Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter


Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?


*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

I have been a Krysten Ritter fan since her days on Veronica Mars so when I heard from a friend that she was writing a book, you knew I was going to be all over it! And while it wasn’t the best book I have read this year, for a debut novel, I will definitely be looking forward to what she writes next. Abby is sucked back into her small town living and her childhood is the definition of trauma. From horrible parents, death, and bullies; Abby can’t see to get a break, until she packs up her life and escapes.

I think my biggest struggle with this novel is that sometimes the characters and conversations were not fluid. There wasn’t polished dialect or clear paths of thought and while this didn’t occur through the entire novel, it happened enough for me to take notice. The Dad story-line didn’t contribute to the novel, but I understand that it was a necessary topic that needed to be addressed. The friendships and relationships…well I wasn’t really sure what was going on sometime but it was complicated and occasionally messy.

Abby on the other hand is all over the place. Abby fell under the cliche of going back home and having random hook-ups with people…come now Abby, have a little more self-worth. But for a lawyer, she seemed very fickle and insecure and while I would have liked to see her develop and move past the abuse, she seem trapped by it and as I finished the story, I still wasn’t sure if she was finally able to let everything go. It was as if the the past had permanently paralyzed her.

In terms of plot lines, I really loved the mystery aspect and while I had the ending figured out 20% into the book, I didn’t have all the details. Let me tell you, there are a lot details, the extent Krysten went to weave this plot, means I would have never had those things figured out in a million years. I was hanging on to my Kindle and absorbing the last 10% like a sponge. So the mystery aspect was a home run but the relationships aspect could use some work.


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