How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

5/5 Stars

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful hump day 🙂 Mine’s been pretty good. Went shopping to get my mom a birthday present (and, I do have to say, it’s a pretty good one!), Half Price Books had the copy of the The Walking Dead I needed, and my Barnes & Noble credit card arrived today. That last one is a bit of a dangerous thing, though. But, I do get a $25 gift card after I make my first purchase, so that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, moving on with today’s review. I skipped over How to Start a Fire last week because I didn’t have enough time to talk about how much I loved it. But, fret not, I have plenty of time right now to talk about it.

This is a story that follows three women through college and then through their (I believe) mid 30s. Kate, George, and Anna meet in college and continue their friendship throughout the rest of their lives, thick and thin. These 3 girls have 3 very separate personalities that, often times, clash with each other, but that does not make their friendship any less strong. Kate is getting a degree but dreams of running her grandfather’s small diner, George is still trying to figure everything out, and Anna is on her way to becoming a doctor. Will all their dreams come true? What will happen when life gets in the way and throws a few curveballs? Will the girls find happiness – both in each other and in life?


*click photo to be redirected to Goodreads*

Wow. Just wow. This book got 5 seriously glowing stars from me. I knew I was going to like it, but I didn’t know I was going to like it as much as I did. I came across this book on Goodreads when an author I follow, Lou Berney, rated it 5 stars. I knew then that I had to get my hands on it. And, fate happened to be on my side. Just a few weeks later, I found this glorious book at the library and nabbed it in a heartbeat. I’m so glad I did.

This book was so good I finished it in 2 days.

Lutz’s writing was beyond anything I was expecting. Her story flows so easily; I felt like I was watching real-life events unfold before my very eyes. I mean, that’s basically what reading is. But, it takes such a special author to make it feel so real. I was so impressed with the way Lutz weaves such a profound, hit-you-right-in-the-feels story; it almost seems effortless. (I know it’s not, but she makes it look so easy.)

Each character that she creates is multi-dimensional and has their own personality. I was amazed at how far she was able to establish and develop each one of her characters individually. The three main girls are so different, it’s unbelievable. Each one lives her own life and makes her own choices based on what she believes is best for her. I thought this was so cool, since it’s so hard to find a good story about women my age who are all so vastly different, yet each is relatable in a way.

And, it’s especially hard to find an amazing story that focuses so heavily on friendship – what that word means, how it affects us, and what it’s like trying to keep that friendship going even when you start to live very distant lives. This book hit me a bit harder, since I met my two best friends in college, and we are all currently in different places in our lives. I’m here in middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin. April’s graduating. Missy’s in Boston. This book came at the exact right moment for me, as good books so often do.

This story is so phenomenal. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can’t say too much. But, if you read this book, you are in for a pretty wild ride. You are also in for a ride so moving you might even have tears in your eyes. This book honestly brought me to tears it was that good. They were happy tears. I really liked the ending. I liked the whole thing. I liked everything.

I especially liked the focus this has on our choices and their consequences. Lutz illustrates how we can have so many plans for our lives, but those plans are always open for interpretation and can always change. Nothing is set in stone, no matter how badly we want it to be.

I also like the fact that this book touches on topics such as low self esteem (body image), depression, and addiction. Lutz isn’t afraid to delve into some serious (and common) topics that authors always seem hesitant to talk about. (Although, this is becoming a more common and I’m loving it.) Lutz writes these issues realistically and in a way that makes you understand what it’s actually like to be suffering, what it’s like to be the friend of someone suffering, and what it’s like to get better. (Even though you never fully get better.)

Lutz puts an interesting take on a lives of 3 girls and writes in a way that makes you really care about them, and often times even relate to them. There is so much to love about this book. Also, just a quick side note, 3 cheers for feminism! I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. This is a beautiful story that is a great read for anyone. There is not a person I wouldn’t recommend this book to. It was one of my favorites of the year.

Get your copy at Book Depository here for $19.01. (I know that’s pricey, but it’s so worth it! Also, keep an eye out for it to hit shelves in paperback. Hopefully that won’t be too far off. Another great way to get your hands on it is to check your local library. That’s where I found it and got to read this lovely book for free!)

I am so happy I’ve been reading so many good books this year! I hope it doesn’t stop. And, I’ll be back with another review tomorrow of another phenomenal read. Stay tuned for Ms. Marvel Volume 1!

Please feel free, as always, to add/follow/chat with me on the following platforms:TumblrGoodreadsInstagramFacebook. Also, check out my (I’m-almost-finished-with-some-new-projects) Etsy Shop, which I also made a Facebook page for where you can keep up with new and current postings. Check it out here. And, if you want to add me on Snapchat my username is Smashleyyy92.

Happy Reading!


7 thoughts on “How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

  1. Hump days always make me so happy, so happy hump day!

    I’ve never heard of this book before, but I love that it spans a longer period of time to their mid-30s, and I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying it. Sounds like the kind of book you can read when you’re getting all confused about life, haha. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! haha. It’s a very recent release, just came out the second half of this year. I wouldn’t have even thought to pick it up without seeing that author I really like rating it so highly.
      It is definitely a great quarter-mid life crises read.
      Thanks for reading 🙂


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