MP! Review: Jenny Valentine’s ‘Fire Colour One’ is beautifully written – a YA must-have

Hailed as the Queen of YA before stepping out of the spotlight a few years ago, Jenny Valentine has returned with a novel fit to steal her crown back.

“Iris’s father, Ernest, is at the end of his life and she hasn’t even met him. Her best friend, Thurston, is somewhere on the other side of the world. Everything she thought she knew is up in flames.

Now her mother has declared war and means to get her hands on Ernest’s priceless art collection. But Ernest has other ideas. There are things he wants Iris to know after he’s gone. And the truth has more than one way of coming to light.”

‘Fire Colour One’ is different. Firstly, it is told in a non-linear structure. Looking back and forth in time, spying on Ernest’s history, and ultimately reading the ending on the first page, this book can feel like a cleverly crafted puzzle. However, it is wonderfully satisfying as pieces of information click and fall into place, giving you a wider sense of story and understanding, especially of Ernest and the secret he has to share with Iris.

Secondly, Jenny Valentine has created a story filled with unique and striking characters. There is real substance and strength to the first person narrative, Iris’s voice coating your mind, and the characters throughout stay with you. Each is lovingly detailed and wonderfully real.

Moreover, Valentine is a beautiful writer. For example, Iris’s insatiable craving for fire and burning is described with such loving detail it gives life to a similar addiction upon reading. Fire is suddenly thrilling and captivating and everything it is to Iris. Valentine is such an extraordinarily poignant writer she makes you hungry for things you never desired before.

Ultimately, Jenny Valentine is a very talented writer that all YA fans should try at least once – and may we suggest that first book be the pleasure that is ‘Fire Colour One’.




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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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