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Fire Becomes Her

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In Rosiee Thor's lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground -- and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn't have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden's father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

368 pages, Hardcover

First published February 1, 2022

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About the author

Rosiee Thor

6 books355 followers
Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell her mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She spent her childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until she came out as queer. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of plants. She is the author of young adult novels Tarnished Are The Stars and Fire Becomes Her and the picture book The Meaning of Pride.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 180 reviews
Profile Image for Kal ★ Reader Voracious.
547 reviews187 followers
January 24, 2022
Fire Becomes Her draws you in with this beautiful cover and let me tell you this book doesn't disappoint 😍😍😍 I'm a sucker for anything with Jazz Age Vibes, and I adore the world Thor created to explore issues of political power and privilege -- if you've read their debut Tarnished Are the Stars you will notice a similar theme of Eat the Rich -- while also exploring identity and the many different kinds of love we all experience.
"He didn't need bootleg flicker when he had a pocketful of flare."
The world sizzles with magic and the narrative sparkles with flair (pardon the pun). In Cadensce, magic (flare) is currency and the rich have the most access to it. While most people struggle for enough to put food on the table and heat their home, the rich flaunt their flare with abandon. Society is built upon this inequity and government functions largely to keep these systems in place: to keep the rich rich and the poor placated.
"Those at the top had enough [flare] to fill a reservoir, and the rest of them had to make do with the little they could earn in an honest day's work. Or not so honest, depending on how refined they liked their magic. Flicker would do in a pinch. The illicit, synthetic magic never made more than a temporary impression on the world."
The narrative pops and sparkles, as do it's characters. Ingrid is a flawed and broken main character who simply wants a better life for herself - and has decided the son of a prominent senator is her ticket. She's spent years among the rich and privileged in private school working towards her goal and it's just within her reach. Only she needs to earn the approval of Senator Holt, and it turns out the stakes may be more than she's willing to give.
"She could drink every drop of flicker in this club, but it would never be the same as the raw, rushing wildfire of real magic. Flicker was no more than a weak imitation. Just like her."
No matter how hard she tries, Ingrid never quite feels like one of the elite, though. Her internal feelings of worth are inextricably linked with her lack of status, so no matter how much she accomplishes (such as getting into an elite school) it's not quite enough. Ingrid's laser-focused on raising her station, and her feelings of otherness outweigh everything else. She still sees herself as the poor girl - but she's definitely

You know that scene in Mean Girls after Cady skips Janis' art show for a party because "she has to pretend she is plastic" and Janis yells "You're cold, shiny, hard plastic"? I think this is a good description of the disconnect between how Ingrid sees herself and how the rest of the world sees her after Louise questions her behavior in the opening chapter are a good primer to Ingrid's internal conflict.
"Love had never made her happy, only careful, only bruised, only confused."
I love the soft questioning of identity. How we can't fashion people to become who we want them to be and that different kinds of love can exist; not all loves result in lasting relationships and that's okay. Love was a tool for Ingrid, a necessary means to an end of achieving status and an expected social norm. Fire Becomes Her is as much about identity and figuring out who Ingrid wants to be as it is about the unjust world she lives in.
"You think becoming one of them will make up for who you were born, but giving in to their impossible model of richness will just nail the lid on the rest of our coffins."
The book is largely plot driven but the action is definitely driven by the characters and their choices. The status quo of Cadensce gives you two options: play the game (Linden) or break the game (Louise). Playing the game only continues the system and the aspiration of trickle down economics leads people to believe if they work really hard they might be one of the lucky ones. The morally righteous ones to earn it. But in reality morality has nothing to do with it: it's just a means of control. But the more that Ingrid plays the game, the less she is sure that's what she wants. Ingrid's character development is compelling to read as she struggles with the harsh reality of politics behind the curtain on the campaign trail.
"I'm ashamed that you think I'm worthy, but not other people like me."
I've thought about the above quote for days. Even the "progressive" rich people aren't immune to the implicit biases against poor people. That only those who work hard and "play the game" are worthy. Fire Becomes Her is a call to arms to not accept the status quo, emboldening teens to be the change they want to see in the world. But one thing I particularly appreciate is that Ingrid isn't the always noble hero: she struggles with doing what she thinks is right and her own ambitions.
"'I'm just a flicker chemist who dared to fight back. Maybe that makes me a rebel.'"
The politics in this book will make you mad and that's the point. There are countless direct parallels to the current political climate in the United States (and Thor's mentioned they wrote the book largely to punch Mitch McConnell in the face). One can't help but see the direct comparisons to the various ways those in power control the narrative to keep their power and privilege. The Shadow of the Flames is Candensce's Antifa: anyone protesting the status quo are labeled rebels. It's their radical ideas that are the danger not any plans of violence, but Senator Holt uses fear of violence to stoke the voters into a frenzy. There are many times that I wanted to punch Senator Holt in the face. You can definitely tell that this book was written in frustration over the current political climate.

