Expected Publication: July 26, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
I had been so excited to read Wildefire, that I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it pop up on Galley Grab. I was so excited. And then I found out someone I have always agreed with on books (Dee) couldn’t connect with it, and I was nervous.
I am extremely pleased to say that for the first time since I’ve known her, we disagree on a book. And I’m actually glad because I really wanted to like Wildefire.
I love Karsten's writing. The plot took a while to capture my undivided attention, but the voice and the writing stood out to me from the start.
The characters were fantastic. Each of them were unique and well structured. I loved Ash’s wit, and even liked Eve. When I wasn’t wishing someone would off her already, that is. To me, the characters are what sets this novel apart from other YA novels that involve mythological gods and goddesses. I’ve been sick of the YA supernatural creatures that just acted like hormonal teenagers for a long time now. And though they definitely had their moments that were driven purely by hormones, I had a complete sense of their true nature, which is one of the reasons I loved Eve.
I loved that we’re introduced to gods and goddesses from different cultures. Not just Greek, not just Norse, but Polynesian and Zulu and so on. It definitely wasn’t your run of the mill take on mythology. This also added diversity that we don't typically see in YA.
I have two issues with the novel. The first being Jackie, because I found her to be a pointless character. In the beginning I struggled with telling her and Lily apart, and I think the story would have been fine without her.
My other issue is the ending. It makes me want to scream. Obviously I can’t say anything because it would be a spoiler, but *sadface* and WHY KARSTEN?! WHYYYY?