer, so close they tend to think conjoined thoughts; Paige, the strong, fearless, and ultra-competent; and Rohan, newly arrived from London with his father as a result of some pretty serious marital discord. And around them fires always seem to be burning -- one wildfire after another and even a fire within the school itself as a none-too-subtle reminder of the fires that are raging within. The dramas that comprise the story are more-or-less typical dramas faced by teens today — some run-of-the-mill first kisses, small betrayals, secrets (all still deeply felt regardless of their commonality) as well as a good array of home situations — all problematic in their own never over-the-top but nevertheless deeply felt way. I am impressed by the way Buxbaum treats these situations and experiences directly from the perspective of the student characters — each of whom have their own personalities and coping mechanisms. We are treated to their anger, sadness, confusion and the sometimes slow realization of their own parents as individuals with their own flaws and capacity for error. Well-written with plenty of slowly gained insight and fun dialog / text streams.

  27. 4 out of 5

    The Cover Contessa

    I want to thank Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I really love Buxbaum's writing. This is my third book by her and I am always entranced and rarely want to put what she writes down. I read this one in one day! The differing points of view in this book truly leant to the plot continuing to move. I enjoyed watching each character mature and grow, or become just a little more undone. It was nice to see characters that didn't fit a mold. That had a little so I want to thank Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I really love Buxbaum's writing. This is my third book by her and I am always entranced and rarely want to put what she writes down. I read this one in one day! The differing points of view in this book truly leant to the plot continuing to move. I enjoyed watching each character mature and grow, or become just a little more undone. It was nice to see characters that didn't fit a mold. That had a little something wrong in some way. It made me remember no one is perfect and everyone has their dark side they are working through. I like that the dramas the author chose to highlight are dramas we see with teens today: mental health issues, identity issues, family issues. With contemporary YA you often see characters that go through things and end up having them wrapped up and solved in a nice tight bow. It's often hard to remember the characters can be unhinged. Overall this was an enjoyable read. This may be my favorite book from this author yet, though I really did love Tell Me Three Things. I'd definitely recommend this read to friends and young adults. Looking forward to more from this author in the future.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kera’s Always Reading

    The blurb is what drew me to this book and you get exactly what you’re expecting and more from this story! Immie, her twin brother Arch and their best friend Paige are just starting their junior year of high school. Since middle school, the three of them have been their own unit; bond unbreakable. Until one kiss shakes their solid ground. Now, Paige has broken up with her ex Jackson, Immie and Arch share a huge secret, and while things outwardly seem fine between Paige and Immie, there is definit The blurb is what drew me to this book and you get exactly what you’re expecting and more from this story! Immie, her twin brother Arch and their best friend Paige are just starting their junior year of high school. Since middle school, the three of them have been their own unit; bond unbreakable. Until one kiss shakes their solid ground. Now, Paige has broken up with her ex Jackson, Immie and Arch share a huge secret, and while things outwardly seem fine between Paige and Immie, there is definitely a new current to their friendship. Rohan, the new kid from London, has arrived in their school and Paige stakes her claim on him. But Immie is drawn to him in a way she has never felt before. But her tentative relationship with her best friend is her priority right now. Even though this beautiful boy with the amazing accent seems to like her too. Also… fires. Someone is lighting them in the school and nobody knows who… I loved this whole reading experience. The writing is done in a way that you feel actual care and affection for these characters. Told in POV from our four main characters, we get a unique insight into them individually and I LOVED it. Not once did I lose interest in a specific POV and that rarely happens for me in books where there is more than two perspectives. I loved the twin bond that Immie and Arch share. I love how they protect one another with absolutely no effort. It’s just like breathing to them. I loved Paige and her struggles internally. I really enjoyed watching her come to terms with her not so perfect facade. Rohan was the actual sweetest and Jackson was swoon worthy. There was honestly not a single thing about this book that I didn’t love.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    Julie Buxbaum is the queen of the teen read. Her writing illustrates the complications of high school and the push and pull of the heart that teenagers all over the world feel at some point. Year on Fire is a fantastic read in the YA subgenre. It's Junior year of high school and the trio of friends - twins Arch & Immie, and best friend, Paige, are ready to navigate the trials of love and friendship as best they can. When a new international student, Ro, enters their world all of the equilibrium t Julie Buxbaum is the queen of the teen read. Her writing illustrates the complications of high school and the push and pull of the heart that teenagers all over the world feel at some point. Year on Fire is a fantastic read in the YA subgenre. It's Junior year of high school and the trio of friends - twins Arch & Immie, and best friend, Paige, are ready to navigate the trials of love and friendship as best they can. When a new international student, Ro, enters their world all of the equilibrium the group had been working towards gets thrown off balance. Family secrets, and lies between friends Buxbaum's plot realistic and addictive. Overall a great novel that I would recommend to many. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Childrens for a copy of this book. Year on Fire will hit bookshelves on April 12, 2022.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wicked Spines

    Thank you Julie Buxbaum and NetGalley for a copy of this ARC. All opinions are my own. I'm a sucker for covers and this book caught my eye as I was scrolling through NetGalley. I took a chance, requested the book and was approved for an ARC. When I started the book, I was a little worried that I wouldn't enjoy it because it's Young Adult and it's been a LONG time since I've read a Contemporary YA book. I was in a bit of a book slump and was taking forever reading books. I think this book was jus Thank you Julie Buxbaum and NetGalley for a copy of this ARC. All opinions are my own. I'm a sucker for covers and this book caught my eye as I was scrolling through NetGalley. I took a chance, requested the book and was approved for an ARC. When I started the book, I was a little worried that I wouldn't enjoy it because it's Young Adult and it's been a LONG time since I've read a Contemporary YA book. I was in a bit of a book slump and was taking forever reading books. I think this book was just what I needed to get out of that mini burn out. It's so different from what I normally read and I loved it. Year on Fire is told from the POV of four Juniors in one of the most turbulent times of their lives. Immie and Arch, fraternal twins are concealing a secret from their best friend, Paige and Ro has just made a suprise appearance as the new kid from London. Paige is on the way to becoming Valedictorian of their school and has no time for anything that doesn't fit in her rigid schedule. After a series of fires are set off at Wood Valley High School, the lives of these four begin to unravel and reshape into something none of them could have ever expected. This story has two young romances that happen simultaneously, one queer, both so sweet it'll make you remember that first love from when you were younger. It's a story about the bond between family both blood and the family you choose. There are struggles that teenagers and adults alike can relate to. The stress of being the person that everyone expects you to be instead of being your true, imperfect self. I felt a multitude of emotions when reading this story and I believe that Julie Buxbaum did a beautiful job of telling all of these stories, while weaving them altogether. I'm closer to having kids in high school than I am to being a 16 year old girl again. When my kids are at an age that they can appreciate what's told in this story, I plan on recommending this book to them. I want them to be their authentic, true self and to have a support system in their friends and family. They deserve to be proud of who they are, who they love, and be proud of how hard they work. Ms. Buxbaum does a wonderful job of normalizing the struggles of balancing life at the tender age of 16. Whether you're a fan of YA books or not, this is a great book to read with your teens or just to read on your own. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read it since I'm not sure I would have picked it up on my own any other way. Side note: If you're a parent and curious about details in the book, the most graphic it gets is a kiss here and there. Not detailed at all, but mentioned. There are also mentions of cutting and self harm, but it's very brief and isn't depicted in the book. Lastly, there are discussions of starting fires throughout the book, but again, nothing too graphic.

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