I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.For Girls Who Walk Through Fire by Kim DeRose
Published by Union Square and Co on September 26, 2023
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Magical Realism
Source: the publisher
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Those who would suppress and destroy you stand not a chance when confronted with the power that lies within these pages . . .
Elliott D’Angelo-Brandt is sick and tired of putting up with it all. Every week, she attends a support group for teen victims of sexual assault, but all they do is talk. Elliott’s done with talking. What she wants is justice.
And she has a plan for getting it: a spell book that she found in her late mom’s belongings that actually works. Elliott recruits a coven of fellow survivors from the group. She, Madeline, Chloe, and Bea don’t have much in common, but they are united in their rage at a system that heaps judgments on victims and never seems to punish those who deserve it.
As they each take a turn casting a hex against their unrepentant assailants, the girls find themselves leaning on each other in ways they never expected—and realizing that revenge has heavy implications. Each member of the coven will have to make a choice: continue down the path of magical vigilantism or discover what it truly means to claim their power.
For Girls Who Walk Through Fire is a fierce, deeply moving novel about perseverance in the face of injustice and the transformational power of friendship.
I knew this would be one that would definitely hit close to home at times as I have my own personal connection to the topic. I like how the author sprinkled the girls’ stories as they each got their spell to cast. The vagueness of the spell titles and what the results would be kept attention on what would happen. I feel like maybe a bit more info on the blowback or what the girls got after each spell might have added more to the story. But again, in a way, the whole vague bits definitely kept things up to my imagination and helped me to fill in those blanks in a way that made sense to me and my own experiences.
The revenge that the spells wrought on their attackers was vicious, and while it may seem well deserved, it also wasn’t necessarily what some of the girls, or even I would have thought served those people for what they’d done. The way that the things happened though, definitely was part of what helped the girls to stop and think a bit about what they’d done. And made their coven out to be one that in the end, they could learn and grow and keep going with. I won’t say more than that, because I think you need to read and see what they realized. Although to be fair, how that all happened was a little vague to me and that was one of the things that made me put it at 4 stars.
As I mentioned, I am someone with this type of experience, and so all the times the girls questioned if it was their fault, or that it wouldn’t matter if they came forward, or if they were overreacting, I got it, having felt those feelings myself, and even still at times, finding that I still think that way about my experience. Still, a great read, and one that is a good one for people either in those situations or who haven’t (luckily) experienced that, but can get some understanding for those who have.