web site hit counter Playing with Fire - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Playing with Fire

Availability: Ready to download

When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry. Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now s When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry. Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees. But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.


Compare

When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry. Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now s When a fire cuts off a popular trail in the Oregon forest, a small group trapped by the flames must find another way out―or die―in Playing with Fire, an unrelenting teen-vs-nature YA thriller by New York Times bestselling author April Henry. Natalia is not the kind of girl who takes risks. Six years ago, she barely survived the house fire that killed her baby brother. Now she is cautious and always plays it safe. For months, her co-worker Wyatt has begged her to come hiking with him, and Natalia finally agrees. But when a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back, a perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. With no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, a group of strangers will have to become allies if they’re going to survive. Hiking in the dark, they must reach the only way out―a foot bridge over a deep canyon―before the fire catches them.

30 review for Playing with Fire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    In two words- Loved it! It must have required tons of research, but when it is written by a master storyteller like April Henry, it all seems almost effortless. You have to wonder though about he amount of bad luck twelve people can have....Kept me reading well into the small hours.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    In the history of YA novel first dates, Playing with Fire, definitely takes the cake for containing the first date most likely to make it or break it. Yeesh! You guys! *insert wide eyed face emoji* Look, when I started reading Playing With Fire, I knew that it was going to put me through the anxiety reader ringer. It’s a YA survival thriller, about a teen girl named Natalia, who survived a fire as a child, and is now battling to survive one once again with a group of mismatched strangers, and her In the history of YA novel first dates, Playing with Fire, definitely takes the cake for containing the first date most likely to make it or break it. Yeesh! You guys! *insert wide eyed face emoji* Look, when I started reading Playing With Fire, I knew that it was going to put me through the anxiety reader ringer. It’s a YA survival thriller, about a teen girl named Natalia, who survived a fire as a child, and is now battling to survive one once again with a group of mismatched strangers, and her co-worked/date. So of course, knowing all of that, I expected that it was going to be an intense read. Spoiler alert, it was intense. That being said, it still managed to shake me, surprise me, and keep me flipping pages into the wee hours of the morning. April Henry did a fantastic job starting this one up quickly and keeping me interested. You’re introduced to the characters, and then they are thrown right into the fire. After that these characters truly did not get a chance to take a breath, and I mean that literally and figuratively. The pace of the story is relatively quick, while still giving the reader time to invest in the characters, and even a break from the fight to survive intensity with flashes from Natalia’s past. I don’t want to say too much more, because you just need to read this story to get the full intense feeling and desperation these characters feel to just make it out of the woods alive. I can’t say that it’s a FUN read, but it is very entertaining. I caught myself holding my breath a few times. Most of the characters will have you seriously wanting to just hold them and keep them safe. It’s a quick read, and I really flew through it. I think that if you enjoy survival thrillers that have that quickly found family vibe, and teamwork in a fight to survive, then I think you’ll enjoy this read. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Natalia hasn't been hiking, even though she lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her friend and coworker at The Dairy Barn, Wyatt, means to remedy that, and soon they are off on a populated but rugged wilderness trail. Since Natalia has a bit of a crush on Wyatt and isn't quite sure how he feels, she wants to impress him, even though she is leery of the endeavor. When they are almost done for the day, they find their way back to the car blocked by a quickly moving fire. The E ARC provided by Edelweiss Natalia hasn't been hiking, even though she lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her friend and coworker at The Dairy Barn, Wyatt, means to remedy that, and soon they are off on a populated but rugged wilderness trail. Since Natalia has a bit of a crush on Wyatt and isn't quite sure how he feels, she wants to impress him, even though she is leery of the endeavor. When they are almost done for the day, they find their way back to the car blocked by a quickly moving fire. They turn back, and try to warn others on the path. Eventually, a small group forms, and Wyatt (who is an Eagle scout) serves as the leader, instructing everyone to stick together and using his skills and resources to form the best plan for the group. There are a wide range of ages and experiences represented: elementary school aged Zion and his grandfather Darryl; older Susan, who is experiencing memory issues; shady jerk Jason; baby Trask and his parents Lisa and Ryan; young couple Beatriz and Marco, with his dog, Blue; and Navy bound AJ. The group suffers just about every medical emergency possible on the trek to get away from the fire and back to civilization, including (but not limited to!) burns, bee sting, asthma attack, panic attack, BEAR attack, and various scratches and damaged limbs. Through it all, Wyatt is a calm and purposeful leader, and Natalia uses her First Aid training admirably. She is also admirable in her ability to keep going despite a crippling secret from her past; her baby brother had perished in a house fire that also injured her and left her with PTSD. She's been in therapy, and uses the techniques she's learned there to help the others, and thoughtfully diagnoses and treats the various complaints with her training. When the group realizes that one of them is responsible for the fire, will they be further endangered by the criminal? Strengths: Where to start? First of all, the construction of this book is textbook for a successful #MGLit title. Action from the very start, 240 pages, teen characters, a hint of romance, kids saving the day, and plenty of excitement. Natalia's backstory gives