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Lies Like Wildfire
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Lies Like Wildfire
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An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.In Gap Mountain, California, everyone...
An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.In Gap Mountain, California, everyone...
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Description-

  • An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.
    In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff's daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.
    But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah's friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.

Excerpts-

  • From the book 1
    August 11
    Time: 11:10 a.m.
    I’m not dressed to find a body. I’m wearing cutoffs and a thin white tank top. The mosquitoes are going to suck me dry, and my new Vans are going to get trashed. I’m dressed for summer, not for crawling around in the woods, searching for one of my best friends with a bunch of overcaffeinated volunteers.
    I hope we don’t find her. I want Violet to be alive. We just graduated high school, and we’re going to college soon. Getting kidnapped or murdered or committing suicide, or whatever happened to her, was not scheduled for today. What was scheduled was shopping for bedding and other dorm supplies.
    So no, I’m not dressed or prepared to find Violet Sandoval’s dead body. Besides that, I believe she was murdered, and I’d like to let that sleeping dog lie. Why? Well, why would anyone want a dead girl to stay missing? Because they don’t like her? Maybe (but not in this case). Because they want a shot at her boyfriend? Perhaps. Or because they helped kill her? Now that’s a reason. I just got out of the hospital, and I don’t know what happened to Violet and I don’t want to know.
    Only one thing is certain: it all began with a flame.
     
    2
    July 7
    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Five weeks earlier . . . 
    As I reach into my Jeep, I hear quick footsteps and feel the back of my bikini top snap against my skin. I whip around to see the gleeful face of Nathaniel James Drummer, my main best friend out of my four best friends, smiling at me from my driveway. I aim a kick at him. “What are you, twelve?”
    He dances out of my striking range, cloaked as usual in faded jeans and a too-­tight T-shirt. Grizzled, spiny trees surround us, rearing toward the sky, and a hot summer wind gusts off the Sierra Nevada mountains. “What’s in the bag?” he asks. “And you better not say homework.”
    “It’s summer, idiot.” I snatch my backpack and sling it over my shoulder. I did make the long drive to the library to check out books on criminology, nothing wrong with getting a head start, but it isn’t technically homework—­not until I leave for college.
    Drummer eyeballs the heavy pack, and his smile deflates. “Come on, Han, don’t waste the time we have left reading.”
    I laugh. “That’s exactly why I’m going to college and you’re not.” But when I meet his gaze, my stomach lightens. Drummer has no idea I fell in love with him in the sixth grade. It happened fast, like sliding off a cliff. One moment he was my sharp-­kneed, slightly smelly best friend, and the next he was golden-­skinned and handsome and a million miles out of my league. I cross my arms so he can’t see the gigantic Drummer-­shaped hole in my chest. The thing about love is, unless your best friend falls too, you fall alone.
    Drummer hooks his finger around a loop in my jeans and tugs me closer, his deep voice making my eardrums vibrate: “I came to get you. Everyone’s meeting up at the Gap for a swim. Want to go?”
    “Everyone?”
    “Yep, all the monsters. And Mo’s bringing beer.”
    Our group—­Mo (short for Maureen), Luke, Violet, Drummer, and me, Hannah—­are the kids he’s referring to when he talks about the “monsters,” a nickname we received when we were seven years old.
    It was at the community center. Our parents had signed us up for a low-­budget...

About the Author-

  • Jennifer Lynn Alvarez earned her BA in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of two middle-grade fantasy series and teaches creative writing classes through her local library. Lies Like Wildfire is her debut young adult novel and her first thriller and she loved writing it so much, she wrote another one, Friends Like These. Jennifer spends her time between Northern California and Middle Tennessee with her husband, kids, and more than her fair share of pets. You can follow her on Instagram @jennifer_lynn_alvarez or Twitter @Jenniferdiaries. Visit her online at jenniferlynnalvarez.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2021
    A summer hangout turns into tragedy when a group of friends accidently start a wildfire. Mo, Luke, Violet, Drummer, and Hannah have been best friends since they were 7-year-olds in a small forest town near Yosemite in California, all of them locals apart from wealthy, beautiful incomer Violet, who comes from Santa Barbara to visit her grandmother every summer. During one of their outings to the local lake, they accidentally start a fire while smoking weed, but, scared of the consequences and guided by sheriff's daughter Hannah's knowledge of the law, the teens lie about their involvement. The fire spreads, devastating their community with vast losses in property and life. Their relationships--already frayed at the edges due to their imminent post-high school separation and Hannah's unrequited love for Drummer--start to crumble when one bad decision leads to another, and the lies spread just like the tragic wildfire. And then Violet goes missing. Alvarez's young adult debut is a twisty, fast-paced thriller about accountability, guilt, jealousy, and survival. Divided into two parts--before and after Violet's disappearance--and told from Hannah's viewpoint, the story focuses on the friends' complex dynamics, seamlessly intertwined with each character's personal stories, which include domestic abuse, financial strain, and the close yet toxic friendship between Hannah and Drummer that guides most of Hannah's actions toward a fittingly dark climax. Olive-skinned Violet's surname cues her as Latinx; the other teens are assumed White. A gripping page-turner. (author's note) (Thriller. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2021

    Gr 9 Up-Mo, Violet, Luke, Drummer, and Hannah-childhood friends known as the "Monsters, -have recently graduated from high school and are celebrating a hot summer day at Gap Lake, California. While they are cooling off at a no burn area at the lake, one of the teens accidentally starts a fire. To their horror, the wildfire quickly gets out of control and turns deadly, threatening the Yosemite forest. As the wildfire ravages the area, the "Monsters" choose to keep their pact of not telling on one another. Then Violet, goes missing. Hannah tries to protect her friends and their secret, but struggles when she is attacked by a bear and can't remember what happened. The lies spins out of control as does the fire. This fast-paced and suspenseful novel keeps readers guessing. VERDICT Consider this a must-have thriller.-Nancy Hawkins, Franklin County H.S., Brookville, IN

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2021
    Grades 9-12 Mo, Luke, Violet, Drummer, and narrator Hannah are the monsters, a close-knit group of friends who have known each other forever. It's the summer before freshman year of college, relationships and alliances have shifted as tensions rise and the group grows apart, and in the wake of their changing friendships, fire season looms in California. Hannah, whose father is the sheriff, has always been careful and cautious and fears the brushfires more than anyone, so when she and the monsters accidentally start a fatal wildfire, what ensues is a complicated string of lies and coverups to salvage their reputations--but will it save the people and their home? Meticulously placing clues throughout the story, Alvarez weaves a complex and fast-paced mystery. As Hannah and her friends debate what is ethically and morally right, they watch the flames feed their lies and consume the town they grew up in, harming the people they love and leading to an epic conclusion.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Random House Children's Books
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