I absolutely loved the Jazz Age glamor vibes, the characters and the friendships, and of the course the puns. Charlotte and Alex are gems who must be protected. Linden is... well, he's there and serves a purpose.

Ultimately this review is a giant mess and for that I'm sorry - I just love this book's tackling politics of the US in a magical world that fizzles on page. That the book doesn't lose hope despite it looking pretty bleak. Highly recommend to fans of political intrigue and strong character development.

Representation: ueer normative world, 3 aro/ace spectrum characters, including the main character, who is aromantic spectrum bisexual. It also includes an aro/ace character and a nonbinary ace character
Content warnings: umption, classism, gaslighting, manipulation, misogyny, murder, police brutality, sexism, violence

eARC provided by Scholastic Press for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion nor the contents of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and subject to change upon final publication.

04.20.2020: Rosiee had me at Jazz Age, but if you like:
🔥 1920s glamor vibes
🔥 magic you can drink and also use to set people on fire
🔥 queer platonic relationships
🔥 women in power suits
🔥 eating the rich, but cooking them first
Then you should maybe definitely add FIRE BECOMES HER to your TBR immediately!
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Profile Image for ash.
267 reviews201 followers
December 30, 2021
well, it was certainly a book. but it's just that, and nothing else.

i was excited about this because i want to see fantasy in a jazz age-inspired setting with lgbtq characters, but the story was actually nothing special. sure the characters are lgbtq, but they are so plain and typical. what's more is that their characterizations are inconsistent, and the romance is stale. i found the main character annoying and i couldn't give a single fuck about the love interest. the plot is rudimentary and the writing is unremarkable. i expected some exciting politics, but i instead got something so.. boring. the themes could have possibly made it a little better, had it not been so shallowly explored. it is too simple in its execution, and i feel like i've read this book before.

the novel is just words, nothing else. no flavor, no flair (pun intended); too generic and ordinary for what it promised.
Profile Image for rina.
198 reviews24 followers
January 24, 2022
For me, this was another one of those books with a great premise but mediocre execution.

The book began with 2 characters - Ingrid and Linden - already in a relationship and I find it hard to root for them as I barely knew them. Ingrid irked me so much, and was maybe a bit too haughty at times. I liked her strong will though, compared to Linden’s, whose disposition I found so weak.

The political maneuvering felt juvenile, the banter dry and the characterization shallow. I started and ended the book knowing nearly the same amount about the characters. There’s lots of telling. It’s not always a bad thing, but in this case, there wasn’t much to back it up. If you wanted proof that a certain character is smart, etc. you just have to trust what’s being told to you because most of the time, it won’t show. I’d say this book just brushed the surface of things, a lot of aspects were very superficial. The events happened quickly, so much so that they didn't become very believable. I think with more detail, depth, consistency (and more, sorry) I would have liked this better, maybe younger me would have.

