Things You Save in a Fire

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This is the second time I've had the pleasure of reading something by this author. I love the way she writes. She writes very flawed characters who have struggles, and communication problems, and complicated pasts. I loved this book just as much as How To Walk Away (there was even a brief mention of the opening of How to Walk Away- which personally made me quite happy). This book has everything: a female fire fighter, a romance, a work scandal... I thought it was a really fun read.
Was this review helpful?
I liked the characters but I hate when in a book males have to treat women like they are below them and this book did that in a big way.  The book had a great concept but I feel like it fell short of what the story could have been.  You have a woman trying to prove herself after her mom left and now mom wants her back.  There are a lot of secrets and a lot of dumb decisions on a lot of people's parts.  The romance part was cute though.
Was this review helpful?
This book was high on my TBR list, as so many of my fellow book people had read and LOVED her previous books (especially Happiness for Beginners). When I immediately finished it, I instinctively gave it 4 stars because I was wholly invested and raced to see what would happen at the end - but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I actually didn't love it the way I thought I did. I love a female character that can take care of herself and takes no shit, but sometimes it was really hard to like Cassie. Probably the one thing I didn't feel invested in throughout the book was her burgeoning relationship with the rookie, and the ending felt way too unrealistic for me. 

All of that being said - I STILL LIKED IT. And I would definitely give Happiness for Beginners a try, as well as How to Walk Away. I liked her writing a lot, and I think a different story could work very well for me!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the gifted book and opportunity to read and review it prior to its publication date! This in no way affected my review, all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I truly enjoyed this book! I liked the characters as they developed in the story. The ending was what I expected, but has a good message.
Was this review helpful?
Katherine Center books are a repeat go-to when I want a rich story with lots of substance! Things You Save In A Fire was an excellent choice for both and truly delivers from page one all the way through. It was completely un-put-downable! I finished yesterday and I am still thinking about this and playing it over in my mind. Excellent and highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
(Thank you St. Martin's Press & Negalley for my review copy.)  I’ve been holding onto my copy of this book for many months.  Follow up novels can be tricky and after loving How to Walk Away I was a bit anxious going into this one.  I wish I had picked this book up sooner!  Things You Save in a Fire was smart, witty, and charming.  I appreciate the way Center crafts her stories both light and weighty. She can have you laughing and crying all at once - all reasons she is now an auto read author for me.

The crux of this story centers around learning to forgive in order to love and self growth.  Cassie was an amazingly strong woman - a top notch firefighter who outperformed many of her male counterparts - shielded by a barrier she put up after two major events she endured on her 16th birthday. Letting love in was never an option and she curated her life around avoiding it.

The newfound relationship Cassie builds with her mother was so heartwarming and wonderful. And the unexpected feelings she developed for the “Rookie”, though she desperately tried to avoid them, are a testament to forgiving in order to love.

I loved Cassie, I loved the “Rookie”, and I loved them together!  This book put a smile on my face.😄
Was this review helpful?
Katherine Center never disappoints.. This is one very good book. The story will pull you in and won’t let go. From start to finish it’s wonderful. Strong women are always great to read about and this does not let you down. 

I’ve read other books by this author and know that I am hooked on her as an author.
This book has great characters. A great plot. A strong young lady and all the feels that a good story gives. You truly won’t want to put it down.
Well written and keeps you turning the pages until the very end. I absolutely loved it. 

Thank you to #NetGalley, #KatherineCenter, #StMartin’sPress for this wonderful book. All thoughts are my own and in no way reflect this being an ARC!!

A big 5 star book and high recommendation.
Was this review helpful?
This book tells the story of a strong woman with a painful past to overcome.  I was drawn into the story from the beginning. I loved seeing how Cassie was able to deal with her past while making a new and better future for herself.  This is a good book to read if you want something that is easy to get lost in, and looking for a happy ending. Just the type of book I needed to read at the time. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher of this book for a copy for my honest opinion.  5 out of 5 stars!!
Was this review helpful?
Things You Save in a Fire is a book I was wildly excited for, but somehow got missed in my reviews. It’s now been about a month and a half since I read it, but I still really want to review it, so I’m going to do my best, but must admit that some of the details are a little fuzzy.

Things You Save in a Fire is about firefighter Cassie Hanwell. Cassie graduated top of her class and has spent the last few years building up a good reputation for herself at a progressive firehouse in Texas. She’s well respected by the rest of the male firefighters and has the pleasure of working for another female fire chief. But then at the peak of her career, her estranged mother asks her to move to Boston for a year to help her recover her health after a recent surgery. Cassie is reluctant to return, but due to other circumstances, it ends up not being a bad time for her to try something new.

The thing is, her firehouse in Texas was pretty progressive and well funded, but her new firehouse in Boston is not. The firehouse has fallen into disrepair is not well equipped in terms of what Cassie would consider important safety equipment. But the biggest difference is that Cassie is the first female to ever be hired at the firehouse and the male firefighters are not pleased about it. They’re used to things running a certain way and having the freedoms to act and speak as they choose, and despite Cassie’s protests that they can do and say all the same things around her, they choose to believe that they can’t.