this another level of interest for older readers. Her first aid training, begun to give her a sense of control, is used in the most fascinating manner, and watching her use her coping strategies with others was fantastic. I'm still trying to figure out why her on-trail diagnoses were so riveting! I loved how Wyatt took control and used his own knowledge, keeping the peace when people got tense. The storyline with the fire being set because of a crime was in the back of my mind while the group was suffering nonstop emergencies. This was an intense, heart pounding read, and the epilogue was one of the few that I wanted: it was good to know that the group (which was based on a real life group) survived and flourished. Weaknesses: Readers who want a book more like Henry's The Girl I Used to Be, with a criminal undertone and psychological terror might be a tiny bit disappointed in this. I wasn't! I have to admit that I did put it down from time to time because it was SO intense. What I really think: Two copies? Three? With the recent losses (of all the most circulated books, of course!) due to the pandemic, I'm looking more at buying multiples of books I loved and not buying books I felt "meh" about.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    Wordpress Blog | Twitter I want to get into more books featuring People Trapped In Situations this year, so this story of a girl trapped in a wildfire with strangers, trying to battle their way out, sounded like it was going to be an easy 5 star read for me. Unfortunately, it was so poorly written I was left wondering if I read a first draft. The story is very formulaic, designed to show off the author's first aid training which doesn't translate well to a 17 year old that did a Red Cross course o Wordpress Blog | Twitter I want to get into more books featuring People Trapped In Situations this year, so this story of a girl trapped in a wildfire with strangers, trying to battle their way out, sounded like it was going to be an easy 5 star read for me. Unfortunately, it was so poorly written I was left wondering if I read a first draft. The story is very formulaic, designed to show off the author's first aid training which doesn't translate well to a 17 year old that did a Red Cross course one time. So they would walk a little bit, an event would happen - dislocated shoulder, panic attack, some bears, someone fell face first into bees? - and there would be pages and pages going into detail of all the medical knowledge this one 17 year old had, and then off again until the next event. There is supposed to be some element of romance between Natalia and Wyatt, but I had trouble remembering he was even there most of the time. I'm not sure what their relationship was before the hike, how they met or if it was even supposed to be a date. There's no scenes of them bonding, it's just on to the next emergency. What decided the one star rating for me was that as short as this book is, the penultimate chapter had Natalia in a perilous situation, they hadn't got close to finding their way out yet and just before she was about to be saved or lost, the chapter and story ended. The next chapter is set one year later, cramming the details about them getting out in a quick paragraph and closing the story. I never got that moment of the characters realising that they were rescued and I'm mad about it. I was left with a lot of questions that weren't answered, like where the rescue team that was supposed to meet them in the bridge was, why they never spotted any helicopters, why we never really got closure with Natalia's loss of her brother. I may have missed these answers in the crammed last chapter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    A YA adventure with first aid tips -- and an entertaining read. Natalia and Wyatt are heading back to their car when a forest fire cuts off the trail. When they turn around they find that there are others in the same predicament -- including children. A phone call confirms that they are on their own and must hike 20 miles to the nearest road. They will be hiking all night over dangerous bridges, behind, waterfalls, through a lake, and always trying to stay ahead of the flames. Natalia has a trau A YA adventure with first aid tips -- and an entertaining read. Natalia and Wyatt are heading back to their car when a forest fire cuts off the trail. When they turn around they find that there are others in the same predicament -- including children. A phone call confirms that they are on their own and must hike 20 miles to the nearest road. They will be hiking all night over dangerous bridges, behind, waterfalls, through a lake, and always trying to stay ahead of the flames. Natalia has a traumatic house fire in her past. Wyatt is an Eagle Scout. It will be up to the two of them to lead ten others (including children) to safety. How long will it take for them to realize that the person who started the fire is among them? A riveting read that reminds us of the need to always be prepared on the trail. Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This could be one of my favorite April Henry reads to date. She always delivers fast-paced thrillers and I was SUPER intrigued when I saw the synopsis for this one. Twelve hikers find themselves trapped behind a wall of flame after a forest fire roars to life, cutting them off from the parking lot and the road home. As they set out to try to find another trail out of the w Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. This could be one of my favorite April Henry reads to date. She always delivers fast-paced thrillers and I was SUPER intrigued when I saw the synopsis for this one. Twelve hikers find themselves trapped behind a wall of flame after a forest fire roars to life, cutting them off from the parking lot and the road home. As they set out to try to find another trail out of the wilderness and to any sign of civilization, things go from bad to worse. Night falls and they face challenges that don't just come from the fire. People start getting hurt, and their supplies are quickly dwindling. And Natalia, the one who has never hiked before and bought extra supplies to feel a bit better about the experience, is battling her own demons. Because she knows fire. Her younger brother died 6 years ago after a house fire burned down their house and he died trying to escape. The weight of that experience has haunted her for years and this seems like her nightmares coming true. Can she overcome her past in order to help the others in the group escape the fire? Or will it end in disaster? Highly recommend. Henry's books are almost always huge hits with my students and I think this one will do even better than her others. First purchase material, and you should probably order more than one copy while you're at it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Review to be posted during the book tour