What I did appreciate about this were the queer platonic relationships. Sure, it started with romance, but the more focus the book gave to platonic relationships the more points were added (still not a lot though). Honestly, I just really wanted romance out of the picture.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the arc!
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
September 25, 2021
Thank you to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I didn't know this was going to have a political campaign but I lived for it!! Loved this so much. Okay I just now saw that the author pitched this as "If you've ever thought about lighting Mitch McConnell on fire, this book is for you". I am laughing so hard. This is the energy I want from 2022.

Fire Becomes Her is a Jazz Age fantasy where people can ingest a substance called flare and become a firebender. Ingrid Ellis doesn't have the family connections or wealth to get what she wants, but she has a plan. She'll ride to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, the son of the largest flare fortune in Candesce. But Senator Holt is the only thing in her way because he refuses to acknowledge her.

When the President announces he is leaving office, both Senator Holt and the famous celebrity Gwedolyn Meyers announce their campaigns for office. Ingrid manages to snag a place on Holt's team, but is quickly overlooked as an intern. Until she offers to spy on Holt's competitor and report back. But as Ingrid learns more about the Meyers campaign, the more she is torn about her real loyalties.

I was a goner for this book when it opened in a magical speakeasy. I don't even have enough words to tell you how much I absolutely loved this book. The campaign parts actually reminded me a bit of Red, White & Royal Blue, but in a fantasy world instead of the USA.

Honestly, what do I even say about this book that doesn't have spoilers? I just want to yell about how much I loved this book and all of the characters. Also there are lesbians in power suits. I need more of that.

Ingrid was such a great character. She's cunning and resourceful but also a bit lost in this world where she sees so much injustice and doesn't know how to solve it. There's so much great commentary in this book about how many institutions are corrupt and how you can't fight them without systemic change. Then there was a scene where Meyers dispels "trickle down magic" and literally shows people at a debate how it never works. I had so many heart eyes while reading this.

I absolutely enjoyed Tarnished Are the Stars, but this one elevated Rosiee to one of my fave authors ever. I loved this book so freaking much!

Rep: Bi aro-spec (demiromantic) female MC, BIPOC aspec trans-nonbinary love interest, aromantic asexual female side character, WLW side couple, queer-normative world.

CWs: Abandonment, alcohol consumption, blood, death, fire/fire injury, gaslighting/manipulation, injury/injury detail, misogyny, sexism, violence.
Profile Image for Mimi.
387 reviews107 followers
October 30, 2021
2.5? Maybe? The premise was fantastic and I loved the concept of flare and the queer rep was to die for but it was also a biiiiit predictable and I couldn't really connect to any of the characters...need to sit with this one a bit.
Profile Image for Iris.
544 reviews253 followers
Want to read
April 9, 2020
this is now my most anticipated release of ever and I don't know how I'm going to wait and hfghhfgdfjjhgfhhfghjgfg I NEED IT
Profile Image for Brend.
312 reviews281 followers
March 19, 2022
Got boring after the 50% mark and started feeling like a very long rollercoaster with no falls
Profile Image for Phoenix (Books with Wings).
376 reviews85 followers
February 20, 2022
I am extremely happy that this book exists.
I have to admit that there were parts of this book that were slow, or I just did not find as interesting as I wanted to, because I'm not a huge fan of politics in books (or politics in real life, actually).
But the last hundred or so pages were AWESOME, and can I just mention that the rep (aroace rep, aroace rep, aroace rep!) was awesome! It was so amazing to see not one, not two, but THREE aroace spec characters, including a queer platonic relationship between two of them at the end!

Why is February first soooo far away???

So like....AAAAAAH
Another book by Rosiee Thor!!! I loved Tarnished are the Stars (check out the review on my blog here and my author interview with Rosiee Thor here) and this one is a FANTASY. Since I generally prefer fantasy to sci fi I am totally HYPED for this.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,882 reviews8 followers
June 1, 2022
This is Young Adult/Fantasy. I liked some parts and I didn't like others. What I liked the most was the author's writing. Her descriptive strokes were things of beauty. Very picturesque without being overly wordy. Now sometimes she did wax a little wordy, but the descriptive writing as a whole is what kept me in.

