Cover Image: Fireworks Every Night

Fireworks Every Night

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Member Reviews

I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

C.C.is 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 not...at 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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What an unexpectedly gripping book -- once I started reading this, I literally could not put it down until I reached the last page. Readers who prefer a clearly defined plot might find this one a bit frustrating, as it's much more character-driven than plot-driven, but my oh my, such incredible characters they are. Fireworks Every Night tells the story of C.C., youngest child of a deeply dysfunctional family, moving between vignettes of her childhood/adolescence and of her adulthood. I found it fascinating to read a chapter set during her childhood years, with all the toxicity of her financially unstable dysfunctional upbringing on full display, and then reach a chapter set in her adulthood when she's married to a man (born into staggering wealth and privilege) who completely lacks any empathy. It was clear to see, in the juxtaposition of these different times in her life, so many different ways that C.C.'s upbringing had impacted her well into adulthood. This is a book I'll be thinking about for a long, long time to come.

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The novel features an unforgettable protagonist who will resonate with readers, as she navigates the challenges of growing up in a world that constantly fails her. Fireworks Every Night is a deeply human and honest portrayal of family life, poverty, and the American Dream. Recommended for those seeking a fresh and insightful look into the complexities of family dynamics and the struggles of young people trying to make a better life for themselves.

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Thanks NetGalley and Randomhouse for the ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The cover absolutely caught my attention with its vivid colors and fine details. And to answer, the book is honestly that same vivid detailing in the characters (even though most are unlikeable) and a setting so clear you could easily blink and find yourself in any of the places. The author has strong talent for prose- as dark as this book is it’s beautifully written at times.

My dislikes are mainly adult CC. With her childhood, her mediocre education, I struggle to see her incredibly successful as a zoo embassador who has incredible talent in writing. While she shows the talent in sales as she grew up, she doesn’t write or show interest in writing or even animals (at one point her childhood cat has matted fur- no animal lover would let their cat be neglected). I also don’t see her marriage’s point. The separation was pretty ho-hum as was the marriage. And if she was a peacemaker personality I’d think she’d have stayed married to avoid a separation.

But that isn’t enough to dislike the book- I still cared for CC as a character, found her family sadly horrid. But I love that she still cared enough about them to check on them all and be the one person to care.

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Gripping, emotional, and sometimes difficult to read. As the child of an alcoholic CC resonated with me from the first scene through to the final. Dark themes written well. Unapologetic, gutsy, and ultimately triumphant. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this ARC

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Fireworks Every Night follows a young girl, CC, growing up in a family full of addiction, abuse, and chaos in 90s Florida. If you want a book that reads like the film, The Florida Project, this is the story for you. CC is a beautifully written main character to follow, all she can do is meet the horrors she’s living with innocence and humor. It is often devastating and heart wrenching to read, and the entire time you are just praying CC will make it out okay. As someone who thinks of Florida as a second home, the author nails the setting, it’s as if Florida itself is an additional character.

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A rapidly moving story about a young women who overcomes many obstacles within her very dysfunctional family and goes on to become a self sufficient, productive member of society.

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CC is struggling in life. Her family is stuck in poverty and she is in an all around not good situation. Her dad changes jobs at the drop of a hat, and when he tires of her mom he calls mental health services on her and has her taken away. CC preservers and grows up despite the turmoil around her, but it isn’t easy.

I felt most of this book being confused but intrigued, so I kept reading and waiting for it all to come together. Then it just ended. Nothing wrapped up, and I had no answers. It just ended. The writing style is what kept me going, but I was just so disappointed with how it all ended. Please wrap things up, this was worse than a cliffhanger for me.

The story is very moving and makes you think. We do not have the resources for those that need them, and this book highlights that. The story is depressing, and your heart will be ripped out. I cried for the characters. I just wanted something more from the ending and that is why I am not happy. I felt like I put in time and effort and received no answers.

Thank you so much to the publisher and netgalley for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I unfortunately couldn't finish this book, it hit too close to home and it became too hard for me.

