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Above by Roland Smith
Bobo the Sailor Man! by Eileen Rosenthal
Camp Spirit by Axelle Lenoir
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Volume 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen by Anne Nesbet
Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Descender, Volume 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon
The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright
A Game of Fox and Squirrels by Jenn Reese
A Gift for a Ghost by Borja González
Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz
Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti
Lift by Minh Lê and Dan Santat
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
My Girlfriend is a T-Rex, Volume 1 by Sanzo
No Cats Allowed by Miranda James
The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Rick by Alex Gino
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
The Terrible Two's Last Laugh by Mac Barnett, Jory John, and Kevin Cornell
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
The Walking Bread by Winnie Archer
We Didn't Ask for This by Adi Alsaid
White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton

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Little Fires Everywhere: 05/22/20

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is set in Shaker Heights near Cleveland. It was a village built to be a suburb for Cleveland, one of the nation's first.

The book opens with one of these idyllic houses burning to the ground, set fire by one of its residents. The remainder of the book is the unwinding of events to point to what could drive a suburban family to such extremes.

The event that changed everything, that set the dominoes to fall, was the arrival of Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl. They are renting one of the upstairs apartments in the homes that are duplexes made to look like one. Mia is an artist.

The next event is the attempted adoption of a Chinese baby. When it falls apart and results in a custody battle, Mia ends up in the middle of things.

I'm not a fan of narratives that start with a dramatic event and then rewind. This story telling approach reeks of padding. Why not just let the characters do their thing and let the reader guess at what's coming? Putting the big event front and center gives the story nowhere else to go.

Although there isn't much movement in this novel beyond the ebb and flow of suburbia, Little Fires Everywhere does sit on the road narrative spectrum. As it deals with family dynamics, the travelers are families (33). As most of the action takes place in different houses, the destination is home (66). The route are the roads the define Shaker Heights, which for this spectrum count as blue highways (33). All together this novel is about families, their homes and the roads that connect them.

Three stars

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