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Fireworks Over Toccoa

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,039 ratings  ·  389 reviews
Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

Lily Davis Woodward was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in World War II. Now he and the other soldiers are returning, and Lily
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  2,039 ratings  ·  389 reviews

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Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: already-own-read
I received an ARC copy of this book for review from the publisher.

"Fireworks over Toccoa" is a well-paced love story destined to be on the big screen. The author definitely makes use of his script-writing and producing credits because this book clips right along at the fast pace found in movies and television.

In her 80's, Lily isn't sure her granddaughter Colleen is as happy in her relationship as she wants everyone to think. When the two ladies find a long lost formula for a firework called Lil
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A light, romantic read set in Toccoa, Georgia around WWII. Kept me interested to see what path Lily would choose. Reminded me of Nicolas Sparks' books/writing.

Jason Bradley
Being from Georgia, I felt at home in the places described, understood the sultry heat, unhurried lifestyle, and unspoken Southern rules described by the author.

Jeffrey Stepakoff weaves a story both jubilant and heart wrenching that left me quietly holding the book once the last page was turned, feeling somehow that it deserved contemplation while I brushed the threat of a tear away. I didn't just become invested in these characters, they became family, and leaving them at the end of the book t
Christy B
I was teetering between three and four stars to rate this, until it made me CRY. Crying = automatic five stars. It is rare for a book to make me cry. I probably can count how many times I've cried over a book on one hand.

People are comparing this to Nicholas Sparks, but as I have never read him, I won't.

I read this in about a day; it was a fast read, but by no means a light one. This book proves the term 'quality over quantity'.

It tells the story of Lily Davis, married just three weeks when her
JG (Introverted Reader)
Lily Davis was only 17 when she married a boy she had known for a short time. He was shipping out to WWII soon as a supply man for Coca-Cola and it seemed like the thing to do before he went away. Three years later, her hometown of Toccoa, Georgia has scheduled a big homecoming party for all the returning soldiers, including parades and fireworks. Lily stumbles into Jake Russo, the fireworks man, as he's setting up his show and he opens up a world of possibilities for her.

This just isn't my kind
Mar 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: arc, fiction, read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
I had this book on my wishlist, ever since I saw it on someone's blog, so I was pretty excited to receive this one for review! The excitement wasn't misplaced either. This book delivered!

My opinion
Fireworks over Toccoa spans four days in the lives of Lily Woodward and Jake Russo. Lily had been married three years to a man she lived only a couple of weeks with, before her husband, Paul, was sent to Europe to serve in the war. Anticipating Paul's return, Lily is nervous realizing that she is no lo
Jan 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, especially since it was the first one I've won from the goodreads giveaways!

I started reading it when waiting on my computer (for reboots, downloads, etc.), thinking that once I got into it, I'd take it to my comfy chair for "serious reading" time.

I finished it at my computer.

One caveat--I generally do not read romance. I don't have a basis of comparison on whether this is a typical book for the genre or not. I found the characters to be flat. Lily, the circa 1945 bel
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, for-review
I don't often read contemporary adult romance. Not necessarily because I don't enjoy it, but because I tend to enjoy young adult romance more. I see a book with Nicholas Sparks' named emblazoned on the top though, and feel sort of turned off, he's just not the right author for me. I cannot get into his books, but a few of my friends can. I approached Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffery Stepakoff with trepidation. The plot piqued my interest, but one of the cover blurbs mentioned Nicholas Sparks, wh ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
I think this is a good book about forbidden love set in WWII
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick easy read. But the story stayed with me. Good if you like a love story that just might make you cry.
Katherine "Kj" Joslin
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2020-july
Such a beautiful and heart breaking book.
A Reader In Love
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
“I'm just a girl Jake"
"I think you're that, and much, much more."
Another long moment. Lily found herself returning his smile, finding her own sense of knowing. And suddenly she felt at ease, a sense of mysterious calm.”
― Jeffrey Stepakoff, Fireworks Over Toccoa

What can i say about this book? i went into it not knowing much about it and i have never heard of this author or this book before, but i was in the mood for another romantic read after The Longest Ride and this one was just what i needed
Kelly Moran
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews
Author Jeffrey Stepakoff has a MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Melon. His television credits include the Emmy-winning Sisters, The Wonder Years, Major Dad, Tarzan, and Dawson's Creek (as a co-executive producer). This is his debut novel, with Billion-Dollar Kiss following. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his family.

Colleen finds herself at a crossroads in her life. She is engaged to be married to a handsome doctor, who wishes only to provide her the perfect house to begin their perfect lif
I am not a regular reader of romance-themed books, because all too often I find that they are mere formulaic repetitions of hundreds which have gone before. Nevertheless, I took a chance with Jeffrey Stepakof’s Fireworks Over Toccoa because the description caught at me with the promise of something different. At least partly, the book did deliver.

