written by Jasmine, Wenlock Books' apprentice
Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Genre: Young Adult
Fire Colour One is Jenny Valentine’s fifth novel and after such praise for the first four, is a book that many people had high hopes for. The story centres around Iris, a sixteen year old from a troubled home; her father abandoned her as a child and her mother considers her no more than a piece in a game where Iris's father's money is the prize. Upon discovering that her millionaire father is dying, Iris is sent to live him.
Right from the beginning of this book, Jenny captivates and entrances the reader with her beautiful and almost poetic voice. Each page is peppered with similes and humour which both contribute to the beauty of this book.
The style of this book reminded me a lot of those written by John Green, although I much preferred this to any of his that I’ve read (An Abundance of Katherines; Will Grayson, Will Grayson; and The Fault in Our Stars). I particularly loved that this book was focused on parent-child relationships as it made for a touching and compelling read. So often books for teenagers are focused on teen romance which I find tedious and usually completely unrealistic. I was also relieved that the storyline stayed solely on Iris's relationships with her parents and that there was no side-line romance thrown in for the sake of it.
I think that Jenny did a fantastic job of creating believable and well-rounded characters and I feel that everyone was written perfectly, specifically Iris’s mother who could have stepped right out of the page and effortlessly slipped into real life. Iris's character was believable and multi-layered which made for such wonderful and easy reading. I'm not sure how old Jenny Valentine is, but she has an excellent grasp of how teenagers converse and Iris's speech matched that of myself and other teenagers that I know. It sounds like such an odd comment to make but there have been Young Adult books that I’ve started reading but haven’t wanted to finish because the teenagers say things like ‘wicked’ and ‘whizo', making the whole thing feel very out of touch.
Another thing that I preferred about this book compared to some of the other Young Adult books that I've read is that the storyline consisted of more than an awkward teen struggling to fit in because of something trivial like their hair or the fact that they wear glasses. I really felt for Iris when I read this book and believed her character entirely, which I feel is the sign of a fantastic author.
I really enjoyed Fire Colour One and read most of it in two days, although at 234 pages it could probably be finished in a day. This book was fast paced, emotional (I didn’t cry although I’m sure other people would!) and is definitely something that I would recommend to anyone looking for a beautiful Young Adult novel.
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