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marti M

    This book was so anxiety inducing and dramatic. A group of people trapped in the forest as it burns around them, trying to stay ahead of the fire until help can arrive. The main character survived a house fire as a child that unfortunately killed her baby brother and is suffering PTSD from it still to this day. The question is, can she keep her cool as things burn around her? Especially since the person who started this forest fire might just be in the group with her? This was so fast paced and e This book was so anxiety inducing and dramatic. A group of people trapped in the forest as it burns around them, trying to stay ahead of the fire until help can arrive. The main character survived a house fire as a child that unfortunately killed her baby brother and is suffering PTSD from it still to this day. The question is, can she keep her cool as things burn around her? Especially since the person who started this forest fire might just be in the group with her? This was so fast paced and entertaining that I read it all in one sitting. However every other page, something terrible would happen and I was so over the dramatics by the end. I really did like how the author touched on anxiety, and PTSD and how to deal with those things with some coping mechanisms while in a high pressure situation. I also loved all the hiking and survivalist knowledge I learned while reading this one. I’m not sure if this is categorized as a thriller or not, but it was definitely a wild ride. TW: death of a toddler, PTSD, panic attacks, FIRE. Thanks to the publishers for giving me a copy to review!

  9. 5 out of 5

    McCaid Paul

    I’m a big fan of April Henry. Unfortunately, this one failed to live up to my expectations. This is a classic case of “it’s not the book, it’s me” as many others seem to have really enjoyed this in the range of four-to-five stars. It’s completely readable, with a good balance of suspense and character building. However, I had to suspend disbelief every time one of the characters faced a life-altering experience, as everything that could go wrong did at some point or another. After awhile, I bega I’m a big fan of April Henry. Unfortunately, this one failed to live up to my expectations. This is a classic case of “it’s not the book, it’s me” as many others seem to have really enjoyed this in the range of four-to-five stars. It’s completely readable, with a good balance of suspense and character building. However, I had to suspend disbelief every time one of the characters faced a life-altering experience, as everything that could go wrong did at some point or another. After awhile, I began to expect these moments, which sucked the suspense right out of the story. To be honest, I think my entire problem with this book stemmed from the fact that it’s a carbon-copy of the climax of Henry’s Edgar-award nominated thriller, The Girl I Used To Be. But this time, the “climax” lasts for 225 pages, paired with a cast of shallow characters and a far too-sunny wrap-up. I’m not knocking Henry’s talent of writing truly harrowing, nail-biting thrillers, as I know what she’s capable of, proof of the *excellent* Girl, Stolen duology. However, at this point in her career, I just expect so much more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    This book was exciting, nerve-wracking, and very well-paced! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting to see how they were going to solve their next challenge. I like that the plot started almost right off the bat. The first chapter told us how the fire was started and then jumped into the story in the second chapter. As well, when I say this book was nerve-wracking, I mean it! Literally everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Someone got hurt, or sick, or nearly died in every cha This book was exciting, nerve-wracking, and very well-paced! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting to see how they were going to solve their next challenge. I like that the plot started almost right off the bat. The first chapter told us how the fire was started and then jumped into the story in the second chapter. As well, when I say this book was nerve-wracking, I mean it! Literally everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Someone got hurt, or sick, or nearly died in every chapter. I was so anxious by the end and half convinced that I would never hike again. Hahah. But I liked that it kept me so intrigued with what would happen next and invested in the characters. It was truly a page turner. Something else I enjoyed, that was kinda a small thing, were the time stamps on each chapter. It helped me to keep track of how things were going for them, but I also just thought it was interesting and a nice touch to the story. Speaking of time, we also get a few flashbacks of Natalia's to help us understand what happened to her and her family all those years ago. It was sad and heartbreaking and really helped me to connect a little better to the character. Also, the characters were so wonderfully written and diverse and I loved them. Everyone had to their quirks and weaknesses and strengths and I loved learning about these things. Also, the author is juggling a lot of characters here, twelve to be exact, but I felt like she did a good job of keeping up with each character. I didn't really feel like there were any that were swept under the rug or that I didn't get to know very well so I was happy about that. I was also happy to see there was a little bit of romance. Nothing big and crazy, but just enough to make me smile. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. The second to last chapter ended with them in a precarious situation and then the last chapter was where they were one year later. It gave a small recap of what happened after that situation and how things were resolved, but it didn't let us live through it. I felt like I was being cheated of the experience. After having suffered with the characters through so much, I didn't get to live through the resolution with them Overall, I was very happy with this survival book. I don't read very many like it so I'm glad I got a good introduction to the genre. This book was a good read and if you enjoy books of strength, heartache, and survival, you'll definitely enjoy this one. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Shockingly enough, this happens to be my first April Henry book. I promise it won't be my last, though! Playing With Fire was intense and exciting from start to finish. Natalia and her co-worker (but she hopes maybe more) Wyatt go for a hike, and are thrown into some serious chaos with some other strangers who also just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But they soon r You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Shockingly enough, this happens to be my first April Henry book. I promise it won't be my last, though! Playing With Fire was intense and exciting from start to finish. Natalia and her co-worker (but she hopes maybe more) Wyatt go for a hike, and are thrown into some serious chaos with some other strangers who also just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But they soon realize that if they want to survive, they're going to have to work together.  Adding to the chaos, the fire starter happens to be in the woods, as well. None of the group is prepared for anything more than a calm afternoon walk, so they're short on supplies and the stakes could not be higher. Natalia also has some significant past trauma related to fire, and she must overcome that in order for herself and the group to make it out.  I loved that the author was able to make all the characters seem so relatable. You wanted this group of everyday, decent folks to make it out, desperately. Natalia's personal story was incredibly emotional, and added a layer to the story. I also really appreciated that the author appropriately touched on some mental health issues during the ordeal, because it was incredibly realistic that this would trigger some pretty serious responses from Natalia.  I think the only thing I'd have personally changed about the story is that while we're given the story from Natalia's perspective, it is a third person narrative, and I may have felt more connected to Natalia had she been the narrator. But otherwise, it was a fast-paced, high stakes story that I simply couldn't put down!  Bottom Line: Playing With Fire kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, cheering on the relatable characters as they fought for survival at every turn.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tony Brown

