Book Review: Fire Colour One

I have been very lucky that my April read is a ‘not yet published’ book and I’m currently feeling like part of a very exclusive club indeed. Fire Colour One is Jenny Valentine’s fifth novel and after such praise for the first four, is a book that many people had high hopes for.

The story centres around Iris, a sixteen year old from a troubled home; her father abandoned her as a child and her mother considers her no more than a piece in a game where Iris’s father’s money is the prize. Upon discovering that her millionaire father is dying, Iris is sent to live him.

Right from the beginning of this book, Jenny captivates and entrances the reader with her beautiful and almost poetic voice. Each page is peppered with similes and humour which both contribute to the beauty of this book. It’s such a shame that I’m reviewing a proof copy because I’m not allowed to quote any of the wonderful lines to share with you!

The style of this book reminded me a lot of those written by John Green, although I preferred this to The Fault in Our Stars and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (I enjoyed An Abundance of Katherines but more than Fire Colour One). I particularly liked that this book was focused on parent-child relationships as it made for a touching and compelling read. So often books for teenagers are focused on teen romance which I find tedious and usually completely unrealistic. I was also relieved that the storyline stayed solely on Iris’s relationships with her parents and that there was no side-line romance thrown in for the sake of it.

I think that Jenny Valentine did a fantastic job of creating believable and well-rounded characters and I feel that everyone was written perfectly, especially Iris’s mother who could have stepped right out of the page and effortlessly slipped into real life. Iris’s character was believable and multi-layered which made for such wonderful and easy reading. I’m not sure how old Jenny Valentine is, but she has an excellent grasp of how teenagers converse and Iris’s speech matched that of myself and other teenagers that I know. It sounds like such an odd comment to make but there have been Young Adult books that I’ve started reading but haven’t wanted to finish because the teenagers say things like ‘wicked’ and ‘whizo’, making the whole thing feel very out of touch.

Another thing that I liked about this book is that the storyline consisted of more than an awkward teen struggling to fit in because of something trivial like their hair or the fact that they wear glasses. I really felt for Iris when I read this book and believed her character entirely, which I feel is the sign of a fantastic author.

I enjoyed Fire Colour One and read most of it in two days, although at 234 pages it could be finished in a day. This book was fast paced, emotional (I didn’t cry although I’m sure other people would!) and is definitely something that I would recommend to fans of John Green.

Fire Colour One will be published by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks on July 2nd.

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