Cover Image: Fireworks Every Night

Fireworks Every Night

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Member Reviews

In "Fireworks Every Night” Beth Raymer tells the darkly hilarious coming of age story. CC, a precocious twelve year old in a dysfunctional family struggles to claw her way out of poverty. Raymer straddles the line between humor and pathos masterfully and, in CC, she has developed a one of a kind character. This is a truly compelling read.

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Oh, Florida, My Florida. Beth Raymer absolutely nails it in her cunning debut novel, “Fireworks Every Night”. Florida where (most) everyone is an immigrant, home of hustlers and con men, drifters and grifters (including a recent Grifter in Chief). Home to lovebugs, snakes, gators and iguanas (who drop off of trees if the temperature were ever to dip below freezing). Home of the “Happiest Place on Earth”, where there (used to be) Fireworks Every Night.

But Ms. Raymer has much more in her sights than simply adding to the Florida Man cliche. She knows that the real story is hidden not terribly far below the surface in the terrors of race, class, inequities of access to quality education, employment, healthcare, and housing. She knows that there are those who strive to escape and do their part to make the world just a little better place. You go C C!

There were far more twists and turns to “Fireworks Every Night” than I expected, which is always a good thing. The writing is spot on, dialog a special treat. There is wry humor mixed in with heartstring-pulling narrative. It leaves this Florida resident with some hope, which isn’t always easy to come by these days. Great read!

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the eARC.

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This book takes the reader inside a dysfunctional family – one with all sorts of red flags.

The chapters alternate between the past and present. This book starts an illustration of a harp for the present (CC and her husband, Alex) and an orange for the past (CC growing up in Florida).

This is not a fairytale love story even though it starts with a wedding many girls would dream about in the beautiful home of her wealthy inlaws. Instead of thinking about the excitement of her dress, cake, music and husband-to-be, CC is upset as she wanted to elope. It appears that the only guest coming is her mother that she hasn’t seen in years. Why didn’t Alex listen to her wishes?

Years before in the 1990s, a fire destroyed CC’s family home and their father’s used-car dealership. They moved from Ohio to a small town in Southern Florida where her father found a job once again as a car salesman working all hours. Everything seemed normal for a while until there were secrets and unfortunate life complications with her parents and then with her sister.

It’s the writing that kept my interest with a lot of good lines in the dialogues. I had an image of CC’s father who would call her “pumpkin,” her mother that wanted to be young again and sister that had something to hide. Besides the characters that could be easily visualized, there were a number of issues touched upon: climate change, economic inequality, and drug and alcohol addiction.

Usually, I want to read less words in a plot when an author is long-winded. But, in this case, I wanted to hear more about CC’s life with Alex, the “arrogant...Yankee.” And I wanted the ending to keep going.

My thanks to Beth Raymer, Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advanced book with an expected release date of June 27, 2023.

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Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raymer is a wonderful debut novel.

I couldn't have loved this more than I did!
This author has done a marvelous job in capturing the characters and setting that totally immersed me while reading this amazing story.
The realistic feelings and outcomes as CC finds her way forward was enjoyable yet emotional.
And the way her writing flowed was something special.
The characters are complex and well developed, they invoke strong emotions and have you feeling all sorts of things.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You Netgalley and Random House for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!

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This book had me in its grasp from the 1990s Florida setting alone--which was expertly rendered and deeply, viscerally felt. The novel moves in dual timelines--a "present" where CC is getting married, working in sales at a zoo in Connecticut, struggling with a husband who comes from significant wealth while she tries to make it on her own and deal with the sometime intrusions of her unhoused father and drug-addicted sister, and a coming of age timeline where CC and her family move to Loxahatchee, Florida when she is twelve, 15 miles but worlds away from the glamour and wealth of Palm Beach, after her father has burned down his car dealership and their home in Ohio to collect the insurance money. This is family dysfunction at its best, with love and affection that gets pummeled by betrayal and addictions and dissatisfaction but never defeated. CC's struggle throughout to save herself while also saving her parents and sisters is frustrating and heartbreaking to witness but essential to this story and so much of why it works. I was a bit more attached to the younger CC than the adult CC, but I applaud how balanced the storylines were overall. The timelines come together at the end, where the pacing quite a bit faster and the ending felt a little abrupt to me, but still preserved my very positive impression of the novel as a while.

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thank you random house and netgalley for this arc of fireworks every night. i loved this story for how realistic it feels and how human the experiences were. it felt like a memoir more than a fictional story, and cc’s life is a great representation of the emotions of growing up and figuring out family.