The author is a wonderful writer. Maybe one day I can finish, but today I cannot. I apologize, thank you for the copy and opportunity to read it. 🩷

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Thank you NetGalley andRandom House Publishing Group - Random House for the copy of Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raynor. I really liked the writing style and the book started out great so I had really high hopes for the rest of the book. The family was so dysfunctional it was hard to read about and even though the dysfunction was really described well, it was like uncomfortably spying on a family’s dirty secrets. I guess that’s a tribute to the good writing, but it wasn’t the right fit for me because I wasn’t prepared for such a depressing book, especially one with such a beautiful title.

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Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raymer is a captivating and poignant coming-of-age novel that provides a stark depiction of growing up in a dysfunctional family in 1990s South Florida. Raymer's writing style is darkly comic and compassionate, which makes the protagonist, CC, unforgettable. The novel deals with heavy themes, including abuse, addiction, and poverty, but Raymer's writing is so engaging that readers will be enthralled from beginning to end.

CC's father is a born grifter who drags his family around the country in search of easy money. Her mother is more concerned with hanging out at the mall and driving a Mustang than caring for her daughters, while CC's older sister falls into addiction after enduring forms of abuse within the family. In the midst of all this dysfunction, CC is trying to stay afloat and make a better life for herself.

What makes Fireworks Every Night so special is the way Raymer handles CC's story. Despite the struggles she faces, CC maintains a sense of humor and an unshakable determination to succeed. Raymer doesn't shy away from showing the hard bargains CC must make, but she also shows the family loyalties that anchor CC throughout her life. The grit and resilience of CC's character make for a compelling and inspiring read.

Overall, Fireworks Every Night is an exceptional novel that showcases Raymer's talent as a writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories or who wants a deeper understanding of what it's like to grow up in a dysfunctional family. With its unforgettable protagonist and engaging writing style, Fireworks Every Night deserves a solid 4/5 star rating.

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**spoiler alert** Thank you, Netgalley and Random House, for the ARC.

This is a really well-written story of a family made up of terribly dysfunctional people and how they adapt, mostly to the detriment of the other family members.

C.C. is the protagonist and the younger of two daughters. Her role in the family from the outset is peacekeeper and enabler and, in this role, she excels. Her needs go unvoiced to the point that she then questions if she is in the wrong to need. For example, when she learns that her boyfriend, Jay, and her mother have been having a sexual relationship, she feels that confronting them would be unnecessarily hurtful to them, noting that they are troubled enough, especially Jay. Even when her father abandons her to fend for herself, she takes pity on him, noting how difficult it must have been for him to have a wife cheat on him with a teen.

Her parents never take responsibility for their actions. But C.C. does, at every turn.

The situation with C.C.'s sister, Lorraine, is particularly heartbreaking because of the abuse she suffers at the hand of her family. I'm not referring only to the rape, but to the fact that her mother knows what happened, she KNOWS, yet says nothing, does nothing. On the contrary, she puts a photo of the rapist on the fridge, a photo that was sent by the aunt, who also likely knows. C.C. takes the photo down and throws it out.

While there is tremendous dysfunction in her upbringing, we are allowed to see how the trauma affects C.C.'s adulthood, how she grows, and how she doesn't. Her marriage to a wealthy, entitled man poses such a contrast to the "survive first, work hard to succeed second" ethos of her upbringing that she is unable to remain married. Her husband is not a bad guy and his family treats her well, but the chasm is too great to surmount.

Ultimately, we see C.C. make a life for herself on her terms. While she still enables her family's dysfunction to a degree, she sets clear boundaries. For example, she does not tell her sister that she lives nearby and lists her as "mentally ill sister" in her phone contacts to remind herself that her Lorraine may attempt to manipulate her when she calls. She keeps her father at arm's length as well, but always knows where he is, if he is well, and provides him essentials.

By the end of the book, C.C. has made herself a home, planted her own roots, and is happy and successful at her job. She has finally learned to address her needs while still caring for her family.

