by Chloe Fowler
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Pub Date 25 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2021
Everything happens for a reason.
Rainey Collins has heard this a thousand times, but when it comes to her sister Maverick, who was born with a serious heart defect, the reason has always been a mystery. The idea of a future without her sister terrifies Rainey so much, she hasn’t even thought about life after high school. However, on the first day of senior year, Rainey winds up sitting next to Liam Hayes, a rumored delinquent with a dangerously dysfunctional family. Convinced that people shouldn’t be judged by their relatives, or by the price tag on their clothes, Rainey slowly begins to breach Liam’s defenses, and finds herself wondering if some dreams—and some futures—are worth the risk.
With his dad in prison and his stepdad drinking away what little money they have, Liam Hayes feels like the dirt under the designer shoes of every rich kid at Springbank High, but no matter how much he wants to escape, he can’t—not without abandoning his mom. Resigned to living in a hellish purgatory, Liam finds himself drawn to Rainey, a girl whose shy smiles and naive goodwill inspire a small flame of hope in his otherwise grim world. But what will she think when she learns the truth about him, and how can their relationship last when everything good in Liam’s life has always disappeared?
A Note From the Publisher
Chasing Fireflies will be released in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats and can be purchased by retailers through IngramSpark.
All reviewers who post their review on Amazon between October 25th and November 1st 2021 will be entered to win a signed hardcover copy of Chasing Fireflies.
If you are interested in having the author as a guest on your blog, or would like to arrange an interview, please contact her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 46 members
Chasing Fireflies is such a great story. This book grabbed me from the start and I couldn't put it down. Rainey and Liam are two characters you can't help but fall in love with and root for them till the very end. The ending was very shocking but I still love every second of this book. I can't wait to read Chloe's next book because this one was so good!!!!!
“Do you ever wonder about that? About the fact that life is coming at us so damn fast? And we’re…we’re racing towards it with our heads down, and so we’re so busy running that we won’t even notice when it hits us? I wonder what happens to us when it does. I mean, what if the impact completely annihilates us, and we just disappear into dust without even realizing what happened?”
Well, I was damn near annihilated when that ending came out of nowhere and slapped me in the tearducts.
With apologies to author Chloe Fowler, I requested this book from Netgalley thinking that it would be a fluffy YA romance with the typical teen angst and a heartfelt, yet predictable ending. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong! Holy Unexpected Twist, but I did not see that ending coming. I thought it would be one of those 11th hour, miraculous donor-comes-through and everyone lives happily ever after, but apparently Fowler does not like clichés. Neither do I, which is why this was surprising and refreshing, and hopefully only the first book in a series of many with these characters, who were well written and well developed.
I liked that Rainey was a socially awkward wallflower who preferred baking cookies with her little sister to attending drunken parties full of football thugs and the typical bitchy high school girls that wallflowers tend to avoid by any means necessary. I found it funny that she read “trashy” romance novels, yet was completely overcome when she finally kissed the boy she was crushing so hard on. And it was cute that she had no idea when boys liked her. Her obvious love for her chronically ill sister and her fear of a future without her really tugged the heartstrings. There was an innocence and sweetness about Rainey that was endearing, something uncommon in a world where children seem to grow up so fast.
My heart went out to Liam who didn’t have a single person in his life who truly cared about him. I am not counting Mercedes because she acted like a selfish bitch, and she is definitely on my Not Real People Who I’d Slap If I Could list. With a mother who had given up, a father in prison for murder, and a step-father who was a drunk, abusive ass, Liam was completely alone in the world until he finally let some of his walls come down when he met Rainey. Despite his terrible upbringing and his life that no one would envy, he was a caring and generous person who deserved something good in his life.
This book exceeded my expectations, and I hope that Chloe Fowler will write more. I am very curious about some of the other characters. What happened to Carson? He could’ve been sweet if he hadn’t been so easily influenced by Chase. And, as much as an ass, as he was, I do wonder about Chase. His father seemed like an overbearing bully (probably where Chase learned it from) and that situation with his mother was terrible. So, did Chase get sent to boarding school? Will he suffer the same hereditary fate as his mother? What will become of this cast of characters? Will life annihilate them or will it give them a better path to follow as it did with Liam? I hope we all get to find out.
When I first started reading this book, I thought it was just going to be a cute romance book that showed the lives of a group of teenagers. The characters in this story did so much more than that. They talked about what it was like to be poor and not know what was going to happen when you went home. It talked about absent parents and how even though a child can do everything their parents ask for, they can still feel like it's not enough. I loved the characters in this book and how the main characters, Rainey and Liam, went through two completely separate lives but came together perfectly. Everything they went through together, from the bullying to their first date, helped them grow closer and learn what love was. I knew that the ending was not going to be happy, but I had no idea that it would turn out the way it did. I sat on my bed sobbing while reading the last 10 percent of the book. I recommend this book to everyone, even though I haven't stopped crying yet. Chasing Fireflies shows the reality of teenagers in high school that have to deal with more than just classes. It feels like a book written by a teenager from their own point of view and I think that is what made it so good to me. Also the dog helped. I am going to be thinking about this book for a very long time.
