Sacha Winters can’t die. Until his eighteenth birthday he is invincible. On that day it all ends for Sacha – the result of a curse that has plagued his family for centuries.
His death will fulfill the curse – and unleash a wave of destruction. He has no idea how to stop it, only the cryptic notes left behind by his father, and a strange connection with a girl he has only just met to guide him.
Taylor Montclair is a quiet, studious girl focused on her dream of getting into Oxford University. She’s also the only one who can save Sacha. Only neither of them knows that yet. And Sacha lives hundreds of miles away, in Paris.
Taylor and Sacha have eight weeks to find each other. To unravel the secrets buried in their families’ past. And to discover the power that lies within them.
Sacha’s life, and the fate of the world depends on it. The clock starts NOW.
Disclosure: I received an e-ARC of this title from Bookouture supplied by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
Things I Loved
- Writing Style, Pacing and Plot were all pitch perfect.
- There was an easy to understand and really cool historically rich backstory that explained the alchemical aspects of where the magic comes from and the origin of the curse.
- Vivid and truly lush descriptions of London and Paris. These descriptions were scattered throughout in the most perfect places and I felt like I was really there walking (or running) alongside the characters.
- The authenticity of both Sacha and Taylor. I really connected with both of them. I instantly loved Sacha’s dark brooding voice and after everything he had been through it is no wonder why he is so jaded. Taylor is a perfect contrast to his character and honestly, despite the fact that she is a little bit of a Mary Sue, I absolutely loved her. Maybe because I was a total nerd in school obsessed with my school work and getting into college too so I could sympathize with her like 100%? Lol. I was able to understand where each of them come from instantly and I really think that the dual POV was perfect for this book. It added to the fast paced feeling of the book and each of their voices were so distinct, I didn’t once feel like I was in the other’s POV when I wasn’t supposed to.
- I fell in love with the way they fell in love. I don’t know, what it is about it but it didn’t feel insta-lovey at all to me. I feel like they had a chance to get to know each other someone before meeting and it made sense to me that they would be drawn to each other after everything that they have been through. So I was on board with this ship all the way. My heart did actually stop when Sasha calls her a term of endearment after a certain scene, OMG, I think it was then that this ship had me!
- I adored Louisa. She is such a dynamic character and her parts of the book and her perspective was just an awesome addition to the book. I love how she is like this tough, older big sister that Taylor looks up to. I want to see them grow closer because I was not feeling Taylor’s superficial friend Georgia at all.
- There is an emphasis on the importance of family. This is especially true for Sacha but we get to see this for Taylor as well. This sort of dynamic is not often seen in YA books within this genre, often times the parents are never seen or are dead, sad but true, yet The Secret Fire pulls both teens families into the story allowing them to highlight some of the best aspects of each character.
Things I Ignored Because Of the Things I Loved
- Louisa’s very muscular legs. Lol! Every time her character is described, her muscular legs are added into the image. Either she is folding her muscular legs beneath herself to sit down, or she is walking at a brisk pace with her muscular legs, or simply she wears a black skirt showcasing her muscular legs. Honestly, this is such a small, minute, tiny thing, but it did teach me one thing to the writer in me, be careful with descriptions and don’t overuse the same ones. I love Louisa though, so whatever. Her and her muscular legs, lol.
- The lack of secondary character development. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t like them to begin with? IDK. But Georgie was not my favorite. Like at all. She was annoying. I didn’t care for the jerk jock either. Again, whatever, they didn’t take center stage so I blew them off for the most part.
- The “I’m not pretty” trope. I know this has appeal and I get why it does, a lot of girls really don’t think they are pretty when they totally are, so Taylor believing this makes her relatable, and it makes her human. She is perfect in so many ways intellectually, so we have to give her some sort of insecurity, right? But vanity? I don’t know, this is one of those tropes that actually bothers me in general. I think if the character thinks she is average in looks maybe she should just say it once and move on. Like we get it? I think this is just me, though. Again, not a huge thing. I still love Taylor too.
I really enjoyed this book am looking forward to seeing Taylor and Sacha’s story continue. I also think that this series has a ton of potential, I could see it being a really awesome T.V. series actually. So be sure to check it out.