In Eva V. Gibson’s debut 2020 novel, Together We Caught Fire, we follow the storyline of Lane Jamison and the utter catastrophe that is her life.
“We fell into the stars. They funneled out of the darkness and seeped into my senses, overlapping and infinite, distant and impossibly close.”
Not only has her crush, Grey, moved into her house the week of her senior year, but her father MARRIED his mother, making them step siblings. Their forbidden mutual attraction grows with their impending friendship, but ultimately is deterred by Grey’s long-term girlfriend, Sadie Hall. Sadie, however, is a great friend and introduces Lane to her brother Connor, the metalworking artist with a troubled past. Throughout this story, we follow Lane and her undeniable attraction for Grey, the surprising connection that forms with Connor, and the issues that live in her head rent free.
This book deals with mental health issues and warns readers of references to death, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, childhood trauma, PTSD, homelessness and more.
Now, we’ve gone through the summery, here’s what I thought:
This book almost ended up on my DNF (Do Not Finish) list, but captivated me somewhere around a hundred pages in. The beginning had me a little confused, but almost as soon as I expressed my confusion out loud, I found answers on the next page.
Gibson wrote this particular book in the first person past-tense which is my preferred form of reading typically. Her descriptive diction took my right along with the characters no matter where they went. I felt like I was watching a movie more than reading a book as I read this one. It was exciting, full of love and trauma, healing and growth, messy friendships and secrets… overall, a fantastic debut novel, and a go-to recommendation for older teens looking to read a raw emotional drama.
This, for sure, was one of the better Young Adult Contemporary novels I’ve read.
If you’re a fan of WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, you might just find yourself falling in love with this book, too.
If you read this book, let me know what you thought!