As a female, Cassie has obviously had to work twice as hard to gain the respect of her peers, but she’s never worked in an old-school-boys-club firehouse like this one and she is really challenged. Cassie is used to training hard and knows how to fit in, when to speak up, and when to stay quiet, but she really struggles to be taken seriously and the other firefighters continue to be threatened by her female presence in their traditionally male place of work.

On paper, this story has everything I usually look for in a book. Although it is a romance, which is not something I’m usually drawn to, it is a book about powerful women subverting the status quo. There were parts of this book that I really liked – it draws attention to the challenges women face in male fields – how they have to work so much harder to be taken seriously and that everything that is expected of them is contradictory. You have to be as good as your male counterparts, but you can’t be better than them lest they feel emasculated by you. You can’t be girly, but you’ll never be one of the boys. And you can’t expect to be treated differently, even though everyone adamantly treats you differently. On top of the challenges at work, Cassie struggles with an incident that happened to her in her past. An incident that has made her keep her distance from dating for many years and is triggering when she finally develops a crush on one of the other firefighters.

Like I said, there’s a lot to like. Cassie is powerful, but also immensely vulnerable. She has built up a wall around her in order to keep herself safe, but you want nothing more than for her to finally tear that wall down so that she can really experience and interact with the world. So overall I quite liked the story. The romance was a little embarrassing at times, but overall I bought into it. While I generally liked the book though, there were definitely some parts where I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and wished the author had maybe taken a slightly different approach.

This is namely when Cassie repeatedly shows up the guys in her firehouse. I understand that Cassie has to work really hard to be taken seriously, but I was frustrated by how much she relied on physical strength to show up her colleagues or try and gain their respect. It just felt like she was good at everything and I didn’t buy that she would continuously beat everyone in every challenge. It had nothing to do with her being a woman, just that no one is that good at everything. I think its still okay to let female characters be vulnerable and not the best at things. It’s unrealistic to think that to be a successful female firefighter, you have to epically better than your male peers at everything. That is never going to happen and it’s discouraging to portray this as the only way to be successful in this field.

Cassie was just good at everything, even non physical feats, like applying for funding. Now don’t get me wrong because I thought this was actually a brilliant example of where a woman would bring valuable skills to a firehouse and a great example of how you don’t need to best everyone physically to be an asset. Though Cassie was vulnerable emotionally, I just would have liked to see a little more vulnerability at work.

Overall, I did like the book, but I didn’t love it and this was what made it a run of the mill 3 star read for me instead of a 4. A good read, but not a great one.
Was this review helpful?
After reading #howtowalkaway, I knew I had to read anything else written by @katherinecenter. Things You Save in a Fire did not disappoint. I started this book yesterday and stayed up to finish it at 4am. 😳😴 Highly recommend this book about starting over, love and loss.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't know it at the time, but this book was just what I needed! I flew through the story, loving every minute of it. The heroine is emotionally closed off, but I enjoyed her growth over the course of the book. The theme of forgiveness and how choosing to love is courageous was very moving, and it's a big reason this one earned a So Loved It. The writing occasionally felt clunky (like the heroine thinking something that was already spoken aloud), and there may have been a few too many "topics" packed in here – but I didn't really feel that while I was reading. The ending brought it all together for me, despite its predictability, and left me with the happiest grin on my face. (But Happiness for Beginners is still my favorite!)
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book! This is my second time reading Katherine Center and I just love how she makes you root for her characters! Can't wait for her next book!
Was this review helpful?
St. Martin's Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Things You Save in a Fire. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

It takes a lot of guts to be a firefighter, especially as a female. Cassie Hanwell loves her job: the training, the ribbing she gets from the guys, and the adrenaline rush from helping others. Although she is all but estranged from her mother, circumstances force Cassie to temporarily move to Massachusetts to help her after a health crisis. As Cassie tries to adapt to life in a new firehouse, living with her mother for the first time since she was a teenager, will she come to certain realizations about her life?

The perfect beach read, Things You Save in a Fire has a good female main character and a well developed plot. My only criticism is regarding Cassie, as she is almost too good to be true. I love a tough female main character, but Cassie excels so much that she is not believable. Cassie's only flaw is her unwillingness to open her heart and mind to possibilities outside of her comfort zone, but that does not fit with her chosen profession. As her abilities in firefighting are such that Cassie can assess situations at a glance, it seems that she would not be so opposed to trying new things. That being said, Things You Save in a Fire made a two hour flight feel like it was ten minutes, so I would highly recommend this novel to other readers.
Was this review helpful?
When I read How to Walk Away I was mesmerized by the author’s writing. Therefore, I just HAD to read Things to Save in a Fire.
For starters, it was great to read about a firefighter woman. Cassie was a unique character and I connected with her right away. She was a complex character, but as we get to know her, we understand her more and we can see how important her job and her lifestyle are for her. We can see that some of her wounds have not healed and we get to accompany through the process. 
I liked how there was a perfect balance of romance, family and professional duty. I loved knowing more about the life of a firefighter and I loved Owen. He was so sweet and dreamy.
It was a story about forgiveness, about letting go and moving on. It definitely was something to think about, everything that happened with her family and all of that.
I enjoyed the rhythm and pace and the plot-twist and ending were completely adequate for the story. The ending was not what I expected but I liked it, it felt more real. 
Overall, this is a great story that will keep you reading page after page. I stayed up until late at night to finish it because I just NEEDED to know what was happening next. Moreover, when a book does that it is definitely a good sign, so I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This novel was not what I expected.  I was expecting a book about firefighters and how the job was done and about the camaraderie among firefighters.  It was all of that and quite interesting.  What I didn't expect was it was a love story.  And a good one at that.  I found myself laughing and really emphasizing with the lovers.  A good book even if I wasn't expecting the romance.
Was this review helpful?
I was at a book signing this weekend and someone I was talking with recommended Katherine Center. Her eyes lit up when talking about her and she gushed about this story and one other one. I remembered that, thanks to NetGalley and the book’s publisher, I had an advance copy of this book on my Kindle. Of course the book’s been out for three months but better late than never, right?