The story takes place during an unnamed present, and the period toward and after the end of WWII. The main character, Lily Woodward marries her sweethe
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fireworks Over Toccoa begins with the discovery of a long-lost gift given to Lily Davis Woodward when she was twenty. Lily, who is now eighty-four, begins to tell the story of four days in 1945 that changed her life forever. At the end of WWII, Lily was excited because her husband was returning home from serving three years in the war, but she was also apprehensive because they had spent but two weeks as a married couple before Paul was shipped out. While preparing for Paul's return, Lily meets ...more
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
"Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever."

SPOILER...Sort of:

WELL EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT SHE IS ALREADY MARRIED, HER FIRST TIME LOVE SPANS A WHOPP'N four days, and the passion has not changed me forever.

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy into the I met you, know you for 4 days (one of which is the day he left ... and he didn
Paul Pessolano
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy fiction/literature and romance you will definately enjoy "Fireworks Over Toccoa". If you enjoy a novel that encompasses southern life and southern morals, you will enjoy this book.

"Fireworks Over Toccoa" starts with the discovery of a glass bottle in Lake Hartwell that has not been opened since the late 1940's. An item inside the jar unlocks the forgotten life of Lily Davis.

Jeffrey Stepakoff brings to the reader a stunning story of life in a rural Georgia town that is suddenly swept
Virginia Campbell
"Fireworks Over Toccoa", by Jeffrey Stepakoff, is just like life itself--either more or less than what you expect, but never exactly what you anticipate. At times I wasn't sure if I liked it, and then on the next page the story line would turn around and be completely captivating. I did like the characters very much. Lily Davis is a young Southern woman cultivated by her mother, Honey, to be a society belle. Her father, Walter, with whom Lily shares some private family jokes, lets her mother rul ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA opens with an elderly woman named Lily recognizing an artifact from her past in a local museum. It is a "recipe" for a very special firework named after her. The discovery brings back many memories and Lily tells her story to her granddaugther and the museum director. At the end of WWII, small town royalty Lily Davis Woodward awaits the return of her husband who she hasn't seen in three years when he left for the wa
Stacey Lucky
Apr 25, 2010 rated it did not like it

I don't think he loved you that much Lilly..only took him a day to leave you lol!

Being a GOOD military wife who has gone through many deployments,and going through one right now. I do not approve of this type off book. Military wives already have a bad reputation without people writing books about it.

Why did I pick this book from the library if I don't approve? I have a weakness of judging books by their cover.
Christine K
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. I really enjoyed this Southern small town war time romance. The settings are described so vividly, the love very rich and urgent. There were definitely a few tears shed thanks to the richness of Jeffrey Stepakoff's story telling. It is very evident that the author did work with a tv show giants like The Wonder Years (LOOOOOVE) and Dawson's Creek... this would translate to a very successful movie.
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book started out slow. In fact it wasn't until half way through that it really started to pick up. Then, the last 1/4 I couldn't put it down. I did skim entire pages because he over described things. This book was so sweet and sad at the same time. Plus, it had a tiny bit of suspense in it. Who's Lily going to pick? sweet!
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I read this book in just a few hours. Doesn't mean that it is a fluff book. I live just a few miles from where this book is set and loved that part. However, the story itself sweeps you up and keeps you invested until the very end. This book will stay with me a long time and every time I see a firework I'll think of it.
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Lily meets Jake, who makes fireworks. Interpersonal fireworks ensue. Gloppy and soppy. Will surely be a movie.
Wilette Youkey
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story that left me in tears.
Bookworm Adventure Girl
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a love story like The Notebook meets Bridges of Madison County. Enjoyable!
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great summer read. WWII era love story located in GA.
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
"Fireworks Over Toccoa" was a poor man's combination of Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook," and Robert James Waller's "Bridges of Madison County," but was not nearly as good as either of those novels. Jeffrey Stepakoff used the same techniques as Sparks and Waller, telling a story from the point of view of an elderly person recalling their long lost true love. In this case, Lily Davis Woodward and Jake Russo found a love so intense, so profound that it would haunt Lily for the rest of her days. Mo ...more
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It surprised me that I couldn't put it down once I started reading. Jeffrey Stepakoff has a way with words that just makes the book come alive. You honestly feel like you are living through it as a third party, just watching everything happen. Both Lily and Jake are beautiful characters and their story is so natural and has a real ending that just makes your soul crave more. This is an amazing read and, in my opinion, a great romantic story that rivals some of Nicholas Sparks' ...more
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Jeffrey Stepakoff was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a BA in Journalism. In 1988, the day after getting his MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon, he drove to Hollywood where he began writing for film and television.

Jeffrey has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-six television episodes, has written for fourteen

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