    A short, enjoyable and easy read. It’s not anything special, and a bit silly, but definitely worth reading. Six years ago, Natalia survived a house fire in which her baby brother died. Now, she is always cautious and never takes risks. After much nagging from her coworker Wyatt, she finally agrees to go hiking with him. During their hike, a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back to civilisation, and the perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. They have no cell service, few suppl A short, enjoyable and easy read. It’s not anything special, and a bit silly, but definitely worth reading. Six years ago, Natalia survived a house fire in which her baby brother died. Now, she is always cautious and never takes risks. After much nagging from her coworker Wyatt, she finally agrees to go hiking with him. During their hike, a wildfire breaks out, blocking the trail back to civilisation, and the perfect sunny day quickly morphs into a nightmare. They have no cell service, few supplies and no clear way out of the burning forest. They become allies with a group of strangers in order to survive, and together they must battle injuries, wild animals, and even a criminal on the run, whilst at the same time trying to escape a deadly fire that races to overtake them. This was a good book but I’m not sure it’s that memorable - I don’t think I’ll be thinking about it for long now that I’ve finished it. The setting was interesting, and you could really feel the need to urgently escape the fire as it was always on the characters’ heels. The plot was a bit silly - everything that could possibly go wrong did, but I didn’t mind this as it made the book much more interesting and ensured that it was fast-paced. Natalia was a really strong lead and I liked her, alongside Wyatt, but I didn’t particularly care for much of the other characters. I loved the dog - Blue - though. Susan was a great character, and it was interesting to read about how her Alzheimer’s was affecting her during the attempt to escape. There is a spot of romance in this book that is quite predictable, but it wasn’t a huge part of the story, and it was nice to see it develop throughout the book. I have to hand it to the author for the amount of research she must have done in order to write this book. We have characters with asthma, Alzheimer’s, and severe allergies, which I loved reading about. I actually learned a lot whilst reading - what to do when someone goes into anaphylactic shock, and how epipens work, for example. We also see the main character treating someone who has severe burns. These are just a few things that April Henry put a lot of effort into whilst writing, and she wrote them very well. Like I said, this wasn’t an amazing book, and was quite silly and unrealistic in parts, but it was definitely enjoyable. It won’t take you long to read, because it’s very short. It was good to escape into this story over the course of a day. 3/5 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nina O'Daniels

    It's a lukewarm solid two stars but bumped it to three for the actual intended audience of this book. April Henry's new survival story is set within one of Portland's many hiking trails where Natalia and Wyatt are hiking. They see the typical other Portlanders out and about while on the path. But when they head back, their path is blocked by fire. When they turn around and warn others going the same way, some are skeptical of a teen boy telling them what is what, and others heed the warning. The It's a lukewarm solid two stars but bumped it to three for the actual intended audience of this book. April Henry's new survival story is set within one of Portland's many hiking trails where Natalia and Wyatt are hiking. They see the typical other Portlanders out and about while on the path. But when they head back, their path is blocked by fire. When they turn around and warn others going the same way, some are skeptical of a teen boy telling them what is what, and others heed the warning. The rest of the less than 250-page book is a cobbled-together group of hikers outrunning a forest fire with Eagle Scout Wyatt as the leader. As the story progresses, the reader gets snippets of Natalia's past, including a tragic accident involving her little brother and a house fire that left parts of her burned. It's no surprise that there is a happy ending to this story befitting it's intended audience. Unfortunately, I am not the intended audience. I found myself intrigued by the storyline; I mean, getting caught in a forest fire is the stuff of nightmares, but the plot was eye-rolling at times. There was no fighting amongst the group (again, a teen is in charge), and every bad thing that could happen to the group did. It was one thing after the other until they are rescued. The biggest problem I had (as an adult reading this, probably not a middle schooler) was how Wyatt and Natalia spoke and acted. Wyatt's skills were on par with that of a professional guide who's been working in the wilderness for thirty years, and Natalia's first aid expertise was that of a doctor with ten years in the ER under her belt. Completely unbelievable, but I know that there will be students intrigued by this story and will love it, especially given its size. If you are looking for something edgier, I'd recommend Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    This book starts with a guy burning a car in the middle of a forest and how one spark can change the course of many lives. Playing with Fire by April Henry was inspired by a real incident called the Eagle Creek Fire which happened in the Columbia River Gorge in 2017 when a 15-year-old boy lit a firework during a burn ban. In our forest are Natalia and her co-worker Wyatt on their first date as he suggested hiking. They are the first ones to notice the fire and smell it. For Natalia, this is a hu This book starts with a guy burning a car in the middle of a forest and how one spark can change the course of many lives. Playing with Fire by April Henry was inspired by a real incident called the Eagle Creek Fire which happened in the Columbia River Gorge in 2017 when a 15-year-old boy lit a firework during a burn ban. In our forest are Natalia and her co-worker Wyatt on their first date as he suggested hiking. They are the first ones to notice the fire and smell it. For Natalia, this is a huge deal as for the past six years she has made it her goal to avoid the fire of any kind and little children as a tragic accident occurred and landed her in the hospital with burns. Along the way they met several groups of hikers and together they are trapped in the forest and now have to work together to survive and find a way out of the fire, the group contains all ages and issues from diabetes to dementia to panic attacks. However, as the book progresses and they work to help one another, someone is sabotaging the members of the group and doesn't want them to survive the night as if they do, then his secret is out. I liked this book and liked the variety of characters and personalities that April Henry had written as they all made the book with their quirks and flaws. Playing with Fire by April Henry was a medium-paced novel and if you love hyperfiction and books inspired by true events, then check out this YA thriller.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Thriller / Suspense *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Playing by Fire, by author April Henry, is a story of survival against almost impossible odds. This book is inspired by real life events. The 2017 Eagle Creek Fire Columbia Gorge which was started by a 15-year-old playing with fireworks. 17-year old Natalia avoids risks after surviving a house fire as a child, but she agrees to go on a day hike with Wyatt, a friend and outdoors enthusiast. When a forest fire erupts leaving them a *Source* Publisher *Genre* Thriller / Suspense *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Playing by Fire, by author April Henry, is a story of survival against almost impossible odds. This book is inspired by real life events. The 2017 Eagle Creek Fire Columbia Gorge which was started by a 15-year-old playing with fireworks. 17-year old Natalia avoids risks after surviving a house fire as a child, but she agrees to go on a day hike with Wyatt, a friend and outdoors enthusiast. When a forest fire erupts leaving them along with 10 others stranded in the woods trying to find their way to safety, Natalia knows first hand just how bad fire can be. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Fink

