Fireworks on every page. I think of Florida as a state that revels in, and even takes a cockeyed pride in, its exotic weirdness. This book captures that feeling. It can be melancholy, grim, and sad, but there is also great energy and truthfulness in the characters' stories. You don't have to care that much for the plot, or the subplots, or the various tangents - these are episodes and scenes, (often out of order), that are intended to give you multiple views of the human comedy that adds up to a single American family that's always right there on the edge. And even if you don't respond to that, and don't warm to or even care about the main characters, the book is so well written, so darkly comic, so insightful, and so wonderfully paced, toned and composed, that you will just be carried along by that writing quality alone. Raymer may hold an MFA, but this isn't like some of the sterile, technically sound MFA exercises you can sometimes encounter, or at least it doesn't read that way. This is a human, lived in, rueful, forgiving, and ultimately hopeful tale, which is all you could ask for.
CC and her sister and the paths they chose. This book didn’t have a ‘main’ character do to speak. The character that you hold out hope for. I found they just about every character was bloody awful and they was sad. I struggled to finish the book.
If you looked up a picture of disfunction you would see this family. This entire book centers on their disfunction and while I didn’t like the characters I did like the book!
Thank you #randomhouse and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
Thank you netgalley for the chance to read this.
I struggled with this hugely. It's sad but in a way you can't totally connect with? There's no levity or brevity, which I think you really need to make a sad book work. Realistic? Maybe. Intriguing? not so much.
I typically love a good dual timeline book, and we see the abuse and dysfunction that molds the lead CC into the woman she is now. We also see a bit why she marries the man she does, and what her past storyline dictates about her current relationship. But I wanted some personal growth for CC: and that just doesn't happen here. I get reality is that a lot of abuse victims just accept their abuse or accept their outcomes: but that's not what I'm really looking for in a story. I'm looking for change.
But I think what I struggle with the most: you don't root for anyone here. Everyone is, for the most part, awful. You don't really even root for CC, which is sad to say.
This just wasn't my cup of tea.
The dysfunctional family life off C.C. and her sister is the story of this book. It shows how the two went down different paths is regards to the upbringing from their parents. It starts with them moving from Ohio and the poverty there to Florida and a new chance at life. Dad is a salesman and brings them a new life style that C,C. looks up to him. Mom is a stay at home mom and Dad refers to her as a "taker". There is a feeling of tension between the members of the family and C.C. feels there are secrets that she is kept from knowing. The family goes from middle class back to poverty due to Dad. I could relate to the family and the feelings they have. I think this was a good read.
From literally page 1 I was HOOKED! This book was intriguing and in certain ways so relatable. The walking catfish reference really stood out to me as an example of an author doing her research on an area (if she’s not already from Florida).
Don’t expect a happy, fairytale ending. It was a story about hard truths and loving family despite flaws (major ones in this case). I found the ending to lack some closure… but that resembles real life for some people so it made sense.
Overall this book deserves 5 stars. It’s a sad story told so beautifully.
Thank you @netgalley for the Advanced Readers Copy of Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raymer. CC grows up in Florida with her sister and parents. Her father sells cars, and has some shady dealings. Her mother tries but has a hard time bringing up her daughters. The book follows CC as she grows up and makes her way out of her upbringing, and gets engaged to a man from a rich family, and tries to turn her life around. #fireworkseverynight #bethraymer #netgalley #bookstagram
I received an advanced copy of Fireworks Every Night by Beth Raymer from the publisher Random House via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
What It’s About: This book follows CC as a child and adult and the long lasting impacts of family dysfunction. CC’s father moves them to Florida after he sets his Southern Ohio car dealership on fire to get the insurance money. CC’s mother isn’t much better she constantly trying to act younger than she is. As the family settles in Florida, things continue to go off the rails. With her father scheming, her mother dramatizing, and her sister in the throes of addiction, CC is just trying to survive. Check content warnings for this, there are a lot. I’m happy to expand on those.
What I Loved: This book is a really a unique family saga. It really made me think and at times it was difficult to look away. The characters aren’t really likable but it makes sense within the setting of the book. At times I wanted to yell at our characters but I thought that their behavior was true to the characters for the most part.
