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Review: Bonfire

Bonfire - Krysten Ritter

I received a copy from Netgalley.


I snagged this one when it was offered on a read it now for the first 100 members. I take a break from the YA I read for grown up mysteries and thrillers, this one sounded good and the fact it was written by Krysten Ritter caught my attention immediately.


Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this book. The story has been done before in one form or another, there wasn’t any particular character I necessarily liked. Most of them were horrible people. The story line was interesting enough – a small town girl leaves and goes to college, becomes a lawyer and winds up working for a centre for legal advocacy. Something to do with environmental law. Finds herself returning home to investigate a big company who make plastic and give the dying town new life and new employment opportunities. With some nasty side effects to the environment and some of the people who live there.


Nothing unfamiliar. The main character fell fowl of the school’s mean girls. The most popular one who used to be a childhood best friend turned toxic became the queen bee and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Some sort of sinister Game is hinted at, to do with risqué pictures and blackmail and a whole host of perverted things related to it. There’s something going on and may be related to things that happened when the MC went to high school there, only things have taken a significantly darker turn. And of course there are people who don’t want the past digging up or the MC to connect the dots to what’s really happening.


Technically speaking there wasn’t anything terrible about the way it was written – it had its moment and really managed to capture the small dull life of a town without much going for it. The novel did a pretty good job of showing how horrible people can be behind the smiling facades they put on. Girls who were bullies in high school that don’t learn from it and don’t become good people.  The main character is reasonably level headed and intelligent and the investigation is interesting enough that it kept me wanting to know what was going on. One or two characters had some redeeming moments, but for the most part, nothing stood out.


Overall, it was just okay.


Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone for the review copy.