    Natalia and Wyatt take a trip to a hiking trail. On their way out their path is blocked by the raging forest fire. They and a few other groups who were also on the trail have to race through dangerous terrain with a fire on their back keeping them moving farther into the forest. As they make their way through the trails trying to reach a road, they face many situations that test their patient and their knowledge. First I think that the book started off really well giving us some background on ho Natalia and Wyatt take a trip to a hiking trail. On their way out their path is blocked by the raging forest fire. They and a few other groups who were also on the trail have to race through dangerous terrain with a fire on their back keeping them moving farther into the forest. As they make their way through the trails trying to reach a road, they face many situations that test their patient and their knowledge. First I think that the book started off really well giving us some background on how the forest fire started, which you kind off forget as you read most of the book, but I like that, that information comes full circle and ties things together in the end. So, this book is more than just getting lost in the woods with a forest fire, it about a crime that caused it. I wish that more of the story was about that, but I also understand it wasn’t the focus of the book. I also have very mixed feelings on how the people act in the book. The kids are the adults in this book. They are the ones prepared, they are the ones who know how to handle all the various life or death situations that the group encounters. I am mixed on this because I understand and partly like that the reason who this is because the book wanted them to be the ones to save the day, but I also think that those adults should have been a little smarter. I mean they provided basically no help at all in the situation and were the main cause for most of the problems that happened. Another thing I have mixed feelings about is how many things go wrong. I mean every chapter there is another problem. I think that this definitely keeps the book entertaining and moving forward. There is no dull moment in this story. But it also got to a point where it’s like okay these people are cursed. I could also guess a lot of the problems that were going to happen before they did. There were numerous things that foreshadowed what would happen, so none of it was really a shock. I have read two other books by April Henry and this is my least favorite out of them, but even with that said it was a nice short read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    leo(neil)

    check out my blog! my thoughts: natalia should enjoy her first hike, especially since she was spending it with wyatt. charming wyatt, who convinced her to go on this trip. however, a great fire ignited, blocking their way home, and natalia had a past with fire that was still haunting her. together with other people, they had to travel to their only exit, which was miles away. either they wait for the fire to devour them or they die trying to get away from it. each of the character had their own hel check out my blog! my thoughts: natalia should enjoy her first hike, especially since she was spending it with wyatt. charming wyatt, who convinced her to go on this trip. however, a great fire ignited, blocking their way home, and natalia had a past with fire that was still haunting her. together with other people, they had to travel to their only exit, which was miles away. either they wait for the fire to devour them or they die trying to get away from it. each of the character had their own hell to face, and it was not helping that a fire was chasing them. along the way, with wyatt acting as their team leader, natalia and their companions faced challenges that brought their wills to the test. one’s knee dislocated, one experienced a panic attack, but thanks to natalia and wyatt’s knowledge medically and psychologically, they were able to conquer such struggles. one of the things that i loved was how the author explained the medical and psychological happenings that occurred, providing enough details for readers to understand the procedures natalia and wyatt were exercising. natalia’s trauma, although very sad, added a spice to the plot and was very relevant to her development as a character. her trauma motivated her to conquer it, which was empowering. a fast-paced story, which was also plot-driven as the turn of events did not always go with the characters’ expectations. they would reach a finish line, only to find out they were on another starting line. with suspense incorporated, making me breathless and scared for their lives, proving that i was greatly attached and was rooting for them. from now on, i will watch out for more of april henry. she delivered a story about survival and courage, which branded itself to my heart. *an advanced copy of the book was provided by the tour organizer and publisher via netgalley check out my blog!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {The Clever Reader}

    **Trigger Warnings** Asthma Attack, Child Death, Anaphylaxis. This book was intense. I expected injury and possible death given the plotline of this YA survival novel. The child death is unrelated to the survival portions of the book but took place in Natalia's past with the death of her younger brother. It is not graphic but does include a scene describing what happened during the fire that took his life when Natalia was younger. Natalia is now faced with her past while fighting for survival. T **Trigger Warnings** Asthma Attack, Child Death, Anaphylaxis. This book was intense. I expected injury and possible death given the plotline of this YA survival novel. The child death is unrelated to the survival portions of the book but took place in Natalia's past with the death of her younger brother. It is not graphic but does include a scene describing what happened during the fire that took his life when Natalia was younger. Natalia is now faced with her past while fighting for survival. This book will keep you on your tows from beginning to end. I haven't read very many survival stories but I enjoyed this one. I liked that it was a group of people working together to survive their situation and that the characters were of different ages and stages of their lives, and some were related while others weren't. Each one of them learn to trust each other and work together as they face some very scary instances that include coming across a mama bear and her cubs, falling trees, and rushing water all while trying to escape the fire coming for them. This book is about facing your fears both physically and mentally. I really liked that the MC attended therapy after her brothers death and that the techniques she's learned to help her cope with her PTSD are applied throughout her experiences she's faced with on this crazy rollercoaster. If you're not easily triggered by the warnings above than I would recommend this. It kept me on my toes and wanting to find my next survival story!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    3.5 stars rounded up. Well written, descriptive, and fast paced (and short!), Playing With Fire follows 12 people in a desperate race to escape a raging wildfire. It was a lot of characters to juggle and, as such, it was easy to either forget about them or accidentally conflated them, but Henry kept them distinct by giving each character a set of one-on-one encounters with main character Natalia. That's how you handle a large cast without relying on stereotypes instead of characterization. The one 3.5 stars rounded up. Well written, descriptive, and fast paced (and short!), Playing With Fire follows 12 people in a desperate race to escape a raging wildfire. It was a lot of characters to juggle and, as such, it was easy to either forget about them or accidentally conflated them, but Henry kept them distinct by giving each character a set of one-on-one encounters with main character Natalia. That's how you handle a large cast without relying on stereotypes instead of characterization. The one thing that I struggled with, though, was the sheer amount of stuff that went wrong. It was a Murphy's Law hike: literally anything you might think could go wrong did. We have a panic attack, an athsma attack, anyphalactic shock (I probably spelled that horribly wrong), diabetic rapid blood sugar loss, falls, slips, stumbles, broken or dislocated bones. Like... It was an entire season of Grey's Anatomy in one 250 page book. But because of the pacing and the clear distinction of characters, it was a fast and entertaining read. And, as someone whose biggest fear is house fires, it was occasionally rather hard to read. {Thank you Fierce Reads for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review; all thoughts are my own}

