Sunday, May 27, 2012

Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere

Jason is a firefighter, a damned good one.  He always does his job and when that involves saving two young boys from a fire, he thinks nothing of it.  The press leaps on it and starts calling him a hero, which he hates.  His girlfriend moves out and takes the majority of the furniture, which makes him mad and sad at the same time.  And his mother tells him a secret she's been holding for 26 years and his whole life falls apart...

Gryffin Ink and Net Galley shared an ebook of this story with me (thank you).  The book will be published on October 2nd, so add this to your TBR list.  The story is a whopper and you don't want to miss it.

The author drew me in to this story piece by piece.  Her main character, Jason, is a good man and a good firefighter, but he's not mature in relationships.  He's not real concerned about that, thinking he'll have time for a wife and family later.  (He's assuming he will have a "later".)  To emphasize his lack of maturity here's a quote from the book:  "It seemed a shame you couldn't just go down to the pound and pick one out."  I found myself thinking, "Oh, Jason, you poor thing."  How can you not care about a character who is so hopeless?

The firefighter background and experience shown in this book is authentic.  Once this story starts rolling, it keeps on going like a bulldozer without a driver. The story takes you through highs and lows, emotions spike all over the place, and the search for Jason's lost brother is spotty, filled with odd ugly facts, and is increasingly upsetting.

This is a tough book.  There are no easy answers, everyone seems to be guilty in some way, and the characters have a long way to go even at the end of the book.

It's not a book you read and forget; this is a book you read and think about, again and again.  The worst part is everything that has happened in this book could be true.  That's why it sticks in your mind and keeps coming back for rethought.

Happy reading.

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