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Girls on Fire

Girls on Fire

This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think. I’m going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth.

Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond and bored at home. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki’s boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah finds herself befriending new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki. Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex, a Doc Marten and Kurt Cobain fan, who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.

But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything . . .

Starting – and ending – with tragedy, Girls on Fire stands alongside The Virgin Suicides in its brilliant portrayal of female adolescence, but with a power and assurance all its own.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 5th May 2016

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781405535809

Reviews

Like lightning in a bottle, Robin Wasserman's Girls on Fire captures girlhood friendship in all its shattering intensity. Seldom do you find a novel that so transports you to the dark, febrile terrain of adolescence, when intimacy and connection can turn on a dime to something far more dangerous. A captivating, terrifying novel, and one you won't forget
Megan Abbott
Girls on Fire is a dark, propulsive fever-dream of youth and friendship-a piercing vision of what it means to mistake yourself for who you are in someone else's eyes. I wanted to grab these girls and shake them, sing them lullabies, stop them-but all I could do was keep reading them, relentlessly enthralled by the heat-seeking missile of Robin Wasserman's fearless imagination
Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
A book so wonderful, so terrible, so nightmarishly compelling that I hardly knew what to say when I finished reading it. Wasserman has wrapped up a love story inside a murder mystery, a promise and a testament inside a confession - and has a title ever been truer? The reader comes away singed
Kelly Link
Like a mini Thelma and Louise as directed by David Lynch, the relationship between Dex and Lacey dances around the death of a high-school jock and the slow undoing of his near-perfect girlfriend. Dark, disturbing and utterly fresh, this is a story to pick up and not put down
Stylist, The Most Addictive Thrillers of 2016
A chilling story of school life and female friendship that starts and ends with a tragedy
Independent, Best Books to Read in 2016
A tale of obsessive female friendship
Irish Times, Books to Watch Out For in 2016
When a loner and the new girl at school bond over their hatred of the popular Nikki Drummond, they transform themselves into DM wearing, Kurt Cobain loving rebels who become the scourge of their small town, which has already been rocked by tragedy. This is Wasserman's debut adult novel (she's previously written YA), which perfectly captures the power and fragility of adolescent friendships
Red magazine, 'The Best New Authors You Need to Know About 2016'
A dark story of a muddied friendship between two girls
Elle Magazine, 'Stunning debuts from the literary world's new power players'
A hypnotic debut about an intense, obsessive friendship that leaves chaos in its wake
Elle
A suicide brings naïve Hannah together with the town's bad girl, Lacey, who has a secret that will change everything. We couldn't put this one down
Marie Claire
Robin Wasserman's debut fizzes with energy
Good Housekeeping
Flicking between points of view, Wasserman is even in her storytelling, sustaining her narrative by slowly revealing the dangerous secrets Lacey is keeping. Wasserman writes with immense energy. As a portrait of a coming-of-age, obsessive female friendship, the novel is captivating
Sunday Times
Convincing and harrowing . . . vividly detailed
Daily Mail
The tumultuous emotional extremes of adolescence are vividly conjured up in this brooding tale . . . This creepy tale is powerful and haunting
Sunday Mirror
This is a white-hot but pitch-black tale of adolescent friendship...Wasserman chillingly reveals how the intense emotions of teenage years can go to the bad
Sunday Express
Female friendship, adolescent or otherwise, has always been fertile ground for fiction. The intensity. The jealousy. The passion. The mirroring. The neediness. All these and more are present in YA author Robin Wasserman's"adult" (Old Adult?) debut, Girls on Fire. Hannah Dexter is the uncool girl at school, mocked and isolated by queen bee Nikki Drummond. Until life takes a bleakly unexpected turn for Nikki, and Hannah finds herself befriended by new girl Lacey Champlain. On the surface they have nothing in common - except a burning urge for revenge. Set in a 1990s besotted with Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix and Doc Martens, Girls on Fire puts Wasserman on course to join Megan Abbott and Louise O'Neill in proving the distinction between YA and OA is utterly spurious
The Pool, Bedtime Bookclub
Part murder mystery, part love story, this page-turner explores the dark side of the all-consuming friendship between a wide-eyed good girl and a grunge-worshipping rebel
Cosmopolitan
Robin Wasserman's novel Girls on Fire will utterly terrify you - in the best way possible.... A dark, chilling story of secrets, violence, and female friendship, Girls on Fire will burn in the mind long after you finish reading
Buzzfeed
A deep, dark vision of the dangers of girlhood emerges from this captivating novel. Life changes for unpopular Hannah Dexter when she makes friend with new girl Lacey who rebrands her as Dex and teaches her to wear Docs and like Kurt Cobain. Everything is on the up but not for long...
Stylist.co.uk
Mean Girls plus We Need to Talk About Kevin plus Heathers equals Girls on Fire. One of those books that make you glad you're not a teen anymore . . . Tragedy ensues in this pressure cooker of a novel'
Glamour
Electrifying story about two teenage girls and a mystery suicide
Heat, Our Top Five Reads
Wasserman has created a modern fable about female adolescence gone horribly wrong. An unsettling cautionary tale of friendships aligned and realigned, alliances made and broken, lives beginning and ruined, this is one of the most gripping reads of the year
Glasgow Herald
A gripping coming-of-age story with a difference
Natasha Harding, The Sun
One of the most gripping reads of the year. Heady, atmospheric and thrilling, you'll be turning the pages long after you'd planned on putting the book down. And it is well worth staying up for
Irish News
This is one of the most gripping reads of the year...perfect for thriller seekers
Belfast Telegraph, Book of the Week
Heady, atmospheric and thrilling
Independent i
Wasserman has an affinity for the female rebel, a talent for combining storytelling that has a confessional feel with a plot full of thrills and chills
Daily Telegraph
One of those books that makes you breathe a sigh of relief that you're not a teenager any more, this is the story of outsider Hannah, who is bullied at high school by queen bee Nikki. Big mistake Nikki, huge. Tragedy ensues in this pressure cooker of a novel that examines the intensity of adolescent female friendships and life growing up in smalltown America...file it under Heathers and Virgin Suicides.
Glamour, May 2016 'New titles we love'
Focuses on the intense and increasingly toxic relationship of two outcasts. Awkward nonentity Hannah Dexter is excluded by queen bee Nikki and her acolytes and desperately lonely until rebellious new girl Lacey befriends her, citing their mutual dislike of the reigning mean girl. Under Lacey's tutelage, Hannah evolves into Dex, with an altogether cooler wardrobe and an appetite for risk-taking, including involvement with black magic. Lacey, who has several dark secrets, eggs her on, and inevitably, things go too far ... written with great panache and evident sympathy for its subjects
Guardian, 'the best recent crime novels'
Explores the line where close female friendships can blur into obsession and self-obliteration....At the heart of the dark story is an intoxicating and all-consuming friendship between two teenage girls
New York Times
A perfectly constructed literary novel... nearly impossible to put down...Wasserman does so many things right... it's hard to count them all.... Girls on Fire is an inferno - it's brutally gorgeous, and you know it could explode anytime, but you can't turn away, even for a second
NPR.org
A captivating study of obsessive female friendship and the angst of teenage emotion
Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler
While it is a mystery, the true strength of the novel comes from the honesty of the girls' portrayal
Guardian