Current Read: How to Start a Fire


I’m glad to say that I’ve moved on to a new book this week, but I’m not sure that I like this one any better! I don’t know. Sometimes I think I’m not “grown-up enough” to appreciate adult literature! I better pick out a YA book next. This week’s Current Read Monday is all about How to Start a Fire, a novel by Lisa Lutz. Again, I loved the cover of this book. It’s so bold and graphic. It would be a beautiful book to display on a bookshelf. I’ll let Goodreads tell you about the story before I give you my thoughts.

Goodreads book blurb:

When UC Santa Cruz roommates Anna and Kate find passed-out Georgiana Leoni on a lawn one night, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire on the lawn of a New England mansion. What happens in between-the web of wild adventures, unspoken jealousies, and sudden tragedies that alter the course of their lives-is charted with sharp wit and aching sadness in this meticulously constructed novel.

Anna, the de facto leader, is fearless and restless-moving fast to stay one step ahead of her demons. Quirky, contemplative Kate is a natural sidekick but a terrible wingman (“If you go home with him, might I suggest breathing through your mouth”). And then there’s George: the most desired woman in any room, and the one most likely to leave with the worst man.

Shot through with the crackling dialogue, irresistible characters, and propulsive narrative drive that make Lutz’s books so beloved, How to Start a Fire pulls us deep into Anna, Kate, and George’s complicated bond and pays homage to the abiding, irrational love we share with the family we choose.


I’m 33% through the book, and I’m not really sure what it’s about or what’s happening. Like last week’s book, the timeline jumps around a lot, so I have to think about the sequence of events as I’m reading (although, I’m not sure how important it is yet). It certainly doesn’t follow the good old “exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution” plot line that I liked to teach in the English classroom. And what’s the problem or conflict in the novel? Something big happened at some point, but the author keeps jumping around before and after IT happened, so I don’t know what IT is. Of course, I’m going to have to keep reading to find out what IT is, so the author has me hooked there. But I don’t think I’ll be rating this book too highly or recommending it to other readers. I’m a little disappointed by my last couple of reads, so I hope a good book is on its way to me soon.

What are you currently reading?


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