AUTHOR: Sophie Jordan
SERIES: Firelight, book 1
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept. 7, 2010
SOURCE: public library
GENRE: fantasy romance
GIVE IT TO: MS and HS Twilight fans
SUMMARY: As the first fire-breather born in many years, Jacinda is very valuable to her pride of dragons. When she and her friend are chased and nearly captured by hunters, Jacinda’s mother sneaks Jacinda and Jacinda’s twin sister Tamra away from the pride to live in human form in Chaparral. But on Jacinda’s first day of high school in Chaparral, Jacinda discovers that the hunters–including the cute one who saved her life that day–are also students at the high school and pose a significant threat to Jacinda, her family, and her beloved dragon pride.
REVIEW: With all the right ingredients for a popular fantasy romance, I have no doubt that Firelight will be very popular at my school. The story starts very quickly, setting up the dynamics of the dragon pride, Jacinda’s family, and the potential romance within the first 30 pages. Several entangling plot lines keep the story interesting, and a potential love triangle will appeal to Twilight fans. The action rarely slows, and the premise of a girl dragon who attends high school with dragon hunters is unique. A cliff-hanger ending will entice readers to invest in the second installment, Vanish.
Most of the characters are likeable, though they are somewhat typical of the YA genre: teens with secrets, star-crossed lovers, absent parents, two hot boys longing for the same girl. Lots of “I can be with you”/”I can’t be with you” wavering gets irritating at times and professions of love come far too quickly, but teen readers won’t likely care. While I am not a huge fan of Jacinda’s mother, the only character I really dislike is Jacinda’s twin sister Tamra, who is the very definition of a shallow, selfish, whiny teen girl. I truly do not care a lick what happens to her, but it will be very interesting to see if she changes her tune in Vanish.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Great for both middle school and high school libraries, Firelight will be a hit with students who love books like Twilight. Regarding mature content, middle school librarians have nothing to worry about beyond a handful of kissing scenes.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I don’t have it yet, but I have been talking it up since I started reading it. They are already asking to put it on-hold, so I ordered three copies.
READALIKES: Twilight series (Stephenie Meyer)
- Overall: 3/5
- Creativity: 3/5
- Characters: 3/5
- Engrossing: 3/5
- Writing: 3/5
- Appeal to teens: 5/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: none
- Sexuality: mild; some passionate kisses
- Violence: mild; lots of talk of hunting/killing draki, two fights
- Drugs/Alcohol: none