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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Little Fires Everywhere Book Review


How devastating would a simple flame be? Now, multiply that into multiple flames and you got yourself a fire that delivers catastrophe! Little Fires Everywhere worked on that simple premise but the flames, in this case, was more figurative than literal. The book worked to elucidate the concept of consequences in actions and actions that are unchecked that may lie to the detriment of being.

Little Fires Everywhere Book
Image: Vox

Little Fires Everywhere told the story of the photographer named Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl Warren. Their lives have been defined by the constant search of rental homes – a result of a regretful incident in their personal histories. Their eventual decision to abdicate such life led the Warrens to cross-paths with an affluent family accounted by Elena Richardson, her apathetic husband Bill, and their four children, Lexie, Trip, Moody, and Izzy. Their decision to affiliate themselves, however, resulted to unwarranted tension and the divulging of personal histories and circumscriptions.


The books had been cited among the best fictions of the year 2017 with recognition from both Amazon and Goodreads. It is no surprise that it was written by Celeste Ng whose debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, garnered similar extremely positive critical reception. While both books were impactful by dealing with the struggle of immigrants in the states (a take from the author’s experience), Little Fires Everywhere also featured two contemporary issues – motherhood and socioeconomic privilege. Of which take from the author, merited its critical praises.

In my own discretion, the narrative worked well because the voices from each key player were active and defined despite being written in the third person point-of-view. Elena was a person with good intentions, but her character was deeply flawed by her stubbornness. Mia, on the other hand, was reserved, constantly forced to make tough decisions while dealing with her demons. Aside from the powerful characterization, the story was quite authentic and relatable especially with the struggles of commoners that aspire for their daily needs to be met while their convictions are still intact.


On the subject of censorious issues, teenage pregnancy was mishandled, and the depiction of libel was shallow. Without going much on spoiler territories, the final chapters glossed over each subject with little to no apparent consequences. The saving grace, however, was the portrayal of juvenile love although the book may be better off without it.

Little Fires Everywhere Book
Image: Pinterest
The author weighed on the legality issue of adoption and guardianship. In the book, the conflict arose with Bebe Chow of which the child was placed for adoption due to monetary scarcity and poverty. The contention between powers led to reevaluation and withdrawals. This astonishingly placed the audience at odds through points that were validated through the eyes of the justice system vs moral and philosophical arguments.

The Verdict:

Although there were questionable narrative decisions at times and emptiness in romantic encounters, the book was exceptional in delivering its message of empathy and motherhood rights. The text presented characters that were relatable yet flawed, embellished only by their sordid decision-making akin to real life. The setting was pertinent to showing sociopolitical status. The book was also written well with the precise use of language and emotional cues. However, the main strength of its storytelling lied with its demonstration of grayness in morality and vagueness to which was right and wrong which may leave the readers at complete awe. 

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Written by Joshua Rodriguez, IFY Books

Greetings fellow book and pop-culture enthusiast! I am your average young adult that loves to read science fiction (SF), general fiction and occasionally, young adult novels and children’s literature. At my spare time you may find me watching Star Trek and Doctor Who or updating my library with the latest shows from streaming giants such as Netflix and Hulu. I devote most of my time in learning, critiquing, and researching. If you want to know more, go check out my reviews!

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