Book Review – We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

we set the dark on fire

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret – that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio – and a chance at a forbidden love?

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Half starNo-Star

I really enjoyed the writing in the book – it really matched the setting and swept me along. I also found the plot interesting – I always enjoy a bit of political intrigue and this was no different! Plus the Latinx feel and the lgbt+ rep were lovely 💙

Dani and Carmen really grew on me too – I was so worried their relationship would ruin it given how it was set up, but I ended up loving them. They’re so sweet and you could feel the affection, the nerves, the doubt in everything.

Dani herself is a bit harder for me – I liked her as a character but OMG there is no way she was the top primera and yet still so flaky! Every five seconds she was “I have no feelings I have been taught otherwise” or “I am strong I can do this” followed by epic feelings and doubt. And she’d find back bone in one paragraph but then lose it in the next. So while I liked her that was a little frustrating.

Also frustrating was the way none of this was in her hands really – I sort of expected the twist when it came but it’s still things happening to Dani, rather than her setting them off.

That’s why I only gave it 3.5 stars, despite really enjoying it.

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Buy We Set the Dark on Fire from Amazon UK.

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