Title: (You) Set Me on Fire
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
This is a story about college, about fire and also about love.Allison Lee is seventeen and off to college in the fall. So far, she' s been in love once (total catastrophe) and on fire twice (also pretty bad). Both love and fire have left their scars.Looking a little more burnt chicken and a little less radiant phoenix, Allison takes up residence in Dylan Hall (a.k.a. Dyke Hall) at St. Joseph's College, where she discovers the true gift of freshman year: the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Miles away from the high school she's happy to leave behind, her all-female dorm is a strange new world, home to new social circles and challenges. Allison still feels like the odd girl out…until Shar appears. Beautiful and blinding Shar quickly becomes the sun at the centre of Allison's universe, drawing her in with dangerous allure.Will Allison get burned again? And, if she does, what kind of scars will she earn this time?
(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki is a book that I hadn't heard anything about until I was asked to be on a the blog tour for it. And even then, I didn't really have any expectations since I didn't know anything about the author. And when I started reading, I realized that there would be more to the story than I originally expected.
Allison Lee is ready to start over in college. High school wasn't exactly a picnic in the park for her. Especially since she's already been on fire twice. Literally on fire. And she's been burned many times too. But college should be a different experience. And Allison truly believes that maybe this time, things will go her way, especially when she meets the beautiful Shar. With Shar, Allison is ready to let herself fall in love again, let herself be on fire again. But if she's not careful, Allison could get burnt again.
(You) Set Me on Fire was an interesting story to read. For most of the book, I didn't really feel like the story was going anywhere. It always seemed like everything was only about what was on the surface. But the more I read, the more I realized that even though it looked like I was only scratching the surface, there was a whole lot more going on. And that's because (You) Set Me on Fire wasn't so much about the story but a lot more about Allison and how she came to terms with everything. Beyond that, it was really interesting to read a story that took place at college. As a college student myself, it was a lot easier to relate to certain aspects of the story, more so than when the story is taking place in high school. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the book was really more about the characters than it was about the story.
This story was all about Allison. She was the one telling it and she was the one living it. Despite Allison being the main character in this story, it took a while for me to finally grasp who exactly she was. At times it almost felt like the story was more about Shar, which makes sense since Shar was such an important part of Allison's life. In that way, it really was all about Allison since she was all about Shar. But that was a toxic friendship and it was interesting to see Allison work to come to that same conclusion. And the way she eventually found that out to herself was what was most revealing about her character.
(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki was definitely an interesting read. I always love reading books that are about the characters instead of the story and this book definitely satisfied that need. And if you're an older YA reader looking for something that takes place in college instead of high school, you may want to give (You) Set Me on Fire a chance.