Cover Image: Fireworks Every Night

Fireworks Every Night

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Member Reviews

A girl trying to keep her life together as her family (her sister, mother and father) fall apart. As much as she tries to help them, things don't get better and she is in danger of going down with them. Painful to read but a hard book to put down. Well done.

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I loved this novel because it reminds me of someone i know very well. This novel could be a form of her story. CC is a fighter and she chooses to overcome.
Many thanks to Random House and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I would rate this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

This story is told through the eyes of a girl and a woman with the nickname of CC. It alternates starting with her being in her early teens and many years later when she is married. Right away I will tell you her family who is made up of her Father, Mother and Sister is an absolute train wreck, but it does not start out that way. The family finds itself moving to Florida after the used car dealership and their home catches fire (It may not have been accident). With a pocket full of money, they find a place and build a house. Dad goes to work selling cars, CC sisters is described as Brooke Shields look alike and CC finds that she is really good at basketball. The family seemed to start with her sister who had a hard fitting in and making school friends. And it slowly progresses to the constant battles between her father and mother. When the story changes to when CC is married it she starts out ok but has a hard time with her husband and his family as they are very wealthy and have a different prospective on life. When it seems that the family's action cannot get anymore crazy they seem to find away to take it there all the while CC seems to be the most levelheaded one of the bunch and the one holding the family together and doing this when she is not even 18.

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C.C. is a high school basketball star with an alcoholic car salesman for a dad, a narcissistic mom, and a metalhead addict for a sister. They move from poverty in Ohio to success in Florida and back again. They're all manipulative except C.C., who exists to be manipulated and taken advantage of. Circumstances for the family get worse and worse, with only C.C. holding her head above water. Barely.

Maybe this book feels too real to me. Nobody tries to better themselves, not even C.C., and nothing good ever happens. It's like driving around with my father while he points out the banks where he used to "play basketball" before they stopped giving him money. There are a few beautiful parts where I felt like Raymer was really trying to tell us something, but it's all piled under this second-hand embarrassment and frustration with how actually dumb C.C. is. I'm buying this for my library, but I'm struggling to decide who to recommend it to. Maybe someone who really enjoys 90's nostalgia.

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Fireworks Every Night was written very well and I found myself intrigued with CC’s story. The alternating timelines were a little jarring at times because sometimes it took me awhile to figure out what was past and present. Overall, I think this was a really good book about growing up in a very dysfunctional family. I look forward to reading more from this author!

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The story of C.C.’s life growing up in poverty with a dysfunctional family. It was an emotional story that ended quite abruptly. The story is heavy so don’t read if you are looking for a little read.

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This book tells a unique coming-of-age story that is heartbreaking but also really funny at times. C.C. has to navigate her way as a child, adolescent and young adult toward becoming self reliant while feeling a complicated love and responsibility for her deeply flawed family members. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC! Overall, this is an interesting story about the narrator, C.C’s life growing up with her dysfunctional family. Throughout the story it does change timeframes- be sure to pay attention to the pictures on each chapter (orange for childhood, harp for present day). The flashbacks to childhood definitely kept my interest and I think the author did a nice job of tying the past into the present.

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Love a character study novel & love a coming-of-age-in-poverty narrative -- FIREWORKS EVERY NIGHT has a lot going for it. CC, a girl named after her father's favorite whiskey (Canadian Club), is a heroine you can't help but root for, as she finagles her way though a childhood of confusion, poverty, and neglect. The pacing of the novel stumbles a bit, and I struggled to track the necessity of the dual timelines, particularly as they contract and converge at various points. This one reminded me a lot of SAM by Allegra Goodman, though the father is a whole lot more fuckup, less lovable.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC!

I really wish that I had liked this book. It has a beautiful cover, and I love some stories filled with messy families and literary fiction timelines and writing. However, this fell short for me in a lot of ways, and I feel really bad saying it, but I'm going to be honest.

I don't really remember what happens in this book. The timeline is here there and everywhere and it became difficult to disentangle the different parts. Everything is told to you, not shown, and in the end I was just bored and didn't really care any more to try to differentiate between the characters and their lives. I couldn't tell you my opinions of our main character, her family, or her lovers because they all blended together and I just stopped caring in the end.

