REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng #BLOGTOUR

Sunday, 12 November 2017

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned -- from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. 
Enter Mia Warren -- an enigmatic artist and single mother -- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. 
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

I think I need a minute. I mean, I finished this book a week ago so I think I may be in need of, like, a month or something, purely to get over just how much I loved this book. Like, oh my god.
In Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng ticked every single box that I had - it even ticked some I didn’t realise existed - and for that I feel as though it may officially be my favourite book of 2017. I just think I may have started on the road towards an obsession that I won’t be able to control. I just want more - a TED Talk by Celeste Ng that will allow me even the smallest glimpse into her mind, a sequel, a prequel, a four-hour-long movie, a museum exhibition, a vacation to Shaker Heights and a re-read… Which probably the only one that is going to happen and for me, it is imminent.
Honestly, because this book is so amazing, I don’t feel as though anything I say about Little Fires Everywhere will do it justice… I mean, I’ve been really thinking about this review and I just have so many thoughts that putting them down on paper (or on screen) is an incredibly difficult task.
Which is probably why I’m rambling, but anyway - 
Little Fires Everywhere’s strengths lie in so many different places: its character-building, its prose, its story. I mean, it literally gets 5-stars from me across the board. And, all of those aspects manage to come together to create a narrative that feels incredibly, universally familiar. Most of us know people like this or are even like this ourselves (I’d like to think of myself as like Izzy but she’s definitely so much more than I will probably ever be); we have gone through similar experiences; or been subjected to the same societal expectations. 
Essentially, Little Fires Everywhere is a character-study into the effects of everyday relationships but honestly, it is so much more than that. It creates a world so intrinsically linked in the web-like structure that dominates most small towns, so each action that a character undertakes has a rippling effect on the rest of the community; just like they do in real life. A main part of why this works so effectively in this book is down to character building. 
I mean, come on, the character depth alone was enough to make this novel a standout of my entire reading life.
From chapter to chapter, my opinion drastically changed on members of the vast cast as they revealed different facets of their personality and although sometimes, I definitely didn’t agree with the way a particular one was acting, their reasons for behaving so were always incredibly clear. They are just so vividly human and because Celeste Ng thought to include even the little details about their lives and their personalities, I feel as if I know them or that I could head to Shaker Heights and bump into one of them in the street. 
Little Fires Everywhere examines huge topics like race, class and gender (in particular, the role of motherhood) and the different expectations and experiences associated with each social group. It really is a marvel at examining what happens what people with different ambitions, ideologies and motives interact with one another - and the parts that each of these divisions between social demographics have to play in small-town life. 
Honestly, this book has had such a huge impact on me and I found myself, at so many points in Little Fires Everywhere, torn between who I felt the most empathy or pain for, and who I believed was in the right. I just know that will be one that will stay with me for a long time, and one which I will attempt to push into the hands of the everybody whom I speak to (and I mean, everybody). It is just a book that everyone should read and, whilst they’re all doing that, I am going to pick up Everything I Never Told You in an attempt of sating my new-found Celeste Ng obsession.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. And for allowing me to partake in this blog tour (I love you)

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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