WOW! When I turned the last page of Kim DeRose’s For Girls Who Walk Through Fire, all I could think was: sweet mother of thrillers, well that was different! If you’re searching for a mesmerizing concoction of ‘The Craft’, ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘Yellowjackets’, search no more because this novel is all that and SO much more.
Set against the sun-kissed backdrop of Santa Barbara, the author has painted a vivid canvas dripping with themes of trauma, sexual assault, friendships, and witchcraft. This is not just any story; it’s a heady mix of suspense, emotion, and dark magic that holds you captive and refuses to let go. The ambiance overall was filled with both promises and threats and it times, I got the heebie jeebies.
What truly set this novel apart for me was the intricate use of multiple POV’s. The beauty of this tool is in allowing readers to delve deep into the minds of various characters, understanding their internal struggles and motivations. And boy, does the author use it effectively! Every chapter adds a new layer to the story, making it a rich tapestry of intertwined tales.
The theme of blurred lines is incredibly prominent throughout the narrative. The distinction between friend and foe, right and wrong, and even reality and magic, are constantly in flux. It’s a beautiful chaos that the author orchestrates with the precision of a maestro.
As someone who is deeply entrenched in the crime genre, both as a reader and a writer, I adore when authors can blend chilling suspense with raw human emotion. The exploration of trauma and sexual assault in the book isn’t just a backdrop – it’s a powerful driver of the narrative. It’s visceral, raw, and real. The way friendships are tested, formed, and broken in the wake of these events is both heartbreaking and authentic.
Now, as much as I enjoyed this book, I must admit, there were moments where I felt like a fish out of water. Some references slipped past me, making me wonder if perhaps I’m not the target audience, age-wise. It’s not exactly pure YA, but definitely balances on that beam, as those slightly younger (ahem!) than me, might find a deeper connection. They would likely catch and appreciate nuances that went over my head.
However, this in no way detracted from my overall enjoyment. For Girls Who Walk Through Fire is, at its core, a bewitching tale of resilience, revenge, and the power that lies within every woman. It’s about standing tall, even when the world tries to burn you down.
Would I recommend this book? It’s a double double toil and trouble hell yesfrom me! (See what I did there?! Also shows my age 😂) Kim DeRose’s debut offering is a fierce reminder of why stepping out of one’s comfort zone can be so rewarding. Whether you’re a die-hard #crimebookjunkie or someone seeking a story with depth, emotion, and a touch of the supernatural, For Girls Who Walk Through Fire is an absolute must-read.