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Loved it! 😍

A rivalry between a studious girl from a wealthy family and a boy who struggles both in class and life comes to a halt when tragedy strikes.

Wildfire is a book focusing on the relationship between Catherine Sanchez, a scholarly girl, and Rubio Salinas, a boy who struggles in school. While this is a romance, when I say 'relationship', I do not mean the novel only focuses on their romance. The book follows them all throughout grade school, from their beginning attempts at friendship to what quickly turns into a rivalry.

Usually, I would feel annoyed at a book for prolonging the time the characters spent not liking each other, especially when you know they're going to get together by the end. However, this book does an excellent job introducing different factors that fuel their rivalry, justifying why it spans for so long. It starts when they're young kids, with miscommunication and envy sparking their immediate distaste for each other. Regardless, you understand they could be friends once they get past that negativity and confusion at the same time as they're realizing it and warming up to each other. When a school project gone wrong ruins that progress, they begin a feud that spans five years. Throughout the years, Rubio's friends harass Catherine, though beyond speaking out against it a few times, he does little to stop them. Rubio uses Catherine's privileged life as his justification for the way he treats her, claiming he wants to see it get destroyed. This comes true when an accident turns Catherine from a cheery model student to a traumatized shell of her former self. This incident causes Rubio to relate to her more and brings them closer together.

There's a disclaimer at the beginning of the book warning of its contents, as it includes topics of suicide, sexual assault, verbal abuse, and death, as well as some depictions of violence. I enjoyed this book for its realistic depiction of bullying. It frustrated me the way it was supposed to, while helping me sympathize with the mistreated characters. Something that can be difficult with YA is having characters act like actual kids, which this book does very well. Every reaction, piece of dialogue, and decision feels like something a young person adjusting to harsh changes in their life would do or say. This was a good read that I would recommend to anyone who likes young relationships of all kinds, not just romantic, portrayed with realism and sensitive topics handled with care.

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I read efficiently and can provide my honest thoughts on the story and emotional impact the books had on me. My forte is stories about diverse characters with complex relationships. I am passionate about writing and have a grasp on strong narrative and character development.

Dirty Coins

About the author

Born and raised in sunny Florida, Adriana is a Mexican American college student, studying to help our world become more environmentally friendly. She began writing at the age of fourteen. view profile

Published on November 01, 2021

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

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