Monday, 27 July 2015

Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

Title: Fire Colour One
Author: Jenny Valentine
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 1st July 2015
Pages: 237
Genres: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from Maximum Pop.

Iris's father, Ernest, is at the end of his life and she hasn't even met him.

Her best friend, Thurston, is somewhere on the other side of the world.

Everything she thought she knew is up in flames. Now her mother has declared war and means to get her hands on Ernest's priceless art collection.

But Ernest has other ideas.

There are things he wants Iris to know after he's gone. And the truth has more than one way of coming to light...

I know everyone loves this book, and I know that Jenny Valentine is commonly referred to as one of the greatest YA voices of her generation, but Fire Colour One wasn't for me. At all. My first impressions were good; I love the tagline and, as I said in my June book haul video, the cover is so tremendously beautiful with pretty typography and flecks of gold.

But, with great sadness, I've come to the realisation yet again that a good cover doesn't always equate to a good book.

Iris is a pyromaniac, leaving a trail of bonfires behind her wherever she goes. Her mother, Hannah, is cold, materialistic, and loves money. Her step-father, Lowell, is a weak wanna-be actor who can usually be found with a bottle of Vodka in his hand. So, when it's announced that Iris's biological father, who also happens to be a millionaire, is dying, Hannah and Lowell are hungry for his money and will do anything to get it.

Iris? She just wants to get out of there, and maybe start a few fires on the way. But there are secrets she needs to uncover first.

Fire Colour One has received so much praise recently. Bloggers have called it beautiful, uplifting and emotional; it's been proclaimed a gem, named one of the best books of 2015 so far, and had people reaching for the tissues left, right and centre. But honestly? I felt no emotion whilst reading this. It felt like a chore more than anything else, and I'm genuinely relieved to have finished it. I'll admit it was poetic and even reminiscent of one of my favourite writers, Jandy Nelson, at times, but it was also slow-paced, choppy and, I hate to say it, boring. Lacking. Meh.

I quite liked the ending, actually - it was genius and lovely, plus it completely took me by surprise - but the rest of the book was a complete let down. Looking at Goodreads, I'm clearly in the minority when it comes to my feelings about Fire Colour One, so if you like the sound of it don't let me put you off. I just hope you enjoy it more than I did.


  1. To be honest this blog post surprised me... normally you're so positive about books! Before this I thought it was impossible for Amber to not like a book! But I'm really glad that you're so honest in your reviews. I'm yet to read Fire Colour'll be interesting to see how I find it!

    1. Haha, there are a lot of negative reviews on this blog although I guess I haven't done one for a while. Have you seen my review of The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black? I think that might be the most negative.

      Hope you enjoy this book more than I did! :)