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Although this is a fictionalized novel, as I read it I became convinced it was as much autobiography as it was fiction. It is the story of a girl growing into womanhood in possibly the most dysfunctional family in America. They have moved from a dying town in Ohio to central Florida where everyone knows life is good. Her father, a drunk, sells used cars. He is mainly successful at it until he stops trying so he can punish his wife for her many transgressions. Her mother is a housewife. She too drinks and ultimately engages in a physical relationship with her youngest (our protagonist) daughter’s boyfriend. CC (named after her parents favorite libation) is trying to succeed at life and is forced by life to move in several different directions. Lorraine, the elder daughter, is an addict. All are looking for CC to be their redemption. It is well written and something most will finish in a day because readers will be captivated by the characters. Thanks to Net Galley and Random House for an ARC for an honest review.

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Ok I actually really liked this book. I don’t mind a little bleakness in a book and I don’t need there to be a huge redemption necessarily for the main characters. This book is tons of 90’s nostalgia and a middle class family that may look average on the outside but was anything but average on the inside. Excruciatingly frustrating in so many parts of the book where I just wanted to shake the characters and to WAKE UP but then I remembered that’s not always how it is in real life. And this was just that - totally believable and although I do felt it left me hanging in the last 2 chapters where I flipped back and forth, (surely there was more?) that was just it. Just the end. And because of that abrupt ending that left me a little empty inside, I know I’ll continue to think about it more to find out the points of resolution that perhaps I missed. Bravo. Two thumbs up from me!

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My heart broke for C.C., a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1990s. Raymer captures perfectly how you can love your family members even as they're tearing you apart.

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Solid read about a young woman and her dysfunctional family careening through 1990s South Florida and beyond. The main character / narrator is a keen observer who drops us into the 1990s with all the requisite pop culture references as she shows us the viscera of her family, pulling them apart to try to make sense of her life and her future. Everything and everyone is hanging on by a thread -- the family structure itself and all the members in it, but also the greater community of South Florida where "by sophomore year, one former classmate was on death row, one was on trial ... facing the electric chair, and none of us had been attacked by a gator." Until that thread breaks around the middle of the book and structures and people simple crash. That tension, and how circumstances escalate and people implode, makes the novel move quickly.

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I really loved Fireworks Every Night, and seeing the world through CC's eyes. I appreciated her perspective on her dysfunctional family, and while their dynamics were frustrating at times, I could relate. A well-written book that kept me engaged.

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Great read. Liked the different dynamics.
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

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“In America, people have dreams. They take chances. They make strides. Then they get hit by a car. They get cancer. They have a nervous breakdown. They don’t age with the dignity they thought they would, and their kids step up.” - Fireworks Every Night

Do you know how I know that Beth Raymer’s coming-of-age debut, Fireworks Every Night, is an excellent book? Because it is real. I felt - deeply felt - everything written on these pages and related on another level to narrator CC. I am her and she is me. The daughters of families steeped in dysfunction, stepping up where their parents fail, CC and millions of young women like her know how it feels to be in a codependent familial relationship, desperately trying to control the chaos and narrative. Daughters of dysfunction, this book is for you.

When CC’s father, a charismatic used car salesman, moves his family to Florida after his dealership in Ohio burns down under suspicious circumstances, it is both the beginning and the end of their family. Settling into the Florida swamps in the 1990s, CC; her father; mother, a flailing housewife completely dependent on her husband; and sister Lorraine, a few years away from a serious drug addiction; don’t yet know how drastically their family unit will change over the coming years, becoming something unrecognizable to themselves.

Told alternatively from past to present, CC narrates this story of her upbringing, inviting us to view the airing of her family’s dirty laundry through her eyes. CC is an astute, ever watchful daughter, not missing a beat as her family comes apart at the seams. Fireworks Every Night wades into the unraveling of this family and shows how a series of events and choices can completely change our lives.

Fireworks Every Night highlights the relationship between the codependent child and their parents, showing how it is often the children of dysfunctional families who keep all of the plates spinning and in the air when the adults forget to act like adults. This novel also tenderly shows how adult children too often become the keeper of their parents when hopes and dreams fail us.

Plot aside, Raymer’s writing is sharp and observant. She unfolds this story across the pages in such a way that you don’t see the next thing coming, but aren’t surprised by it either - it just feels like the necessary progression of a family that can’t find its way out of its own toxicity. Raymer brilliantly captures what it is like to be a young adult growing up in an environment that is spinning out of control, yet loving your family too much to put yourself first. Raymer is a master with words and emotion, and she had me feeling everything as I got lost in this story. This book is therapy and let me know that I am not alone in trying to navigate the confusing world of codependent family relationships.