I also liked the MC and her journey, not to mention her progression. That is always always a good thing. Also the other characters were all different and unique in their own way. This was definitely a character driven story.

Now with that said, I would have liked more world building. I wanted to see that in as much detail as the characters were given. Unfortunately that didn't happen. I had questions that never seemed to get answered. So all in all.....3 stars

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,122 reviews215 followers
March 4, 2022
Hot damn!

From the very beginning, I was completely hooked by the world living within Fire Becomes Her. Especially after meeting Ingrid. She may not have connections or wealth, but the girl has one important thing: a plan. This, of course, includes being on the arm of the Senator's son, Linden. The only problem is the Senator wasn't nothing to really do with her.

Which, yeah, is a huge detail but whatever.

Eventually she grabs his attention by becoming his spy. With each secret or tidbit of information that she gathers, the more it confuses her head and heart. She's not sure who to side with during this campaign and I was basically on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Honestly, I really enjoyed the heck out of this book. If I could change one thing, I would want more chapters and pages. Mostly because I flew through this book and didn't want it to ever end. So, yeah, I'm a little sad that it's all over but very happy that I dove into this.
Profile Image for Sarah Bell.
Author 3 books28 followers
February 9, 2022
4.5 stars rounded up.

🔥 1920s vibes 🔥 Ace and aro rep 🔥 Burn the rich 🔥

This book first caught my attention because of the ace and aro rep and then I saw the author describe it on Twitter as 'for anyone who ever wanted to set Mitch McConnell on fire' and I was sold.

It lived up to my expectations on both accounts. There are several explicitly ace and/or aro characters (the words aren't used because of the 1920s-style setting, but the author make it clear through the narrative & dialogue), showing us a range of experiences across the spectrums. There was also exploration of what it means to love and the many different ways we can love one and other, beyond romantic love.

Our MC, Ingrid, is a compelling character - clever and driven - and Thor's writing brings her to life. I found myself understanding the decisions she made and why, even whilst not always agreeing with them. In fact, her aim at the beginning of book (to marry a senator's son, therefore making herself secure, rich and influential) is not particularly admirable, but you understand why she wants it. Her character arc throughout the story is well-trodden ground - the lessons and growth she needs to make as a person are fairly obvious from the start - but no less enjoyable for it.

The story is set in Candesce - a fictional world highly influenced by 1920s America - and focuses on a political campaign which reflects real life politics and problems. The magical substance flare - and the hoarding, misuse and waste of - is used to mirror wealth inequality in our own reality.

Overall, this was a great read, which pulled me firmly into Ingrid's world and life from the very beginning and kept me reading.
Profile Image for Tova.
630 reviews
Shelved as '2022-releases'
January 2, 2022
One does not simply pitch their book as: "If you've ever thought about lighting Mitch McConnell on fire, this book is for you." and expect me to not want to read it this instance!!!!
Profile Image for Kalyn Josephson.
Author 8 books662 followers
December 30, 2021
This book is literal fire. As in like, on-fire-it's-so-good, contains fire magic, has fire on the cover and in the title.

FIRE BECOMES HER is one of the most unique, fantastically cool YA fantasies I've read in a while. Things I loved:
* Ingrid: the fierce protagonist struggling to determine what is right.
* The magic system: magic you can drink.
* The worldbuilding: so like our own, yet second world, with a detailed political structure and story.
* The queer! Platonic! Relationships!

If you want a poignant, whip-smart political fantasy with eat-the-rich vibes and characters you'll utterly adore, FBH is for you.

Profile Image for Fieke.
337 reviews11 followers
October 27, 2022
(Prepare for a long one. Like really long. Like rambling on forever because I have many many thoughts and these aren't even all of them.)

