How to Set a Fire and Why (the hell did I read this book)


2 Pretzels

Review, in brief: 

Okay, maybe I only have room in my heart for one angsty, self-destructive teenager and Holden Caulfield is, and always will be, it. I’m a fan of mad teenager protagonist, but Lucia falls really short for me. The plot was…dull. I waited and waited for something to happen and, when it finally did, I didn’t notice. Or care.

Synopsis, in brief: 

Lucia is fourteen. Her father is dead. Her mother in institutionalized. She lives with an elderly aunt in a garage apartment. She’s smart, pissed, and obsessed with her dad’s Zippo. She’s kicked out of school for stabbing a dude in the neck with a pencil, which is maybe the most interesting thing that happens in this book. Lucia is transferred to a new school where she is an outcast until she joins the super secret arson club…except they don’t really set fires. And there’s a lot of pamphlet talk involved.

What I wasn’t crazy about: 

Okay, here’s the thing that bothered me most about this book is Lucia’s predictions. She spends a lot of time making predictions about what’s going to happen. Except it’s just her daily routine. So, like, her predictions are stuff like, “I’m going to ride the bus to the home to visit my mom.” And then the author talks us through her doing that. Look, I’m not an expert on making predictions, but I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. If we’re bringing predictions to the the party, they need to seem outlandish and insane, but still come to fruition. Like Professor Trelawney. I want drama with my predictions. Lucia’s are rather pedestrian in comparison.

The word pamphlet REALLY bothers me. For reasons unknown, the word itself makes my skin crawl. I don’t like it. I won’t and I shan’t. Lucia, who is barely tolerable at the best of times, becomes absolutely unbearable when talking about her pamphlet. Which she does a lot.

The book is very stream of consciousness, which I’m not a huge fan of. It’s particularly tedious when you don’t like the narrator. And I didn’t like Lucia much at all. I wanted to. I felt bad for her in the beginning. Her situation is tough and I tried to muster up some feelings for her, but I have none.

What I did like: 

Look, even if I don’t like a book, I always try to find something nice to say. I enjoy the cover. It’s aesthetically pleasing.


I’ve been on one hell of a roll, one five star book after another. It was bound to come to an end and, despite not liking this one much at all, it was still better than Milkman. But, hey, check it out for yourself. A lot of people on Goodreads seem to dig it.

Alright, I’m going to go read something that isn’t hot garbage.

Okay, byeeeeeeeee.

Smoky Lynx

Published by lynxandlerouxreview

Lynx is an amateur knitter, a cinnamon enthusiasts, and is a obsessed with reality television. LeRoux is a former merkin weaver and accountant. They very recently became a published authors. We love books, movies, and all things pop culture. We also love telling you what we think about shit. So, there you go, just your basic pop culture review blog.

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