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    April Henry does it again. Another page-turning, heart-stopping thriller with a little romance and a dash of educational value. This time we learn about fire safety, first aid, and wilderness survival. Leadership (innate or having it thrust upon you), finding yourself, overcoming your fears are all common in Henry’s books and they find their way into this one as well. Our heroine is battling her fear of fire (as well as other childhood traumas) while running from a forest fire. Meanwhile, our Ea April Henry does it again. Another page-turning, heart-stopping thriller with a little romance and a dash of educational value. This time we learn about fire safety, first aid, and wilderness survival. Leadership (innate or having it thrust upon you), finding yourself, overcoming your fears are all common in Henry’s books and they find their way into this one as well. Our heroine is battling her fear of fire (as well as other childhood traumas) while running from a forest fire. Meanwhile, our Eagle Scout boyfriend is trying to salvage this first date gone horribly wrong (poor guy!). Our cast of characters range from a mere toddler and his parents, to a grandson/grandfather duo, to an Alzheimer’s suffering woman, to a shady man with a secret. Just to name a few.

  21. 5 out of 5

    CR

    This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, I just couldn’t put it down. There was so much action as the team of 12 hikers race through the wilderness to escape a raging wildfire. Then April Henry throws in a twist with a jewel heist. The main character Natalia goes for her very first hike with her wilderness savvy companion and friend Wyatt. Natalia manages to confront her fear of fire and her tragic past and is able to provide critical first aid care saving several members of the This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, I just couldn’t put it down. There was so much action as the team of 12 hikers race through the wilderness to escape a raging wildfire. Then April Henry throws in a twist with a jewel heist. The main character Natalia goes for her very first hike with her wilderness savvy companion and friend Wyatt. Natalia manages to confront her fear of fire and her tragic past and is able to provide critical first aid care saving several members of the group as they escape the wildfire. I loved how much detail and accuracy there was when it came to the fires, the medical care, and wilderness survival. I can’t wait to read more books by April Henry.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelegg

    Wow! What a book, it was a never let up, unputdownable, can’t breathe, tension filled thrill ride and I can’t decide if I loved it or was exhausted at the end. Definitely both. I can’t remember a book that made me so anxious and yet I had to keep turning pages just to see how it was all going to work out. I definitely recommend this one to lovers of extremely scary scenarios, very well written characters, and books you can’t put down. This was a good one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    "When this fire started, we were just a group of strangers. But now we're pulling together. It's not just me or you, not anymore. It's all of us." Traumatized by the fire that stole her brother and left her scarred, Natalia has developed an aversion to risks. When she finally agrees to a day hike with her handsome coworker, Wyatt, she could have never predicted that a wildfire would block their trail back into civilization. Banding together with a ragtag group of other hikers, Natalia finds h "When this fire started, we were just a group of strangers. But now we're pulling together. It's not just me or you, not anymore. It's all of us." Traumatized by the fire that stole her brother and left her scarred, Natalia has developed an aversion to risks. When she finally agrees to a day hike with her handsome coworker, Wyatt, she could have never predicted that a wildfire would block their trail back into civilization. Banding together with a ragtag group of other hikers, Natalia finds her anxieties and fears pushed to the limit as she and her newfound companions race against hungry flames. Stories of survival are always interesting to me, and so it was no surprise that I was at least mildly intrigued by the synopsis of Playing with Fire. This short, fast-paced book is one that I read in a handful of hours. 2.5 stars. To be perfectly honest, there's nothing particularly bad about this book, but there's also not anything that makes it stand out for me. Narrated by Natalia, the book follows her harrowing journey through the woods to outrun one of her greatest fears: fire. Combined with memories of the previous housefire that killed her baby brother and severely injured her, the book is one that shows the strength of one's will. Natalia's fears battle with her instinct for survival, and she finds herself to be an important member of their group. "... if you're hoping you'll be like you were before, you'll wait forever. You're going to become something completely different." The only thing I didn't like was that it was just one problem after another, to the point that it was almost comedic. Natalia is Red Cross certified, and out of the group that numbers nearly a dozen, about half of them have some sort of medical episode that Natalia has to attend to. At one point, I actually said, "Oh, come on!" when yet another hiker experienced a medical emergency. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. It was just an okay read for me. But as a library employee, I think that this book (and likely other books by this author) will be ones that I suggest to reluctant or struggling YA readers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to be an early reader. This was a book that held my attention and the tension level throughout was great. However, Wyatt and Natalia were a little unrealistic with their ability to solve every problem that they encountered on their journey to safety from the fire.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon { Library Girl Reading }

    4.75 - Its April Henry so of course I loved it! This one was different from her other's in a sense but similar at the same time. Either way I always love her stories. This one was full of nail biting moments. It has lots of non stop action, and I loved that is inspired by real survivors of Eagle Creek Fire. 4.75 - Its April Henry so of course I loved it! This one was different from her other's in a sense but similar at the same time. Either way I always love her stories. This one was full of nail biting moments. It has lots of non stop action, and I loved that is inspired by real survivors of Eagle Creek Fire.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josephine Sorrell