I wish I had enjoyed this. There were some good parts. I do love messy family dynamics, and for moments I was interested in peoples stories, but then we are whisked away to another part of the story without a lot of closure ever offered.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Selling Pitch:
Do you want a character study of a girl in Florida being neglected and emotionally abused by her parents?

I got sent this ARC by the publisher since I liked Sam so much, so I have ridiculously high hopes for this book.

Thick of it:


A New England girlie (Except not really. She’s a Florida girlie.)

So which is it? Is she miserable and needy or is she a fighter?

Oh, something bad happened to that girl.

Poor Lorraine.



Oh Bestie, we do not let men push us.

If she fucks her boyfriend I swear-



I knew it, but like fuck.

How do you climb out of that? Like you’re just stuck in the abuse and poverty.

While I’m enjoying the book and I sense some realism to it, the characters don’t exactly feel like real people. They’re too non-reactive.

The thing about the drones is made up. There are so many actual horrifying facts about conservation. I feel like you could’ve done a smidge of research and thrown in a real one that would’ve had equal weight and snark.

Do you know what makes these characters feel so inauthentic? They don’t want anything for themselves. They have no motivation, no drive to do anything. They’re just existing. And while that works thematically for the story, it kind of disengages you as a reader because you’re like oh, this is exaggerated to make me feel something, but I don’t actually connect with them.

Book mentions Bundy cliché.

See, like that doesn’t make any sense. You’re neglected your whole childhood, but you didn’t learn how to cook, so now you’re making pizza rolls on a heating pad for menstrual cramps. But she has a microwave. She worked as a waitress. She’s smart enough to write copy for a zoo. Like it just doesn’t make sense. It’s done for dramatic effect but it’s like that didn’t or wouldn’t actually happen. It comes across a bit as gratuitous or trauma porn.

I want to like this more than I do.

Listen, I love a character study. A book about nothing but people feeling feelings, always down. The problem is that in this book, the feelings get cut off before we get to any real depth. The characters don’t feel like real people. I don’t know how much of this book is taken from the author’s own life experience, and how much she pulled out of her ass. Some of it feels like trauma porn, and that sort of rubs me the wrong way.

A 17-year-old character not knowing how to cook despite being neglected her whole childhood and working in a restaurant fundamentally makes no sense. I’m not asking for her to go on Masterchef, but I don’t think it would occur to anyone to use a cramp heating pad to cook on. It just feels like the author is trying to inauthentically convey how bad this character’s situation is. She’s poor. She’s not stupid. Similarly, using old drug needles to inject alcohol into oranges to sell them at school just doesn’t make sense. It makes the novel feel cheap. It makes it feel gratuitous.

Most frustratingly, it has nothing to say. Sure it’s got themes that people are just trying to survive and get through life rather than actually live it, but I don’t buy that. Characters should still want things. They still need motivation for something. Anything! That’s missing in this book.

Such a major plot point of the novel is the main character trying to reconcile her messy upbringing with her husband’s privileged family, but we never get told how they meet. How did they find each other? (Sure, we get told that they met when his car broke down, but what were they both doing with their lives then?) How did that relationship even happen? Where does she go after she starts selling cars? There are too many gaps.

So it’s a character study. With underdeveloped characters. And time gaps. And that’s not enough.

Who should read this:
Character study fans
Florida white trash girlies

Do I want to reread this:

Similar books:
* Sam by Allegra Goodman-coming of age novel, abused and neglected angry sad girl book
* I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins-girl who grew up in poverty and neglected by her parents
* Social Engagement by Avery Carpenter Forrey-poor girl marries into a wealthy family
* Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley-girl in poverty tries to survive
* The Seaplane on Final Approach by Rebecca Rukeyser-girl neglected by parents, inappropriate romance
* Educated by Tara Westover-memoir of a girl being raised in poverty and getting out
* Uncultured by Daniella Mestyanek Young-memoir of a girl raised in poverty and a cult and getting out

Unhinged Summary:
Girlypop’s dad burns down their family’s used car dealership in an insurance scam to give them the money to move to Florida. He’s a drunk. Her mom is some sort of emotionally compromised. Toxic af home life. Girlypop says ball is life. She loves basketball. Well, loves is a strong word. Girlypop has no strong feelings in this entire novel. We flash back and forth between her childhood and her life as an adult.