What I Didn’t Like: I felt like the novel’s ending was quite abrupt and was unsatisfying. The other aspect of this book that I didn’t love was the multiple time period. The adult timeline was not as engaging and the story telling wasn’t as tight. I didn’t think this aspect was necessary nor add much to the story besides getting to see CC was facing emotional damage from her childhood.
Who Should Read It: People who are looking for a story of family dysfunction.
Summary: Living in the midst of dysfunction, CC struggles with surviving her emotionally challenging family.
Fireworks Every Night starts as a story about an eccentric family recently transplanted to FL, and then gets dark fast. It definitely kept me reading, but there were a lot of very disturbing themes in this book.
I have a long-standing soft spot for animal workers and CC's (who names their child after whiskey?!?) determination to survive is endemic to zoo workers, in my experience. She's a memorable character and I love her.
The writing is wonderful.
I loved it.
Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read an ARC of this marvelous book.
This book was dark, despite the lovely bright cover and the promise of fireworks.
CC’s family is a mess, her sister has a drug addiction, her dad I’m 90% sure burnt down their car lot up north and used the insurance money to move them to Florida and build them a new house and buy them nice new cars.
When CC is a teenager, her MOM sleeps with her TEEN BOYFRIEND, which causes her dad to snap, but it’s her mom who gets taken to a psych ward, her dad walks out on her when she’s still in high school, and she’s left to fend for herself.
The book switches between CC’s past and present, which was sometimes confusing trying to place the time, when her family is falling apart and when she’s trying to determine what part she plays in helping them as an adult without letting their problems drag her down.
There were times when this was a tough read, with a lot of heavy moments, but the novel is very well-written. I’m always up for reading a book about Florida, everyone is usually a mess .
Content warnings: Alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic abuse.
Thank you @netgalley and @penguinrandomhouse for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
Fireworks Every Night is a debut novel by author Beth Raymer. This coming-of-age novel was tumultuous and difficult to read at times, but nonetheless I found myself rooting for twelve year old C.C. who moves from the small town of Adena, Ohio to Florida. When the family run out of resources, they end up in Loxahatchee, Florida, a place near Palm Beach, but not at all like wealthy Palm Beach. The family includes C.C.'s mom, dad and little sister.
One thing that makes this novel easier to read than other coming-of-age novels is the story has a secondary storyline that takes place in roughly the present day and you see that C.C.'s adult life and that she “makes it”. This is not a spoiler as it occurs in the early pages of the book. However, through the present day timeline, you see how the childhood trauma informs and impacts C.C.'s relationship with others, including her family and how she interacts with the world as an adult.
CW: This book grapples with the traumatic effects of alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and mental illness. Adena appear in various points in the book and reminds me, unfortunately, of my own lived experiences in a different small Ohio town, which shows the author worked hard to make authentic experience.
I received this book in an exchange for an honest review thanks to Net Galley and Random House. I will post this review on Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.
Fireworks Every Night is a poignant and powerful coming-of-age novel that doesn't hold back in its portrayal of the struggles faced by those growing up in poverty in America. Beth Raymer's protagonist, C.C., is a remarkable character whose resilience and determination are matched only by her dark wit and humor. Through her eyes, we are introduced to a world of chaos, abuse, and dysfunction, where family ties are both a source of comfort and a burden.
One of the strengths of this novel is its honest portrayal of the structural and cultural barriers that make it difficult for people like C.C. and her family to rise above their circumstances. Raymer does not shy away from the harsh realities of poverty and the role that systemic inequality plays in perpetuating it. At the same time, she recognizes the agency and ingenuity of those who are dealt a tough hand, and the ways in which they are able to carve out a life for themselves in spite of the odds.
Another standout feature of this book is the richly drawn cast of characters. From C.C.'s grifter father to her drug-addicted sister, each member of her family is vividly realized, with all their flaws and contradictions on full display. The relationships between them are complex and fraught, with love and resentment often battling for supremacy. Through it all, C.C. remains a beacon of hope, a young woman determined to make her own way in the world and chart a different course for herself than the one her parents have set.
