Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.


Wildefire - Karsten Knight See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!I got pressured into reading this book. Many of my Goodreads friends read it and their opinions fell on both sides of the spectrum with a few in the middle. Some of my friends (and you know who you are) asked me if I'd read it and said I should when I replied that no, Wildefire wasn't in my reading pile. Now I've read it and I'll parachute into that middleground. Not good, not bad, and certainly not a "me" book.What seemed to attract so many people to it was the promising premise and the diversity of its characters so many readers were wishing for. On those, Wildefire delivered. The premise was a fresh one and the cast had a diversity in races I wish the rest of YA literature could embrace. I love having characters from all different backgrounds--Polynesian, Japanese, Haitian, and Egyptian, to start--but their actual characterization leaves a lot to be desired. None of them have their own distinct personalities that set them apart from one another and they sound almost alike in what they say.I'm picky about romance in YA books and hardly notice them anymore because I'm not much of a romance person, but I kind of liked what Ashline and Colt had. Yeah, Colt says some pretty creepy things sometimes, but I've seen much worse and I can't expect every character ever to be good at words because some people (including me) are bad at words. Their development is good and their date into the woods at sunset was a great scene both for them and as a scene in a book. Certainly not my new favorite couple, but they're fun to read about.The first chapter of the book is infamously divisive due to the violence and the book nearly lost me there too. I've read the myths too and I know the goddesses tend to go after the women and not the cheating gods of spouses, but that doesn't mean I can't be irritated. There were more than a few things off with how the characters acted, especially with the principal just standing by and letting a girl be beaten up by two different people. It isn't a book easily judged by the quality of its first chapter, that's for sure.The prose and writing has its strong moments, especially during action scenes where Ash and her friends have to fight or in Ash's visions of a small girl being studied by scientists. Then it attempts to be pretty prose and only succeeds occasionally. There were more than a few "wait, what?" sort of moments to do with the prose. I would quote them so you could see what I mean, but I would rather not because it's an ARC. Cutting some of the failed pretty prose attempts before final publication would be a great idea.Wildefire in its first half is somewhat dull. Ash is settling in at her new school, meeting and getting to know all the important players, but very little happens until about thirty-five or forty percent of the way in. Maybe this has to do with how impossible it was for me to concentrate on this book. I never became emotionally invested in the characters or their situations either. It's not a good thing when I have to sit down and force myself to read a book because I can't pay attention to it. It wasn't that I wasn't in a reading mood--I've been reading a lot the past few days--but Wildefire couldn't keep my attention. The second half is when the story really starts to kick in, but close to the end of the book (and I admit this with shame), I skipped about seventy pages to get to the end because I still wasn't interested and I was ready to get the book over with. I don't feel like I missed anything vitally important. A truly good book is good from the first page to the last; readers shouldn't have to endure a dull first half to get to a worthwhile second half.I don't know if I've said this before, but I'll close my review by saying it: I WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP ENDING THEIR BOOKS WITH CLIFFHANGERS. You don't need to use cliffhangers to make people read the next book in your series. If the reader liked the first book, they'll probably read the books that come after it. Ending books with cliffhangers just results in frustrated readers. Wildefire definitely wasn't a "me" book with all its strengths and flaws, but give it a try if you're interested.