Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

littlefireseverywhere.JPGI’ve just finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I gave it 3 ***.  Read on if you want to see what I thought. I’ve tried not to spoil it for you but I’m sorry if I slip……

The blurb on the back went like this…

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Now from working in the library, this book has been quite a popular book, as soon as it comes back in, you know it will be gone again by the end of the day, if not, early the next morning.  When my book club suggested it, I grabbed it and was pretty excited to read it.

The first thing that struck me as I was reading this was it was pretty similar to a 90s teen sitcom. Considering it was released as adult fiction, I wasn’t expecting that.

I like the characters, probably Mrs Richardson was probably my least favourite in the fact Shaker Heights was a pretty affluent neighbourhood and she wasn’t a fan of anyone who didn’t conform to the “Shaker Heights” lifestyle. In short, I thought she was a bit of a snob.

I knew something wasn’t right with Mia too.  To be honest I actually thought she was on the run from an abusive ex-partner or that Pearl was a stolen (someone elses entirely) baby.  She seemed to be so mysterious but I wasn’t expecting why she kept moving and really thought it was mean to not have told Pearl why they kept moving.  It was only when threatened she decided to reveal to her what was going on.

My favourite character had to be Izzy, firstly, that my dogs name.  So I’m quite partial to anything called Izzy. Secondly, Izzy was like no other character I’ve read for a while.  She was considered mental by the rest of her family.  No-one even tried to help her, talk or understand her in any way, shape or form. She was central to so many things and didn’t piece it all together to the very last minute. But she did. She was probably the only one

The story itself I gave it an overall 3 stars. It was ok. It really was like watching The OC or some episode of Beverly Hills 90210 from way back when. Obviously, they weren’t all as rich but you get my drift. The only thing that saved it for me was the fact it wasn’t tied up in a big bow that was “They all lived happily ever after”. It left it for a sequel, you were left with questions but not too many at the same time.

I liked this one but I didn’t love it.

On a side note, I read somewhere today that Reece Wetherspoon and Kerry Washington were making or looking to make a TV programme or movie of this.  It’ll be interesting to see what it turns out like if they do it.

Let me know what you think if you’ve read this.  Drop me a comment….