By: Danielle Weiler
Published By: Sid Harta Publishers
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Gift from Author
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
*Special Note: Reading Lark will be interviewing Danielle Weiler and giving away a copy of Friendship on Fire very soon, so stay tuned!*
Friendship on Fire follows Daisy Brooks through her last year of high school as she struggles to define who she is and faces obstacles that break her heart along the way. The concept of the book drew me in immediately. A young woman experiencing her first love and struggling to keep her friends while nurturing a new relationship. It’s a struggle that we’ve all faced. How do you explore a new love without pushing away or neglecting your friends? Add in the everyday challenges of high school, from maintaining grades to peer pressure to family, and this is a story that any woman who has been there can relate to, and girls going through it now can identify with.
As much as I had been looking forward to Friendship on Fire, it was a very rocky start for me. I had difficulties with the Aussie dialect, causing me to concentrate so hard on what I was reading and what the terms meant, that I felt like I was losing the meat of the story. I also found Daisy and Nate’s relationship awkward and unbelievable at first. I liked it enough that I didn’t have to force myself to keep reading, but it wasn’t a “can’t put it down, must read at all times” story for me in the beginning. I kept coming back for more of Roman, Daisy’s best friend, and her fabulous family. However, the deeper I got into the story, the more hooked I became.
About half way through, I finally reached the point where all I wanted to do was read; I had to know how things were going to turn out for Daisy. I’ve read in other reviews where readers were frustrated with Daisy at times, and while I can see where they are coming from now, after finishing the book, I was 100% with Daisy all along. I guess I am a naive, trusting soul, because I probably would have made the same choices Daisy did through most of the book. I enjoyed watching Daisy navigate through her budding relationship with Nate and floundering friendships with Roman and Rachel. I was so happy that Daisy discovered true friends who could help her deal with her heart break and move forward with her life. Another great part of Daisy’s story was her family. Her brothers were everything I always wanted in a big brother, and I adored them, especially Treston. I questioned Daisy’s parents along the way. I can’t imagine my parents ever allowing some of the scenarios Daisy found herself in, like having Nate in her bedroom, but I appreciated how open they were. The family dynamic was really fun, and I found myself imagining what it would be like to be part of their family.
In the end, Friendship on Fire turns out to be a fun coming of age story. It’s easy to identify with Daisy, impossible not to love her bestie, Roman, and fun to hate the Blond Brigade. The rest of the cast of characters enhance the story beautifully and enrich Daisy’s life in many ways. There were some areas that seemed to drag, and I feel like it could have been shortened to speed up the pace a bit here and there, but I really liked the story and enjoyed the read even through the slower parts. So if you’re looking for a fun YA story full of love, friendship, and family, I would definitely recommend Friendship on Fire. (Just keep your Google app handy and be prepared to learn some new Aussie phrases and slang along the way.)
Summary from Goodreads:
The first few days of year 12 are disastrous for school captain Daisy Brooks. But Daisy’s life takes a sudden turn when she is dared by Skye, the leader of the Blonde Brigade, to meet the mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous stranger, Nate, from rival school Addison Grammar. Daisy’s instant attraction to him disrupts her world. But what about her best friend Roman? How will he respond to this intruder?
Daisy is a vulnerable, yet fiery girl going through the chaotic phase between teenage and adulthood. She is about to discover the complexities of relationships, the etiquette of friendship and, most of all, her development as a woman.
Is it too late for Daisy to realise that the choices she makes shapes who she is and who she will become?