As an adult, she’s marrying into a rich family. Their money makes her uncomfortable. She wants to be able to pay her own way. She writes copy for a zoo. She has no contact with her mother. Her father is homeless and begs her for money. She enables him. This pisses off her trust fund boy.

Back in the past, her sister runs away from home back to her extended family in Ohio. She gets raped by a friend of the family. She gets sent back to Florida and struggles with drugs. Understandably. She has no support system. Girlypop gets a boyfriend. She gets a job as a waitress. Her parents’ marriage dissolves. Her mother moves into her bedroom and makes her daughter quit her job so she can be the milf at work. Her sister’s shitty drug-addict boyfriend overdoses. Her sister goes back to Ohio and has a baby. Her family initially refuses to visit and help with the baby. Girlypop’s mom decides to take her and her boyfriend to Ohio on Spring break because it will piss off her husband. Her mom fucks her boyfriend. Her dad has been tapping the phone. He tells his daughter about the affair and starts pulling petty abusive shit like messing with the temperature and groceries. He decides that in order to be able to get a divorce and not have to pay his wife alimony, he’s going to go bankrupt. Then he escalates it even more and gets his wife put on an involuntary psychiatric hold. Her mother then abandons the family. Her dad threatens to commit suicide and then also abandons the family. Girlypop is still in high school, so she attempts to finish the year on her own and go to college by getting a basketball scholarship, but she gets suspended from school instead. She reads the newspaper and notices that her dad’s repossessed car is being sold at a police auction so she goes to see it. After she has a bit of a menty b in front of the winning bidder, he offers her a job selling cars.

In her adult life, Girlypop’s marriage has failed, and they are going through a divorce. Her sister has been sent to jail and her niece has been lost to the foster care system. Her sister is mentally handicapped from her drug use. She tracks down her mom who is now back in Ohio working retail and continuing to have horrible relationships with men. Her dad is bouncing around homeless shelters. She decides to put her sister into an assisted living home and gets a job writing copy for the Florida Zoo. That is literally the end. Do you see how nothing happens and it’s basically just mindless trauma porn now?

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Rich in detail and filled with characters you can’t seem to let go, this novel captures everything about family life in the 90s. The father is a struggling used car salesman, the wife is trying to maintain her youthfulness, a sister that seemed perfect, but underneath it all is a drug addict, and the main character named after her father's favorite whiskey.

This novel is a coming-of-age story revolving around family ties, poverty, and lies. The protagonist recounts her childhood and growing up in an unstable family while trying to make something better for herself. But only knowing what it is like to struggle, she can’t seem to break the only cycle she knows.

Wow. I enjoyed every bit of this novel. The story flowed so beautifully, and each chapter brought with it a whole new feeling. When you think C.C. finally finds her happiness, something is dredged up from her past, making this one of the most interesting and heartbreaking books I’ve read so far. I can’t praise this book enough.

The publisher provided ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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If a reader wants to see life in a dysfunctional family, this is a great book to read. It is horrifying and intriguing at the same time.

Our main character is a little girl named CC. She is named after her father's favourite drink, Canadian Club. Who does that? She seems to be the only “normal” person in the family. She fights to keep it that way though, of course, her mental health is affected by it into adulthood.

Every aspect that one would expect to see in a dysfunctional family is highlighted in the story. Alcohol, drugs, abuse, mental games and more. It is eye opening. It makes the reader think about getting caught in a vortex.

It's hard to describe the characters. Other than CC, no one in the family is likeable. Flawed would be a good word.

There are two time lines, CC's growing up years and CC as an adult, a young married woman. The early years are painful to read, her adult years show a bit of hope but it's obvious that her formative years have left a huge impact on her. But, despite this, she loves her family and wants the best for them. The family bond is strong.