I am giving this 3 stars, but some aspects of this do deserve 5 stars, it is just that other parts did not. Lurking beneath a very predictable plot and some cheesy writing is a wonderful exploration of love and the different shapes it can take.

This book had some lines and some moments that really hit me hard.
We follow Ingrid, a young woman born into poverty. She lives in a world were magic is a currency. Ingrid is determined to improve her life. She wants to rise to the top with Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce.

I love the way this book intertwines the different problems and obstacles Ingrid faces. This is also really fitting with the way the world building works. She is really determined to become rich and powerful, which is her goal in itself. As someone who is unhappy, she has this idea of things she needs to do and be to become happier. This belief that if she just gets Linden as a boyfriend and earns his father’s respect and becomes rich, it will be like her background does not matter anymore. Until of course, she finds herself among some people who might accept her for who she already is.

I loved the conversations between Ingrid and Alex on what love means to them. They discussed how love looks different to different people and it should be up to people in a relationship to decide for themselves what that relationship means to them.

“ ’Everyone has an opinion about what a relationship should look like, what romance is supposed to feel like, and not only who can love whom, but how.’
‘You don’t have to fall in love in order to love. You don’t have to fall in love to be loved. Nowhere is it written in stone that you must love only one way, only one person, only one time. You haven’t missed your shot at love, because love isn’t just one thing. Maybe what you had with Linden was one kind of love, but there are others. Love is family, love is friends. Love is caring whether the people in your life survive a rebel attack. Love is love, Ingrid.’ ”

I like that because often when people say “love is love” it is about romantic love. I like the emphasis on this idea that love is many different things to different people and just because it is different doesn’t mean one is better than the other.
This book has a lot of representation and lots of people who want different things. There’s Charlotte who is happy to be surrounded by platonic love, but who prefers to have her own space. There’s Ingrid who feels uncomfortable about romance, but she still wants a kind of close relationship. There’s Alex who does not like physical gestures of love, but who does have strong feelings for Ingrid. And then there’s a lot of friendship between these people and other characters in the story. I really liked the way Linden and Ingrid eventually worked things out. Ingrid also has a complex relationship with her father that got multiple nuanced discussions. She has a childhood friend who she does not see often at all, but who still had a big (positive) impact on her life. For how short this standalone book is it feels like it is really filled with a lot of different relationships and love.

(Spoilers in this quote? Probably.) “I want to be friends. Being friends with you is one of my favourite things. (…) But I want to be something else too. (…) I want to know you’ll be there to tell me when I’m wrong just as often as you tell me I’m right. I want to learn enough to teach you as much as you teach me. (…) And I don’t want to sit side by side while we both work on our own lives in solitude. I want to work on both together, like they’re one project.”
“You mean-“
“I mean, I love you, Alex Castille. And I love you in a way I didn’t know I could. It isn’t (…) romantic, it isn’t physical, but it’s still so much, so, so much.”

Ingrid is an original character because she is extremely flawed. Especially at the beginning it can be hard to get behind her way of thinking and acting. However, it does make a lot of sense with her background. You see how she has been struggling for years and how people have made her feel worthless. It is really painful but not unrealistic to see her try to pretend to be someone just to fit in.

"She knew what she had to do in order to move beyond this strange state of in between- housed just after knowing who she was, but before she was ready to be her.”

