The Fireproof Girl
Sophie Shields #1
Published September 29th, 2016
Kindle, eARC, XpressoBookTours
Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Action
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.
I have to say it was different than what I expected. The blurb is a little bit misleading. I’ll get into more details below.
This novel was a medium – fast paced story; some chapters were faster than others. However, the book itself it’s really interesting. It hooks you in. I kept reading because the story made me so curious, and I wanted to know everything about it.This is a big plus for this book – even if some scenes are a little bit boring, or you put the book down for a day, you keep returning to it because you need to know how everything will wrap up.
The book is written from Sophie and Cole’s perspectives, first-person – basically, we’re in their heads. Sophie’s chapters are set in the present. On the other hand, Cole’s chapters are set in the past, and they tell his and Sophie’s backstory: how they met, how come they’re both in foster homes, their dreams, their wishes, their dark secrets etc. I think there are more Sophie chapters than Cole chapters, thou.
As the blurb says, Sophie and Cole met when they were teenagers and they bonded over the fact that they were both orphans – among other things. Later on, when they became adults they separated; the main plot of this novel is Sophie and Cole getting back into each others’ lives. And here the blurb is a little bit misleading. When I’ve read the blurb, I thought that Cole and Sophie got separated due to outside circumstances, when in fact, Sophie chose to run away – she left Cole and limited contact with him. I also expected to hear more about their backstory – we don’t get to read about their college experience, how they got into college, their struggles, how they managed to succeed despite their rough start. The blurb mentions these details, but the story does not – it glosses over them. Cole’s chapters, therefore the backstory, stops when she is 14 and he is 15 – so still in high school. In the present chapters, both characters are in their late 20s. Personally, I would’ve like to read more about their past – it was so interesting, more interesting than the present chapters I would say.
The story has several twists and turns, which is what makes the book so captivating. You don’t know what will happen next – you’ll formulate your own theories, but you’ll have to see if they’re correct.
The foster system described in this book is quite realistic. I mean, what happened to these characters also happens in real life to real people aka children: abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, ostracism etc. It’s quite sad and infuriating.
The ending was a surprise, and it ended in a cliff-hanger. Not everything is resolved and new issues emerge – I think, I know actually, the next book in the series will cover everything.
The main characters are damaged characters – they are not bubbly and happy. They have a dark and sad past.
Cole – one of the main characters, and my favorite. He is always positive and ambitious. I liked the fact that he recognized he and Sophie have problems that need to be resolved before they are able to be more than just friends. I mean, such dark past does not go away just like that – therapy and effort are needed. For some reason, thou, Cole does not like therapy, not even in his adulthood when he has money. I would’ve expected him to at least try.
Sophie – she is a handful. She is still haunted and shaped by her past. Not sure why she didn’t try to get help because she does not function normally. I’m not suggesting that we should read about Sophie in therapy, no. I was thinking more in the lines of her saying she will try, or Sophie going to therapy in the past. Sophie is smart, intelligent and strong – but at the same time she is also co-dependent on Cole, runs away, has a tendency to use people she does not care about. She has plenty of people in her life that love her, but she does not see them, and yet she complains that nobody loves her. Granted, she acknowledged this later on in the story.
I know what I said might come off as me not liking Sophie at all or that Sophie it’s a terrible character. On the contrary. I think her flaws make her that much interesting, despite the fact that sometimes she can be annoying.
Zack – Sophie’s boyfriend and the guy that gets pushed away. I mean, he seems to be a real cool guy. Unfortunately, Sophie does not care about him much, and all her promises are empty.
The romance is the main plot of this novel – two people reuniting. I am curious to see if the next book will be also focused on the romance, or it will deal with the other problems as well.
Although Sophie keeps referring to Cole as her brother, it is quite obvious that she is in love with him. I might say she is a little bit too dependent on him – if he dies, she cannot live without him. Quite dramatic for an adult, I would say. Co-dependency is not healthy in general. And here is another thing. Sophie pretty much ran away from Cole, but then blamed him.
I think Cole had it right – they’re not emotionally ready for a relationship; they have too many wounds that need to heal. I like the fact that he was mature about this.
The Fireproof Girl by Loretta Lost is an interesting novel. It deals with the darker side of our society, as well as the darker sides of humans.
I’ll conclude by making a short pro and cons list.
* plots and twists – hard to get bored when you’re always wondering what will happen next
* damaged, but captivating characters – you keep reading so you’ll find out their story, and to figure them out.
* dual points of view
* medium to fast pace – easy to read
* romance – especially for those who love romance novels
* a little bit unrealistic
* the backstory is cut short
* some loose ends
Yes, I do recommend this book. I think most people will enjoy it. It has a little bit of everything: crime, romance, humor, silly moments, adventure.
I do not recommend this book to people who do not like to read about dark themes, such as abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, co-dependency.