Monday, January 9, 2017

REVIEW of "The Fireproof Girl (Sophie Shields Mystery, #1)" by Loretta Lost

****(4) out of 5 stars!

The Fireproof Girl (Sophie Shields, #1) 
by Loretta Lost 
Publication date: September 29th, 2016
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

Abandoned at birth, Sophie Shields grew up in abusive foster homes, escaping into books and computers for solace. When the constant danger became too much to bear, she ran away, thinking she could survive on her hacking skills alone.

That was until she met Cole Hunter. He became the only person she could trust: her family, her friend, her partner-in-crime. Her everything. After struggling through college and starting their lives together, she believed that nothing could ever tear them apart.

Until it did.

And she’ll do everything in her power to fix what is broken. If it isn’t too late…
———
When Cole was nine years old, he watched his whole family burn to death in a house fire. Fueled by years of obsession, he started one of the world’s leading architectural firms, with a mission to design homes resistant to fire, earthquakes, floods, and every threat known to man.

Sophie was his secret weapon. She was his purpose. Since they were teenagers, he was determined to build a better life for her, so she could finally be safe, and they could be together.

But disaster has always followed Cole around, ripping away everything he loves. This time, if he isn’t careful…

His enemies might just take him down.


This is definitely my favorite book of 2017!  Okay, so we’re only a week into the new year, and this is pretty much the first book that I’ve read.  But still!

There were many things about this book that I actually did not like.  It jumps back and forth between characters and time periods.  At least it does so on varying chapters, and each one tells you at the beginning which character and the point in time you are now visiting.  That little trick does help clarify things quite a bit.  But I just tend to find this narrative device confusing in general.

     ...in [Scarlett's] hands, [the laptop] becomes a magical machine that can cast spells and grant wishes...  Taking away her technology is the equivalent of breaking a wizard's want.  The power doesn't come from the want - it comes from the wizard.  But the wand is the key to releasing that pent up energy, and without it, a really powerful wizard might go insane.  Having a gift and having unlimited potential to use that gift, is a great burden to bear.  Being banned from using that gift must fell like only being half-alive. 

Another thing is how the story begins.  It is pretty much sad and depressing from the get-go.  And it only gets worse as things move along.  Even going back to prior periods in the lives of the main characters doesn’t improve things at all; instead, they are just get more and more hellish. 

Having myself been a shelter parent for a while many years ago, I know that much of the instances of abuse described are all too real-to-life, both by biological and/or foster parents.  But it doesn’t make reading about those situations, even fabricated ones, any easier.  It is no wonder that the two main characters, Sophie and Cole, both had so many issues and problems to overcome. 

     "...I am a superstitious man.  I shouldn't be, as a detective, I should be more practical and fact-oriented than that.  But I've seen things, you know?  A lot of death, a lot of murder.  I've seen the kind of things that would make even the toughest athiest burn incense and sacrifice a goal to survive the night.  I've seen situations so bad that all you can do is pray that you'll get out alive, so you might as well pray, and pray hard.  I've even seen some of those prayers get answered."  [Rodriguez] pauses.  "But what I haven't seen is a woman put a gun to her head, and get stopped by an earthquake."

At least they do finally, at least to some degree, each individually seem to find a measure of happiness and fulfillment.  But then disaster strikes again.  In fact, as the novel opens, we learn of Cole’s murder.  It is only in regards to this incident that the rest of the story comes to light.  Even at the end of this narrative, there are many things, about both the past and the present, that are left unexplained. 

Many of the hours of my drive were spent processing the words of his letter.  They shouldn't have been so surprising, but they were.  I knew it all along, how much he cared, but at the same time, I really didn't.  Everything is going to be different now, when I see him again.  It's going to be a little awkward, perhaps, and we're going to have a lot to talk about.  And I'm going to have to punch him in his stupid face.

It’s a very good thing that there is a sequel (“The Bulletproof Boy”) because I really want to find out what becomes of these characters!  I am hopefully that they might have some sort of happily-ever-after, but it sure looks like things are stacked against them.  This is definitely a very compelling read that makes me want more!

     "Not today, sweetheart," [Cole] says, placing me down on a tiny bed in his spaceship.  "You need to rest before anything, because you are rambling like a lunatic."
     "You're just upset because when I'm drunk, I'm smarter than you," I tell him stubbornly.

I received a free eBook copy of this title from Xpresso Book Tours, 
and have willingly provided an honest review.

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