Highly recommended to anyone who grew up in a family that was less than perfect.

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Boy, this book was bonkers! C.C.'s family was so dysfunctional but deeply interesting. I must admit, the first half was much stronger than the second half. I really enjoy C.C. She might be the only character I gave two shits about. Everyone else was insufferable. The only person I felt truly sorry for was C.C.'s younger sister. That poor girl. It's no wonder she turned out the way she did, her parents didn't care about her trauma. Parts of this book take place in the present tense, and in the past tense. Even though this book wasn't perfect, it was still enjoyable. It felt like a '90s soap opera, which is ironic because C.C. keeps mentioning "Days of our Lives" in the novel.

Thank you, Netgalley and Random House for the digital ARC.

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What a fantastic family drama! FIREWORKS EVERY NIGHT is about a family in the mid-90s that moves from Ohio to Florida to start life over after their father burns down his car dealership for insurance money. CC, our protagonist, does not have an easy life after that. From an alcoholic father, to a manic depressive sister, and a mom who, let's just say will never win Mom of the Year, we move back and forth between her coming of age in Florida and present-day, where she is dealing with a marriage falling apart and the consequences of her family falling part 20 years earlier.

The story is heartbreaking but hard to put down. You simply want the best for CC but everything, including herself at times, seems to get in the way (both as a teenager and as an adult). The cast of characters are well developed and flawed yet realistic, and full of grey areas. It's a fascinating take on the coming of age tale, and I think it will be a huge hit with book clubs next year.

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I dont usually reach for family dramas, and I requested this book 100% based off the title and cover art. It turned out to be one of my favorites I've read this year (which is saying something, considering it's almost Christmas).

While reading, I kept thinking that this is the kind of book I would expect to find assigned in high school English classes--not because it's pretentious or presents the ultimate opportunity for failed-actor-turned-English-teacher theatrics--but because it's a perfect example of style. Raymer's voice is really beautiful, succinct and poetic.

If you're looking for plot--Act 1, Act 2, Act 3--you will not find it here. This is a full 360○ character study. On a personal note, I took a lot from the characters. I've been told by two people who know me best--my mom and my shrink--that I view things as black or white with no in between. Raymer does not, and
think it's incredibly admirable (and enlightening for my fucked up psyche). Her characters are simultaneously villain and victim (a distinction I found especially important for Jay, who many would have just written off as C.C.'s asshole ex). I hope it's helped me become more aware of the gray areas.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Raymer for the ARC.

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Truly fireworks every night! I love the cover which portrays the issues to come but includes such vivid and vibrant color -hinting that this isn't your everyday coming of age novel. CC has an incredibly difficult life and Beth Rayner has created a beautiful portrait of 1990's. This story will break your heart as CC flashes back to her upbringing and you learn what transpired in her past. Rayner has a way with words and you will be rooting for CC all the way. If you love coming of age stories, reminiscing (90's style) or just want want a memorable story of characters you won't forget, Fireworks Every Night is for you!
.#RandomHouse #Fireworkseverynight #BethRaymer

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I had no idea what to expect from this book. I was intrigued by the cover and the title. It looked and sounded fun! Well, Raymer has crafted a beautiful and at most times heartbreaking story. The writing is so good and the story flows back and forth from one point to another. We see the main character through her life as a young girl until she's telling us the story as an adult. Families are toxic and this dives into how she manages to function.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book for the purpose of this review. 5 stars from me!

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An easy but depressing read about CC and her tumultuous childhood and family life, weaved together with her present day life. Growing up in Florida after her father burned down their house and car selling business for the insurance money, CC tells of the ups and downs of her life: a workaholic/alcoholic father, a mother who doesn't work or act her age, and a sister going through awful addictions. Despite all of that, she has escaped and married a man who comes from money - but soon that unravels too.

This book switches back and forth every few chapters, and it took me a minute to realize that the symbols at the beginning of the chapter were indicative of being in the past or the present.

I felt like the book kind of left me hanging with no resolution or clearly defined ending. It just kind of finishes.

It was a very easy read - I finished it throughout the course of a few hours. But still very depressing.

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Great great book. This story follows the life and a young women and her childhood. and why she is the way she is later on in life. It seems like the reader will be able to relate to at least one of the characters is not all of them in some shape way or form.

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