    This adventure book is tense, thrilling, and nearly unrelenting. Set in a beautiful forest in the state of Oregon, a wildfire is blazing. The fire cuts off a popular trail leaving a small group of hikers cut off by the flames. Now they must find another way out or succumb to the fire. Unfortunately the fire is only one of the perils in the forest. There are 12 of them trapped and not all are proficient hikers, rather there is a toddler, grandfather, young child, and Susan who maybe shouldn’t hav This adventure book is tense, thrilling, and nearly unrelenting. Set in a beautiful forest in the state of Oregon, a wildfire is blazing. The fire cuts off a popular trail leaving a small group of hikers cut off by the flames. Now they must find another way out or succumb to the fire. Unfortunately the fire is only one of the perils in the forest. There are 12 of them trapped and not all are proficient hikers, rather there is a toddler, grandfather, young child, and Susan who maybe shouldn’t have been there to begin with. Yet they come together pooling their meager resources to work as a team in the effort to survive. Well all except the one dissenter. And there is always one. Each has their own story which impacts their survival. There is no cell service, few supplies, and no clear way out of the burning forest, yet this group of strangers become allies in this perilous struggle. I enjoyed the author’s research into survival skills in the wilderness and how they were implemented as each calamity arose one after the other. At times I felt the scenario a little fantastic and some character development. a bit thin. But the readability is her best to date in my opinion. I predict the intended audience will devour and clamor to read this newest disaster book by April Henry. Thank you a Netgally and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Ya action packed, fast read! I liked it

