Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Source: Simon and Schuster (THANK YOU)
373 pages

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.
Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.
But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Starcrossed was one of my first YA reads when I was a younger teen so I had high expectations for Josephine Angelini and I have to say, she certainly did surpass them. Angelini improves her writing dramatically in this novel. When I re-read the Starcrossed series, I noticed when I wasn’t so concentrated on the plot, that her her writing style, pacing and writing development was very simple and not very impressive. Reading Trial by Fire, it was almost like it wasn’t by Angelini. Each character has personality and a very distinctive voice. I love Lily and her stubbornness for what she believes in and Rowan’s strength and ability to put others before himself. The writing is much more sophisticated than what I am used to when reading Angelini’s books. The writing is paced very well and she is able to create such a mesmerizing atmosphere with her characters, their distinct thoughts and the main plot. I absolutely adore this idea of different universes (I’m a sucker for this sort of thing) and I also loved the romance between Lily and Rowan. I loved how they are both very independent but also need each other at the same time. It just lacked that shebang for me to give it a complete 5 stars. It tends to drag along and dwell on Lily’s un-needed thoughts. There we some scenes in this book which I found unnecessary but nevertheless this book still pulled me in (I finished it in a day).

My Rating:


4 Hearts


OH MY FREAKING GOSH! This cliffhanger killed me!
This is not fair! Josephine, you cannot leave us hanging like this for a year. A FREAKING YEAR! So we have Lily in the pyre, trying to gift everyone and she’s dying. Rowan pulls her out and refuses to let her leave without him so she soul-travels back to her world with him. And BAM! The book ends on us. You are kidding me! I still don’t know what happens during the battle and what will happen after. Did Rowan actually arrive with her? Did they make it? What’s going to happen to the other World now? *sigh*

I like Lily’s character. I don’t necessary agree with what she believes in but I do admire her. Her stubbornness and bravery to stand up for what she believes in and to protect others did make her a memorable protagonist. All throughout the book, she stays true to her. She doesn’t cringe away for anything that she has to do. Instead she find a perfectly satisfying alternative. She’s a great person – honest, loyal, intelligent and brave.
I was so sad when she cut and dyed her hair. She had the most beautiful and unique hair – bright red and curly. I love that type of hair. I literally cringed during those scenes but I admit the peeing thing was hilarious (I’m immature like that). I felt so sorry for her because of her allergies and her constant sickness. Imagine, how much of a pain that would be. Wearing contact lenses and suffering hay fever already gets on my nerves.

What pissed me off was Tristan. He has all my pet peeves. He’s a player, he breaks hearts like they’re nothing, he’s a cheater, he makes up excuses for them and had no discipline whatsoever. One quote by him, especially pissed me off. I wanted to punch his head in when he said this:

“You’re punishing me. Fine,” he said tersely. “Just remember I never made any promises. And I never lied to you, Lily.”

He is one big fat, stupid ass. He pretty much said: I kissed you but I didn’t technically say anything about being exclusive and liking you so that gives me a right to sleep around with anyone I want to. What a huge bum bag!
Even in the other world, I still didn’t trust him. He was cooler, sure but he shared a lot of traits with the other Tristan.

The idea of this book is amazingly original. The Witch Universe if very strange to imagine. It’s kind of like a fantasy world but it also has a lot of technology in it. The paranormal books I’ve read with witches, I haven’t liked such as the Beautiful Creatures series and Half Bad (is that witches?) But this book, I loved. I am so attached to this series now. It was very refreshing to read this and find a witch book I enjoyed. I this world, Witches (the Coven) provides that world with energy and clean water and such but the Council provides a government. While it sounds like a good, stable system. It isn’t. The Witches have so much power that when they don’t get their way, all they do is stop the water supply and the medication. What bitchy people.

I still don’t understand the alter Lily (Lillian). There are times when I absolutely, positively hate her during moments when we find out how she came to power, when she beheads people, kills Rowan’s father and hunts scientists. But then, there are other moments when I sympathize with her. Like towards the end when she speaks to Lily about what she saw in the destroyed worlds and what she’s doing is for Rowan and to prevent her world from becoming like that. I really don’t know what to think of her. Of course, she shouldn’t be beheading people, especially Rowan’s dad but hearing their tragic love story made me so sad for both of them. I really hope that in the future there isn’t some sort of weird love triangle between Lillian, Lily and Rowan. That would be too weird and frustrating for me.

I need to talk about the romance!
What did you all think of it?!

Rowan is a dreamer, don’t you think? At the beginning, we got the message that he was wary around her and there was some sort of history between him and Lillian. But slowly they warm up to each other. It wasn’t insta-love. They got to know each other, down to their most inner memories and emotions until they trusted each other. I absolutely adore their romance. They both understand that the other can stand on their own two feet, look after themselves and make decisions themselves. At the same time, they sharpen each other to become stronger people through the willstone connection. This is probably one of the most well-written romance. I love romances when they’re like this – strong and independent yet also reliant. They make each other better people.They’re not clingy and overly passionate. And they don’t hide things from each other. This is quality romance.

So there you go!
That’s Trial of Fire. It was such a great and pulling read!
Comment below of what you thought. I really want know!
I don’t bite……….well, only when I’m hungry. Na, I’m kidding!



3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

  1. I have seen this book around but I haven’t really been too interested in it or interested in reading a book by this author. But seeing your shining review and how much her writing style has improved makes me want to read this! Added to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really enjoyed this, too 😀 Although, sadly, I didn’t like Starcrossed. I mean, I still gave it 2.5 stars, but that was when I JUST started reviewing and was really ”easy” on books, lol. Now I’m tempted to change it to 1, but naaah. Anyway, back to this, it was gorgeous, huh? I thought the world-building was great and the characters enticing! The romance didn’t exactly appeal to me, but I liked where it was going. So we shall see. Great review! 😀


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