For those reasons, this book could have been a new favorite.
Unfortunately, there were some parts that really dragged down my rating.
This book has a plot that to me seemed to try to be more surprising and interesting than it actually ended up being. There is some really cool magic in this and the action scenes with the magic were really cool to read. I liked how easy it was to understand how the magic works and how clear the rules of it are. There's just a story happening around it that was too obvious to me. It seemed over-explained. I could guess really early on how this book was going to end. There was a moment that I think was meant to be some kind of reveal or plot twist, but it did not come across because I already knew.
The politics were somewhat realistic. In the sense that their discussions and debates made sense and clearly echo'ed things that have happened/ are happening in actual politics. They just seemed very simple reflections of it. There's the one side with evil-capitalists who are power hungry and completely horrible people in almost every way, and there's the other side of generous people who are here to change the world in an heroic way. It felt like an unironic exaggeration that was realistic in some ways but ridiculous and juvenile at times. Especially the way Ingrid got into politics and how things happened for her did not seem realistic. Nor did she convince me to be as good as it as the book tells us she is. There's a lot of descriptions of how smart the characters are, but few times where it is actually shown. (Maybe it especially seemed that way because I could guess where the plot was headed better than the characters did.)
I also did not particularly like the writing. I think the characters were interesting and their dialogue was realistic. The moments where they talked about their emotions really worked. But throughout the book there were some lines and descriptions that felt overly-dramatic and not really helpful. Especially the last few lines of almost every chapter felt like a forced dramatic ending that just did not land for me.

Overall I would really recommend this book. It is unique and brings a lot of interesting themes. I appreciate the relationships between the characters. It is also a book that I think you could have some very interesting discussions about. But plot-wise it is somewhat lacking.
I am still interested in reading 'Tarnished are the stars'.

Happy ace week :)
Profile Image for Carly Heath.
Author 2 books110 followers
August 10, 2021
Official blurb: “With its exquisitely crafted characters, rich, evocative imagery, and tightly woven plot laced with political intrigue, FIRE BECOMES HER is both captivating and enthralling. Readers will love Ingrid and this vivid realm of fire and magic.”

Official fan-girling: I NEED THIS TO BE A NETFLIX SERIES PLEASE AND THANK YOU! 1920's vibes YES! Diverse queer characters! Found family! Dismantling the system!

I adored every page of this book. It's perfection. You need it. We need it. Let Fire Becomes Her heal your soul.
Profile Image for Leslie Vedder.
Author 4 books262 followers
June 17, 2021
So compelling and original! I fell right into the sprawling, luscious world of Candesce, filled with the magic of Flare. The characters are so complex—Ingrid is the heart and soul of this book, her passions, her journey, and her missteps. Not to mention the phenomenal Ace rep!!!

Rosiee Thor breathtakingly captures heartbreak, desperation, triumph, ambition, and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to belong.
Profile Image for M.
201 reviews
January 6, 2023
One of the most annoying main characters I've ever come across. She's super wishy-washy, hypocritical, and contradicting. Her boyfriend doesn't deserve her, and I actually like him a lot more. For someone who goes through a character arc pretty quickly, she's not at all understanding or gracious towards her boyfriend who is trying to change while still under his father's thumb. Tbh I only stuck around because the worldbuilding/concept was super cool, but even that disappointed me in the end.
Profile Image for Irene vH.
222 reviews62 followers
March 3, 2023
A Personal and political drama set in a world with a very soft magic system tells an interesting story of a want for power, but barely deserves the claim of belonging in the fantasy genre.

I bought this book without any early knowledge about the story based on the impressive cover. We all say we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and yet most of us do.
The cover and the original description made me believe this was a 1920'ies historical fiction, which in theming it does aim to fit in with, but was surprised to find it taking place in a different world from our own as well as the story involving magic.

The book focuses mostly on the main character, Ingrid, and her never ending desire to rise to power, after a somewhat traumatizing youth in poverty. This on its own can be very interesting, but the character itself was pretty hard to like. Ingrid's decisions felt confusing and at times absolutely frustrating. And her interactions with other characters didn't paint her in a much more positive light either.

The setting of a different world with it's own magic system didn't feel very earned either. The magic in this world (Flare) almost seemed to have a "McGuffin" status in the story. Always being talked about and told to be important, even though it was almost nothing more than magical currency and could have been so much more. Maybe even should have been so much more to earn and warrant the entire creation of a new world where this substance exists.

The political intrigue of the story was however pretty well done, and despite the main character not being likable, the side characters were rather well written and enjoyable to read. The climax and ending to the story were overall also rather satisfying, saving the in my opinion mediocre book from a unsatisfactory after taste.