The publisher's blurb describes this book as “deeply funny” and “dark comedy”. I could not disagree more. It is Dark and Disturbing. While humour is subjective, I think that most readers who pick this up expecting a laugh will be disappointed. But, definitely, well written and compelling.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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I love a good coming-of-age story, especially those of a dysfunctional family – one that isn’t my own. I also love historical fiction, that is if a book about growing up in the 1990s can be considered historical fiction. This story shattered my heart, it’s about nine-year-old CC (named after her dad’s favourite drink, Canadian Club). After a fire breaks out in their Ohio home/business her family travels to Florida to start over but chaos ensues and things quickly unravel.

Told in alternating timelines of past and present we get CC’s singular point of view. Many issues abound including drug addiction, alcoholism, marital discord, homelessness, sexual abuse and mental health. Even though the book is very dark CC won my heart and this is one of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year. I assure you as crazy as it was it’s very realistic and as CC grows up and comes into her own she realizes she will never have the normal family she has always dreamed of and she once again becomes the parent to her father. I really related to the story having been brought up by selfish, addicted parents myself, maybe that’s why I liked it so much. All. The. Stars.

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I'm not normally one to enjoy pure character study type novels but this truly was incredible. I found myself relating to CC right from the beginning and I think many other women & young girls will be able to as well. Growing up lower/lower-middle class feels so isolating as a child and its not until we grow up do we realize how many others were in the same situation. I think Fireworks Every Night is a must read for anyone feeling isolated due to their family dynamics or financial situations as well as people who have already grown through those times in their lives.

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DNFd at 45%. Sadly, the book just wasn’t for me. Living in Florida myself the story hit a little too close to home. I go into books for enjoyment, and I couldn’t enjoy this one.

Fireworks Every Night is a coming of age dealing with heartbreaking trauma. The MC, C.C and her sister were moved at a young age to Florida. While growing up in Florida we read about how both sisters end up going down different paths and eventually C.C’s struggle with continuing to live her own while wanting to help her family. The book hits on tough subjects such as abandonment, drug abuse, homelessness, even rape. Make sure to read up on trigger warnings before starting the book! The author did a great job at bringing Florida to life; the good and the bad.

As mentioned, I could not finish it but I hope whoever reads this is able to have a different experience to mine!

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Great book. As a mental health therapist this book does a great job of exploring the impact of addiction, childhood drama, co-dependency, and the love underlying it all.

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Beth Raymer has written a fiction book that could easily be non-fiction, with it's depictions of South Florida in the 1990s. Drugs, sex, family dysfunction....everything is included in this story of CC as she confronts her past.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review.

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Read if you like:
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family Dynamics
⏳ Coming of Age Novels
💔 Dysfunctional Families
🕘 1990’s

This is such a heartfelt and wonderfully written debut and it definitely gave me all the feels. As someone who was born in the early 90’s with a very dysfunctional childhood I related so much to the MC CC.

I truly loved how we got past and present and seeing the way that when you are raised in chaos that it truly will impact the child and the adult later in life.

This is one of those books more people would read to truly see how toxic parents and childhoods can impact a person and how they may seem fine, but it’s just a mask they have learned well how to put on to hide what was happening from a young age.

Thank you so much Random House for my copy of this debut in exchange for my review!

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I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. our main character and narrator of this short but well-crafted novel about growing up in a dysfunctional family and how that influences her as an adult. The chapters are nonlinear, with some focusing on C.C. as a young girl moving from Ohio to Florida after her father's car dealership mysteriously gets destroyed in a fire, and then other chapters are in the present where C.C. is an adult navigating marriage and a career. C.C.'s father is a charismatic, effective car salesman and a drunk, and eventually becomes unhoused. Her mother is a stay at home mother who keeps the house clean and watches soap operas (and clearly grew up very poor), and wishes she could relive her youth and beauty. Lorraine, C.C.'s older sister, has a promising future that gets crumbles after she gets raped at age 13 and becomes a drug addict. C.C. shares with us memories of her life and how at times her childhood seemed normal, but she soon comes to learn it was all.

The writing in this book is great, and I'm surprised how much is accomplished in 250 pages. I do wish there had been a couple more chapters in this, as I really enjoyed C.C. as a narrator and character. I like how the story was told almost in flashes--which is often how our memories actually work. I felt sorry for C.C at times, and then at other times felt amazed by how resilient she was.

I am very glad I read this book and recommend it -- but know there are content warnings of abuse, rape, drug use, alcoholism, poverty, guns, and cruelty.

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