Charlie Bloom never wanted to be ‘with the band’. She’s happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she’s asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can’t pass up the chance.
Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys’ rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs..
I’ve said books have surprised me before, but this one really blew my mind.
Before I start, I should probably admit something. I didn’t think I would like this book. I thought it would be incredible cheesy and fangirl-y and just…not my thing. But! I am a very happy bookworm because I’m here to explain exactly why this book had depth, great characters, an amazing plot, lovely writing and much more. Thank you to my lovely friend Chloe for introducing this beauty to me!
“It was unnerving, the way people moved in herds.”
Where do I even start? Well, Charlie makes for a pretty damn awesome main character! I love how she doesn’t know much about the band before she starts photographing them, and how she’s not your average fangirl even when she does like the band. Her life, including her mum’s death, also gave her real depth. Rosie (Mel’s mum), represented a motherly figure and a great one at that! The relationship she has with her dad gives another part to the story and her hobby of photography shines through to make her a girl with a full personality and life.
Fire&Lights made a really good focus for the book. The band was full of mystery and intrigue, and having four drastically different band members really helped. The side characters in this book were really well developed and truly made the book full.
“Especially when you were the prey.”
Chris did a great job with the writing, too. This might be one of the longest books I’ve read so far this year (almost 500 pages!), but it really didn’t feel that way. The book didn’t feel padded out or like it was full of unnecessary information. It felt just right.
The subjects tackled helped make this book what it is, too. Charlie unfortunately tackled some awful bullying and trolling, but it gave the reader something to think about. Another big part of the book is a mystery surrounding the song lyrics. I won’t give away too much, but I will say I admire Chris a whole lot for including something that I really didn’t expect. It gave the plot a fast-paced feel and helped the development of the story so well!
The ending is also amazing! I won’t say I didn’t suspect something at least similar, because I did have an inkling…but it still shocked me and left the book on an awesome cliffhanger that made me long for the second book instantly.
But putting all of my analysing aside, I also loved this book on an emotional level. It made me laugh, it made me cry…it took me on an emotional rollercoaster, and Chris Russell, I truly admire you for it.
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