BOOK REVIEW: Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson

BOOK REVIEW: Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. GibsonTogether We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson
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What happens when the boy you want most becomes the one person you can’t have?

Lane Jamison’s life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancée: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s longtime secret crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction—an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend.

Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie—not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home—Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metalworking artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.

Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what—and who—she wants, in this gripping and stunningly romantic debut novel.


I’ve sat on this review for almost two weeks now. And that’s not normal for me.  At all.  But I kept thinking that as time passed, maybe my thoughts would change.  You see, while this story was an emotional powerhouse, I couldn’t connect to or like the majority of the characters.  So even though this book didn’t work for me, I have a feeling others are going to resonate and feel this story in their soul.  I wish I was one of those, but sadly I wasn’t.

He’d occupied my heart for years, long before he’d occupied the bedroom next to mine.
Seriously. Kill me.

Lane’s father just married her long term crushes mother.  Making Lane and her crush, Grey, step-siblings.  It could only be a crush though, since Grey was in a long term relationship with Sadie.  When Sadie befriended Lane as her new bff, it made life even more complicated for her.  And on top of that, Sadie’s brother Connor was thrown into the mix.  The story started off with the four of them hanging out, and it set the book off on a dark and dangerous tone that seeped through the rest of this story. 

“It’s your happiness that matters.” He coughed into his sleeve, finally blinked down at the half-tied twine, still wound around his fingers. “It matters to me. It mattered to your mother. She’d have wanted—”
“She got what she wanted.”
It flew out on its own dark wings, beat its way past my teeth. Sunk its talons deep.

I tried my hardest, but I wasn’t ever able to connect to Lane.  She suffered from depression that cut so deep into her.  So Lane’s thoughts could be suffocating and I desperately hoped she would find lightness in her life.  Usually I can feel empathy towards a character, but I failed again and again to find it with her.  It didn’t help that she was blunt, cold and fickle at times.  But she was also extremely talented and had a lot of love to give.  I just couldn’t ever click with her.

“I’d rather have a firecracker than an ice queen. Trust me, Elaine— if Sadie were as cold as you, I’d have slit my wrists ages ago.”

Grey was a conundrum.  At first I thought he was a sweet boy.  He was helpful, seemed to try and make the situation with Lane at home work and he was kind about the friendship Lane had with his girlfriend. I completely understood why Lane liked him.  But as the story progressed, I got whiplash.  Grey would verbally attack Lane.  He could be so mean and cruel to her as his words cut at her heart.  And he wasn’t the only one who did that.  His girlfriend, Sadie, did too.  She’d call Lane her best friend and then in the next moment she’d talk trash to her face.  I didn’t know how to handle that at all.

Her eyes were wildfire; her mouth a wet blur. Her answer sliced through me, words honed to razors on her dark, bitter drawl. “Maybe not. But whatever you think of me, Lane, at least I’m not a whore.”

Thankfully Sadie did find logic and become the bigger person.  But by then it was too late for me, the blood that Lane shed was still too recent. And not enough was done to rectify the problem.  I’m one of those who needs a grand gesture to fix everything in a book, but I never got that from Sadie or Grey towards Lane.

A soft, pitiful noise worked its way up from my lungs. Chills broke across my skin like snowmelt, freezing, then slicing , dripping from scalp to neck to spine to soles. My eyes leaped up in time to catch his slipping over my shoulder, off the curve of my collarbone. They reached into me and burned and burned, and undid something in my chest.

One thing stood out on the pages, and that was the writing felt very unique at times.  It gave me Shatter Me vibes.  And while sometimes it lost me and I wasn’t sure what was happening, other times the writing was beautifully poetic.  When I think of this book, I’ll always remember the writing style.   And Connor.

“Loving you was the only thing that made sense.”
“Oh.” There it was again— that same warm thrill spinning through me, slipping along the current of his words.

Connor Hall was rumored to have been kicked out of his house, because he was gay. And we learned a lot about him as the story progressed.  Connor was my favorite in this story.  That’s because he was sweet, thoughtful and had a wild side to him.  And he tried to help Lane out, the best he could.  Even though he was dealing with his own personal struggles that were huge.  And while I loved when Lane hung out with Connor, they were each still drowning in their pain.  So I kept hoping that they’d help each other out.  And I’m happy with how their friendship proceeded.

He was still everything I’d wanted, before the things I wanted took on a different, darker form.

So at the end of the day, I’m still lost.  This story was emotional and the characters each had huge journeys to take.  The way it unfolded kept my interest piqued but I just couldn’t connect or make myself like the majority of the characters.  And I have to able to have that connection, so I can love a book.   So if you pick up Together We Caught Fire, I hope that you’ll find plenty more than I did to love in the pages!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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  1. Sophie

    Well Jen I had great hopes for that book but now…And I can understand why it would be hard to connect with her. I think I would have struggled too!

    • Jen

      I’m so sorry! It’s not often that I can’t somehow like a book, but this one, ugh it was sooo hard!

  2. Hmm. I think I’ll be taking this off my tbr.

    • Jen

      I’m sorry :(.

  3. Raven@dreamyaddictions

    It sounds like a complex read! I’m sorry you can’t connect with the MC! That’s really a bummer! I hope You’re enjoying your current read!
    Great honest review! 👍
    Raven@dreamyaddictions recently posted…A Violet Fire (Vampires in Avignon #1) By Kelsey Quick [ARC Review]My Profile

    • Jen

      Thank you so much Raven and yes, it was such a complex read.

  4. T.H. Hernandez

    Bummer. I totally would have picked this up for that amazing cover alone. Now I don’t know if I will or not.
    T.H. Hernandez recently posted…Blog Tour – Excerpt – TEMPTING TASTE (Tempt Me Series) by Sara WhitneyMy Profile

    • Jen

      If you end up picking up this book, I can’t wait to see your thoughts. I’d love to read a review where someone actually loved it!

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