Things You Save in a Fire tells the story of Cassie Hanwell, a firefighter in Austin, Texas who has worked hard to get to the top of her field. The book opens on a night that should be one of Cassie’s best. Instead, it’s a catalyst for a huge life change that Cassie wasn’t expecting or wanting. Cassie ends up in Massachusetts living with a mother she has zero relationship with and very little desire to change that situation.

Cassie is the only female at her firehouse and despite years of experience, gets treated as a rookie. Hazing of course ensues and while most of it is harmless, the pranks take a darker turn, giving the book a slight mystery tinge but not overwhelmingly so. As the story progresses, Cassie starts to let down her walls and open up to the people around her. I liked Cassie. I understand her walls and her pride and how hard she fought to be accepted and respected for her work.

I had a hard time with her love interest at first but over time, I had an easier time picturing it. I liked how Cassie stayed true to who she was but also showed how much she had changed since starting this new journey she most certainly did not want.

It was a good book and I will definitely check out more by this author but I can’t say I gushed like the woman I met this weekend. (For me to gush, the book has to be a solid 4.5 to 5 stars). I would rate Things You Save in a Fire a solid 3.5, maybe 4 stars. I liked Cassie a lot and loved seeing her resolve her issues with her estranged mother. I did not care for the resolution of Cassie’s work issue (either of them) and I think the scenes with Amy were unnecessary.

If you like “chick lit”, strong women and happily ever afters and can put up with what I think are a couple of annoying things, this book is for you.

As always, I try not to give spoilers as to allow people to determine for themselves what they want to know so if some of my comments sound vague, that’s why.

Thanks for reading!
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely LOVED this book. I recommend this book all the time. I truly fell in love with the characters and thought the plot was a refreshing story line.
Was this review helpful?
This. Book. Have you read it yet? Get your hands on this book!! I’m a little late to the Katherine Center train, this is the first book that I’ve read by her, but I now need to read them all. Talk about a book that makes you feel. She took a character who had experienced and overcome experiences that I couldn’t relate to, but made it so easy for me, as a reader, to understand and feel everything that Cassie felt. Wow. This book is way more than a love story, although I definitely LOVED that component and the Rookie, and honestly wish we could’ve got more of their relationship in the beginning. This book is about courage, inner strength and bravery, and this is not because she is a firefighter. This book was so raw and real, although I do not have similar experiences to Cassie, I connected to this book in so many ways. It’s about resilience, it’s about no matter how many people have wronged you, you have to know that there are good people in the world. It’s about forgiveness and is jam packed with wisdom and life lessons. I felt like I got the benefits of a self-help book, mixed with an incredible, fun and adorable story through reading this. I honestly highlighted so many quotes, I don’t know how to choose. Honestly, a lot of these quotes I highlighted were simply for myself, because they were powerful and important reminders. “Choosing to love - despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. Knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love anyway...that’s not weakness. That’s courage.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ All the stars. Go get this book! Also, firefighters, enough said right?! 😍 *thank you so much to St. Martins Press for an eARC in exchange for my honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Oh my goodness - this is one of the best books I have read in a while! I haven't read How to Walk Away Yet, though I own it, and it is moving to the top of my pile after reading this. I love the way Katherine Center writes. Her style is so simple, yet detailed, and the story line of this book grips you from the beginning. Her characters display such wide range of emotions - from confusion, to anger, to forgiveness and contentment/happiness, just to name a few. I became emotionally invested in Cassie's story and finished the book in just over a day. Definitely a must read! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book much more than I anticipated! As someone who hasn't even begun to dip their toes into the romance genre, I didn't have high hopes, but I was so pleasantly surprised! The love story is well-paced and believable. I also loved that the main character worked in a fire department and faced some real conflicts. The characters were wholly likable and, although I was 99% sure the two would get together in the end, I felt compelled to move through the book faster and faster so I could reach the end and find out. I love stories that have a character that completes an arc of demonstrable growth and that is definitely present here. Overall, it had all the qualities I love in a book and they came together in great harmony.
Was this review helpful?