Overall, Fireworks Every Night is a deeply moving and thought-provoking novel that tackles some of the most pressing issues facing our country today. It is a book that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of hope.
Bless this young lady and her younger self- as we meet each one through alternating timelines we can’t help but say that. CC, named after her dad’s favorite bourbon, doesn't realize as a child that things aren’t normal. She doesn’t know any different. But things are far from normal, and her survival can be credited to her optimistic attitude and resilient sense of humor.
CC is the youngest of two girls. Her dad is a car salesman, her mother is a beauty queen wanna-be. Their dealership, which includes their trailer home, burns to the ground. Dad loads them in a car, gets lost, ends up at a new subdivision site, and is told if he doesn’t mind the rattlesnakes (while the man has a dead rattlesnake under his shovel), the place would be perfect for raising kids. Sold. Just like that. In record speed, they build a fancy home, complete with a swimming pool, hot tub and slide. All from the insurance payouts for what may have been arson. But CC doesn’t see all of that. She sees the turquoise of the pool. Her entire life is seen through these shaded glasses. Even though she is learning that life was wrong, unfair, brutal to her sister, tough for her, and all because she was born to horribly dysfunctional parents, CC still perseveres.
This book is about growing up in unfathomable living conditions, but you’ll still snicker and smile as you see life through CC’s eyes. You’ll want to cry for her, but she won’t let you quit smiling.
Thanks to Random House Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The publishing date was June 27, 2023.
Fireworks Every Night had me from the first few chapters. This is not a love story, or like anything I have ever read before. I found a lot of similarities within C.C. and found her growth and development very inspirational. I sometimes can struggle reading from differing timelines but I found the pace and flow of the writing to be really digestible. This is not necessarily plot-driven, but character-driven in the way that we get to know why the main characters are the way that they are.
This book was out of my comfort zone but was an exceptional read. I would read anything Beth Raymer writes, and I am excited for the next one!
This was a beautiful written coming-of-age novel about a woman trying to escape the traumas family, but still being depressed and having her past affect her future regardless of how much she's trying to run away. I commend Raymer for writting a terrifying sad book about a highly dysfuctional family. You can't help but root for CC and despise everyone else in her family.
The writing was fluid and elegent, and even though not my reading style, I was still able to enjoy it very much!
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me read this wonderful ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Look for it now in your local and online bookstores and libraries.
After their car dealership burned to the ground in Ohio, C.C. and her family move to Florida. At first, it seems like her childhood is going to be a typical, middle class upbringing. They move into a lovely new home, complete with a swimming pool and hot tub. C.C. excels at sports, especially basketball, and she is popular. Gradually, things deteriorate. Her father can’t hold down a job, her mother behaves as if she’s a teenager, and her sister begins rebelling.
The story begins at C.C.’s engagement party, which is being thrown by her very wealthy future in-laws. The timeline then switches to C.C.’s childhood in Florida. The back and forth timeline continues throughout as we learn more about C.C.’s dysfunctional family. I really liked this book even though it’s tough to read at times. It’s an unflinching look at poverty, substance abuse, domestic abuse and abandonment. Ultimately, C.C. has to choose between saving her family or saving herself.
I thoroughly enjoyed FIREWORKS EVERY NIGHT and highly recommend it for fans of coming of age stories. CC is a fascinating protagonist, a character whose story is narrated with a sophisticated wit that belies her relatively young age. Even when people let her down, CC keeps on trucking. She figures out a way to make things work, no matter the circumstances. We are cheering for her to create a better life for herself. Poignant but never sentimental, this novel will stick with you.
Fireworks Every Night is a fine first novel from Beth Raymer. Coming of age in a dysfunctional family in South Florida almost sounds like a genre of its own, but this one is both dark and funny. This family fled Ohio because of the criminal behavior of the father. Twelve-year-old C.C. is the only one in the family with common sense and aspirations which make being part of this bunch quite a challenge. As she narrates her story, the reader roots for her all the way to a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended.
Beth Rather has beautifully created a story of CC, a young woman whose life was fraught with sadly dysfunctional family. CC's parents made terrible life decisions that caused their children to live through really tough times. I found my self irritated with some characters but rooting for them as well. Thanks #NetGalley