Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Firelight was a delightful discovery I made while I was at the library browsing the YA section. The cover caught my attention and I thought I’d give it a go.
Instead of angels or shadowhunters, I ventured into a world of dragons and their descendants known as Draki. Dragons had long ago evolved into human form in order to survive as a species. The Draki still have the ability to take on dragon form especially in “fright or flight” moments. Any strong emotion can trigger it - provocation, stress, fear and in our heroine’s situation love.
Jacinda is a Draki. She loves her world and embraces her dragon-self but not so much the stifling restrictions of the “pride” she lives with. There’s a fantastic showdown between the Draki and the dragon hunters featuring a cave scene with a very tender, life-changing moment. There’s talk of having her mate with Cassian, the alpha Draki of her tribe. In a desperate effort to escape the controlling hand of the pride, her mom packs up the family, including Jacinda’s twin sister, Tamra. They move to a nice quite town hoping to start a new life. Blending in is a whole lot easier for Tamra than it is for Jacinda for a number of reasons.
Jacinda struggles throughout the book. Torn between familial duty to her mom and sister, especially now that Tamra is so happy and her own desperation to stay true to that other part of herself, endeared Jacinda to me.
And then of course there’s Will, the hot guy at school (because is there any other kind in YA books?). They have an instant connection that feeds both their needs (and it’s not dirty so get your mind out of the gutter.)
I was completely enamored with Jacinda. I found her confusion and struggles so typical of many teenagers. But where Jacinda is honest with herself, Will practically runs for the hills from his own demons and ssshhhhh….secrets! I thought the author did a fine job of addressing their emotional turmoil. I also enjoyed that in this scenario, the female is the stronger, more decisive character who is working on herself and in the process helping the guy find his own voice.
I will say that after finishing the book I wish I could’ve seen things from Tamra’s perspective. It would’ve been fascinating to see how where the one sister who used to struggle, is now thriving and fitting in while the other sister feels incomplete. Obviously, that’s completely at the writer’s discretion but if she ever writes it from Tamra’s point of view, I’d love to check it out.
I definitely didn’t like the typical entitled, high-maintenance beeotch in the book but I suppose that’s inevitable in any high school. Thankfully, Jacinda and Will more than made up for that unpleasant prat.
I highly recommend reading this book, particularly impressionable teenage girls. I think that under the surface, is a beautiful message, much like Jacinda herself. She's a quiet, self-assured heroine and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, Vanish.