Chasing Fireflies is an incredibly well-written book about first love, financial hardships, high school bullies, and childhood illness. Rainey seems to have it all. Her father is a neurosurgeon. She lives in a beautiful home in an elite neighborhood but she has her hardships. Her little sister, born with a serious heart defect, is living on borrowed time. Her best friend Jo has issues. Liam, good-looking, hard-working, and extremely smart lives in run-down trailer miles from town. His father is in prison for murder, his stepfather is violent and mean and Liam wonders if he has inherited a violent tendency from his father. They are an unlikely couple but somehow, as real love always does, they find each other. Can they work thru the serious problems that each of them faces? Will they have a future together? It is worth the journey to find out by reading this incredible teen young adult novel. A startling end to the story will make this one stay with you and think about life and the startling turns it often makes. Engaging characters, great plot, and well-developed narrative make this a book that should be on the reading list for everyone that loves a good story. Thanks to #ChasingFireflies#NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this excellent book.
Some books touch your heart and stick with you for a while, and then there is this book, this is the book that you won't forget, the one that will break your heart into hundred pieces and you will remember with joy and satisfaction.
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THIS. IS. SO. GOOD.
Thank you Netgalley and Chloe Fowler for allowing me early access to this amazing story!
From page one I was instantly involved. Deceptively beginning as that kind of story; shy, naive girl meets lonely, shunned boy, we realize immediately these are far from generic characters. Rainey, well-loved and from a well-off family, struggles with the injustice of her sister being born with a defective heart. Feeling guilty over her own perfectly beating organ, she overcompensates by not allowing herself to plan a future, not allowing herself more than just her best friend Jo. And Liam. A rumored delinquent, he comes from the rough side of town, his family a perfect portrait of dysfunction. For him, each new day is just an extension of the day before, and while Rainey refuses to think of her future, Liam desperately reaches for his, striving for the day he is old enough to leave his current life behind him.
It would be so easy for me to just tell you all about these two young people, to explain their budding relationship in intimate detail. But I won’t because I REALLY want you to read this for yourself. What I will tell you is that I love that Liam, neglected, and abused, is still a champion for those weaker than himself. I love that Rainey, so painfully shy, still has an inner confidence even she doesn’t know she has. The evolution of other characters is amazing, as is the reminder to look at an individual with our own eyes, instead of through the lips of another. One of my favorite quotes? “You can’t pick your family”. This comes from a surprising source; and even if this book was not written as well as it is I would still add it to my own shelf just for this surrounding scene.
This story does contain domestic violence, foul language, and school bullying. But these situations are not unreadable; on the contrary, they are integral, as our plot is shaped around the consequences of the actions involved.
As a debut novel, this work is incredibly well written. Specifically worth mentioning is that even though this falls into the YA genre, the characters are not type casted as ‘squealy’ juvenile. I can only expect continued excellence in the author’s future efforts. I have become an instant fan of Chloe Fowler and will look forward to many more of her new releases. (Hint, hint, to the author, I would LOVE to hear more of Joshua!!!!)
This book sucks me right into high school life. Young crushes that have the possibility to blossom into more if just the right things are said or done. The nervousness of it all! And let's not forget about family home life in high school. The emotions of all this are hard to handle. The writing pulled me right into the story. Rainey has a sick sister at home and Liam has a father in prison, drunk step dad at home. Can they help each other and be the shoulder each other needs. Or will Rainey pull away when she finds out the truth.
This YA debut novel packs a wallop. All the emotions and also a few triggers (domestic abuse, serious medical issues, bullying).
Rainey is a fairly well-adjusted high school senior who is dealing with the stressful diagnosis of a loved one. Liam, a fellow classmate, hides his circumstances at home, feeling he has no future to look forward to (due to his father’s legacy) and living in fear and loathing of his stepdad. These two unlikely classmates become friends through their proximity in math class and feel as if they can be themselves with the other. A sweet romance begins to blossom.
Surprisingly, and in several ways, this book reminded me of the “brat pack” movies of the 80s. Socio-economic issues, the pangs of first love, high school bullying/angst…it’s all there. But it doesn’t feel superficial as some of these kind of books/movies can.
The author does an impeccable job of fleshing out ALL of the characters and leading you to care and root for them. And can I just take a moment to say that Rainey’s sister Maverick almost steals the show?!
The humor is infectious, the tears are unavoidable, and the story is both heartbreaking and hopeful. A powerhouse. And if this is a first from this author, sign me up for all that follow.
My sincere gratitude to #NetGalley and the author #Chloe Fowler for providing me the free early arc for review. The opinions are strictly my own.
This book just gutted me. If there were a 6 star rating, I would give it 6 stars!
I requested this book thinking it would be a sweet, typical high school romance but this was so much more!
I loved the writing, I loved the characters and I loved the story. Were some of the people too black and white - meaning pure and good, or really bad? Sure. Did I care? Nope.
I could NOT stop reading it, and devoured it in one sitting. I giggled, and I cried. I mean ugly crying... And I closed the book saying "wow". I have that book hangover that comes from reading a book you just loved.
Thank you to the author, the publisher and to #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.
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