What is maybe the most remarkable feat is that the author never seems to pass judgment on her terribly flawed characters, even when they behave abhorrently. I think this is due to seeing their actions through C.C.'s perspective and how overly understanding she is. This allows the reader to see a strange beauty in the love and acceptance of a family despite the dysfunction.

I really look forward to future works by this talented author!

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I found Fireworks Every Night difficult to read at the beginning but as we get to know the main character, CC, a bit more, the story became more interesting and gripping. I really enjoyed how Florida was its own character in the story and how CC would flip between past and present to navigate her life and how she got to where she is today. It's a story that touches upon alcoholism, class, abuse, and family dynamics. Most of the characters are pretty unlikeable but I think that's what makes the novel so refreshing.

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This was nice but not an easy read. It was made easier by CC's sassy attitude. It's a very alcohol-soaked summer read but not a beach read.

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3.5 rounded up, thank you to Netgalley and Random house for the opportunity to read and review this book. It is a little hard to describe this book, CC is the protagonist and the story follows her throughout childhood into adulthood. The main issue I had with the book was the timelines were very unclear, you would start a chapter with no way of knowing how old CC was or where we were at in time. It starts off with her wedding or engagement party and her husband has invited her mother to the wedding. We go back in time to when CC’s father moved his family from Ohio to Florida. CC’s father was a car salesman, her mother was a stay at home mom that really had no direction. Her sister Lorraine falls into the wrong crowd and gets into drugs. While I enjoyed the story and the nineties setting I didn’t really get a sense there was much plot. The story just kind of meanders along. This was an easy and quick read but will likely not be very memorable for me.

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i put off reading this for ages because i read a spate of 2-star books and was tired of slogging my way through them. i figured this one would be another mediocre 2-star, but i was extremely surprised when i devoured this in just one day!

imo the best thing about the book is that the narrator is wonderful. the book feels very quiet and calm throughout, tackling hard-hitting (and quite frankly, obscenely fucked up) issues while still moving at a steady pace. you never feel overwhelmed with information and you're never tapping your foot trying to get through a chapter. it's the goldilocks of books, lmao.

<b>thank you to random house publishing group for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!</b>

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The story drew me in immediately. This is a story of a disfunctional family, how their relationships slowly disintegrate leaving the main character C. C. to pick up the pieces and ultimately just save herself. As a young girl C. C. was a 'good kid', a good student, on the basketball team, with a boyfriend. We watch as her parent's marriage dissolves, her sister becomes an addict and how everyone in her life eventually betrays her and deserts her. She goes into survival mode after losing it all yet manages to come out on top without letting her family dynamics drag her down. A bit sad in how parents can ruin their relationships with their children.

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If you're an optimist, you'd say "Fireworks Every Night" is a testament to the human spirit, proof that a person can rise above their upbringing and circumstances. If you're a pessimist, "Fireworks Every Night" confirms just how crappy people can be, even to—or especially to—those they claim to love. Regardless, you have to agree that the book is a powerfully written window into a family ruled by substance abuse, narcissism, and neglect and that the narrator, C.C., is unforgettable. There were a few minor elements that were conveniently glossed over (how did C.C. meet her fiance, and what was the attraction on his part?), but even the most seemingly outlandish characters and circumstances did feel true... and C.C. is a far better person than I.

Thank you, Random House and NetGalley, for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC in exchange for review.

CC is from a dysfunctional family. You know how Florida has a reputation? CC's family fit the stereotype. Unfortunately for her, while she breaks out of the poverty cycle, she can't seem to lose the dysfunction.

Though her family is a mess, she still feels a sense of responsibility. I did like the story, but the end didn't satisfy me. Does that make me shallow? Maybe. But I did like everything until then.

Recommend for adults.

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This is a novel that is full of emotion! We meet CC a girl coming of age in Florida and who has an extremely dysfunctional family. The novel has dual timelines in it and the reader is able to follow and see how her dysfunctional family impacts her currently and at different times of her life. Great story! Thank you to random house for this ARC and Netgalley!

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