I recently realised that I’ve gotten really bad with my reviews in that I’ve just not been writing or posting them. So sorry about that! One of my goals for this year was to post at least two reviews a month, which I think I’ve been doing. But they weren’t always for books I wanted to review? There were so many books that I was so excited to talk about and then forgot to. This is one of those. So I’ll hopefully start reviewing books more promptly.
BUT also I like having reviews written for when I’m in school, so I can just post them and not worry about it so I tend to keep a review stockpile. AND I like posting reviews on Fridays (idk, I just do) but I also post discussions and such on Fridays too, so I run out of Fridays! Which is my own fault for being picky about the Friday thing, which I really just need to get over.
ANYWAY here’s my review for Little Fires Everywhere, which I loved. Please let me know your thoughts below!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
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.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
I loved this book. First, the cover is gorgeous and I am obsessed with it. I literally want the cover on a poster for my bedroom.
Luckily, the writing and the story inside are just as beautiful. Ng’s writing was stunning and I loved it. I think it could definitely annoy some people because it’s somewhat unorthodox. It’s kind of like stream of consciousness but not quite? It just kind of follows whoever is important at the time, which may switch partway through the scene. I really liked it, but I could see how it could get annoying or confusing.
I also loved the story. I think at it’s very core, this is a story about family. What constitutes a family, what does family mean, who counts as a family, what’s important in a family. There’s the obvious exploration of this regarding the custody trial, but there’s also the same theme throughout the story with the other families. I really liked this exploration and found it super interesting.
I think another theme was morality, which is very well explored through the characters. The characters were wonderful. They were all so complex and interesting. One of the characters donates to charity and does lots of charitable things and has a very clear moral compass, but it’s definitely alluded to that she does unmoral things to stick to this moral compass. One of the other characters isn’t as traditionally moral, but has her own definition of what’s right and wrong. It was really interesting and I loved their dynamic.
I also really liked the pace. I thought the plot moved along and wasn’t too fast or slow. Nowhere really dragged nor did I ever feel lost.
Overall, I loved this book. There was nothing I disliked about it and I thought it was executed brilliantly.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!