Still this book felt underwhelming. It had potential, but wasn't executed as well as it could have been. So I guess I must still learn that a pretty cover isn't always everything.
August 22, 2022
Around a 3.5 here and really waffling on whether to round up or down. Up for the aromantic rep and prominent queerplatonic relationships, down for how "meh" the book felt as a whole. I love the concept and the vibe (20s jazz age, drinkable magic, political campaigns, students doing internships, "eat the rich" sentiment), but it didn't spark any real fire within me, if you'll pardon the pun. The plot was beyond predictable, but it had a couple threads running--some internal battles, some external--so it didn't become overly simplistic.

The magic was such an important thing but I still don't feel like I quite understand how it works--you drink it, but it also powers utilities, and it can be used as a cosmetic as well, and you vote by using that same substance?

Though some characters were a little bland as individuals, I did appreciate the time that was devoted to Ingrid's relationships with Alex, Linden, and her father, exploring three different kinds of love, all of which are perfectly valid. I do wish some of the female relationships were fleshed out more, though; Louise and Charlotte deserved more page-time.

As a final note, I listened to this one as an audiobook. The narrator was largely good, and I appreciated her overall pacing and style. My one quibble was with some odd accent choices--she made Charlotte British, I guess? And there was this inconsistent half-accent for Ingrid's father and Louise that I think was supposed to sound like an east coast city accent, but it only showed up half the time and didn't make a ton of sense.

Overall, not a bad book, and has that extremely rare QPR rep, but otherwise it was a bit forgettable.
Profile Image for Tib.
492 reviews68 followers
February 10, 2022
3.5 rounded up

The premise sounded interesting and the magic system felt different and fresh from what I've read before, but the world and the characters felt lacking. I wanted to love these characters, but I was finding myself feeling like I was watching events play out through glass. There wasn't a spark (pun intended) for any of the characters for me. I wanted to know more about the magic system and I would have loved an expansion on how Ingrid's body reacted to Flare. It was mentioned briefly a few times how it wasn't exactly a normal reaction, but that was it. No further exploration of it. Can other people syphon Flare out of other people or was that something special to Ingrid? The description and explanation of Alex's gender identity felt muddled and I didn't quite follow, but I think he's non-binary, which I mean, awesome!

I found myself drifting a lot, especially in the middle and would have to go back and reread whole passages a few times in order to get what happened, but that could very much be a me problem more than a book problem. I've not been entirely focused on any one thing as of late.

Despite these issues, I really enjoyed myself overall and I really loved a happy ending.
Profile Image for Annine.
363 reviews4 followers
March 5, 2022
Diversity challenge: queer-platonic relationship

I really liked how magic was a resource and not limitless. The book explores capitalism and economic inequality. I wasn't a big fan of the climax but I liked the rest.
Profile Image for Gretal.
640 reviews69 followers
December 23, 2021
This book. It feels like something I've been waiting for for years, and I'm so glad I finally got to read it. I loved Ingrid and Alex and all the rest of these characters. The world, the relationships. Just fantastic all around.
Profile Image for Brigi.
637 reviews50 followers
June 18, 2022
DNF at page 73

I can tell it's not my kind of thing, it honestly put me to sleep (yeah, okay, I woke up at 6:15am today). Despite the interesting setting and story idea, it's just so incredibly dull and the magic system wasn't explained. So yeah, bye bye.
Profile Image for Lillie Lainoff.
Author 1 book220 followers
December 21, 2021
FIRE BECOMES HER crackles with energy, with life, with delicious prose, and a cast of well-drawn characters who stay with you well after the last page.
By the end of the book, Ingrid fully grows into a fierce, unapologetic version of herself. No one can dampen this main character's shine—or her flare.
Profile Image for Cody Roecker.
808 reviews
June 11, 2021
Review and blurb to come but everyone needs to get ready to fall in love with this book. It's incredibly special.
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