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jodie "Bookish" Cook

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book Review Title: Playing with Fire Author: April Henry Genre: YA/Survival/Thriller Rating: ***** Review: I haven’t read anything by April Henry before but I have heard her name in the thriller community a few times and the synopsis of Playing with Fire was intriguing and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The opening of Playing with Fire starts at 6:22 P.M. where a young man called Jason seems to be disposing of a getaway vehicle by setting it on fire although it doesn’t go to plan as he quickly mana Book Review Title: Playing with Fire Author: April Henry Genre: YA/Survival/Thriller Rating: ***** Review: I haven’t read anything by April Henry before but I have heard her name in the thriller community a few times and the synopsis of Playing with Fire was intriguing and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The opening of Playing with Fire starts at 6:22 P.M. where a young man called Jason seems to be disposing of a getaway vehicle by setting it on fire although it doesn’t go to plan as he quickly manages to start a forest fire. This opening was gripping and very interesting as it seems like this novel is going to take place over a very short amount of time. We are then introduced to Natalia and Wyatt, co-workers and friends as Wyatt has convinced Natalia to come hiking with him. In this short scene we learn that there are forest fires all around because of the drought and Natalia has been in a fire before leaving her leg quite scarred, so you can imagine their surprise and horror when the trial they need to go through in order to get home is consumed by fire. By 7:23 P.M. the fire has cut off the trial so Natalia and Wyatt head back to the waterfall to see if they can get some reception on their phones to call the emergency services as they know there are helicopters dealing with other fires in the area and they also informs other on the trial about the fire not knowing that one of them is actually the person that started the fire. Natalia is terrified at this situation as she was in a house fire as a child that claimed the life of her brother and honestly, I’m hooked. As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel, Wyatt manages to contact the emergency services who divert some helicopters but they also drop a note telling them that the fire is spreading and to head to Sky Bridge. The group now numbers nine as Wyatt explains that Sky Bridge is a wooden footbridge that spans the canyon and they have to reach it before the fire does. As they get moving, the find the family who tried to make it through the fire, the woman and child seem fine but the husband is badly burned and time isn’t on their side especially with night falling soon. Between Wyatt and Natalia, they are able to give Ryan some basic first aid before they set off for the bridge but Jason has left the group presumably so no one finds out what he has done. The group make it to Sky Bridge without many issues but they find a gate has been erected meaning they can’t access the bridge and they also catch up with Jason. The group isn’t in the best condition as Ryan’s burns need treatment, Beatriz’s feet are suffering and AJ suspects he is having a heart attack. While Natalia tries to deal with these issues a lot of the men are trying to create a gap at the bottom of the gate so they can squeeze through or bring it down entirely but it is slow work and the fire is catching up with them. However, Natalia when she inspects the gate is pushed by someone although no one saw anything and although she questions herself, I wouldn’t put it part Jason to have done it. As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel, eventually the group manage to create a gap under the gate and AJ is fine, it was merely a panic attack but his reaction is completely believable especially if you’ve never had a panic attack before. However, we then jump back six years presumably to find out why Natalia is so afraid of fire and what really happened to her brother, Connor. We learn that six year before 11 year old Natalia was left to look after her two year old brother while her mother returned to the grocery store for something she forgot and Natalia was attempting to make dinner. Before we can actually see what happened we return to the present where the group have crossed the bridge but they face even more problems as they can’t use the one trial as it has been on fire for days but the second and only other options is a trial for experienced hikers. However, this is overshadowed when Susan goes missing and one of the others makes the connection between Susan’s behaviour and Alzheimer’s, they spend ten minutes looking for her and Natalia eventually finds her which is a relief but it isn’t much of one when they see the trial they are going to have to cross in the dark which includes canyons and cliff faces that most of them wouldn’t dare dream of crossing even in the day but they have no choice and have to continue on or they could be trapped on both sides by two different fires. As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, as they walk over the waterfall cliff, they have to cross into order to progress down the trial Beatriz’s improvised shoes cause her to fall over the edge but Natalia, Marco and Darryl manage to pull her back only for Lisa to take a tumble over the edge. Luckily for her she lands on a ledge but she has dislocated her kneecap meaning she can’t get back up and the ledge isn’t wide enough for anyone else to go down. Natalia takes the lead and talks Lisa through putting her own kneecap back in place and soon they manage to get her back where Natalia makes an improvised brace for her so they can continue. We also learn more about Natalia’s past, after trying to cook pasta, she accidently sets her sleeve on fire and in her panic to put it out the curtains catch fire and it spreads from there. Natalia desperately tries to put it out despite it getting worse when she remembers that Connor was sleeping upstairs. She rushes to get to him hiding under his bed unconscious as the house rapidly fills with smoke. She dangles Connor out the window so he can breath as is partially trapped by a fallen piece of ceiling when the windows blow out waking Connor who struggles in Natalia’s grip and falls as she dives out the window after him. She wakes up in the hospital where she learns that her brother has died and she has suffered severe injuries and while her parents blame themselves, Natalia knew even then that it was her fault as she has carried that guilt for years. As we cross into the second half of the novel, the group continue down the trial but they are quickly running out of stem. When a large tree blocks the trial, they have to climb over or under it but AJ gets trapped by a log that requires everyone’s help to remove but he is ok. By the time, they have put enough distance between them and the fire to rest, the begin to catalogue what supplies they have when they learn that Jason has been carrying around a large piece of jewellery before he flees after stealing some food. Natalia is the one to make the connection between Susan’s road flare and the cap she saw Jason throw away and the group assume he must have been the one to start the fire and because he thought Natalia knew he tried to push her off Sky Bridge and followed her when she went looking for Susan. Now the whole group knows what he has done, there is no telling what he might attempt to do to them now but he is outnumbered and he would need a method of disabling them like a gun in order to have any hold over the group but they don’t really have time to focus on it as there is still the issue of the fire. We must also remember some of the group aren’t up for fighting as Ryan and Lisa are injured, Susan isn’t in the best frame of mind, there is also a child present and members of the group like Zion can’t see without his glasses, so I have no idea where the story is going to go moving forward. After resting for a few hours, the group are rudely awoken by some bears passing through when Wyatt notices the wind is changing and is pushing the fire towards them so they have to get moving again. The wind is blowing the fire towards them very quickly and they are racing to stay ahead of it and reach civilization before it reaches them. However, Marco suffers a severe asthma attack due to the smoke and the exercise and Natalia has to use both of Zion’s EpiPen’s in order to stop it which means he is now without aid. As they begin moving again it soon becomes clear that there is also an issue with Zion’s grandfather which might hold them up and out them within the fire’s reach. As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel, it turns out Darryl is diabetic and his blood sugar is crashing. The group work together to find him enough to food to get the back to civilization but the fire has now caught up with them and when a burning tree coming crashing down the hillside the group is split in two. The group containing Wyatt and Natalia race down to the lake that they have to swim across which is bad as Natalia can’t swim and Wyatt still has the baby strapped to his back but they make it and they meet up with the other group on the other side which buys them a small amount of time. As they have veered off their original route, the group decide it is best to help to the other trial where the other fire is and the far side, the side they are heading for has burnt out and it can’t burn twice but they encounter a log containing a beehive which Zion is allergic to and AJ crashes through it releasing them. Zion is having a really back allergic reaction to being stung and could be dying and Marco remembers that EpiPen’s contain more than once dose and then manage to take it apart and give Zion the does but it might be too late and if he dies here, I will be heartbroken as they are now so close to their destination and don’t have much further to go. As we cross into the final section of the novel, Zion recovered and they make the final stretch of their journey where they once again encounter a bridge and Jason. The wooden floorboards of this bridge have burned away leaving only the steel frame but it is the only way across the canyon. After Wyatt disables Jason thanks to his broken collarbone and he cross the bridge will minimal effort since heights don’t bother him and he agrees to ferry everyone across the bridge one at a time. After he takes Natalia across first since she trusts him the most, she kisses him hinting at the relationship she has been thinking of when she wasn’t not panicking. However, while Wyatt is working out a way to get Blue the dog across, some happens that terrifies Natalia more than the fire they have been outrunning. When Lisa is crossing the bridge, her son tries to walk towards her and falls of the bridge. In slow motion almost, Natalia dives for him and catches him by the wrist mirroring the exact situation she found herself in with her brother although this time she isn’t a weak 11 year old year and together they manage to save the little boy. The epilogue was beautiful as we see everyone a year later where their journey began and we learn where their lives have gone since the events of the fire. Overall, Playing with Fire was your classic survival story with some very minor thriller elements, despite it having the conveniences you’d expect in survival stories that don’t end in tragedy and certain characters like Wyatt seeming a lot older than they actually are it was a quick and enthralling read that I would highly recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy Carlson

    Thank you NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book. Maybe survival stories just aren’t my thing no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise? I chose this book because 1.) I love trying new authors and I haven’t read anything by April Henry before and 2.) speaking of April Henry, she’s received so many awards for her writing that who wouldn’t want to read her books? Especially when the premise promises mystery, romance, and survival – a winning combination! Playing With Fire focuses on Na Thank you NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book. Maybe survival stories just aren’t my thing no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise? I chose this book because 1.) I love trying new authors and I haven’t read anything by April Henry before and 2.) speaking of April Henry, she’s received so many awards for her writing that who wouldn’t want to read her books? Especially when the premise promises mystery, romance, and survival – a winning combination! Playing With Fire focuses on Natalia, an incoming college freshman with aspirations of becoming a doctor. When Wyatt, the guy she likes, learns she’s never been hiking before, he drags her onto a supposedly simple trail that ends at a beautiful waterfall. But on their way back, they run directly into a wall of forest fire blocking their only one way to the parking lot. This forces them to team up with a group of other hikers stranded on the trail – including a rather shady character named Jason. What follows is a twenty-four hour hike deeper into the woods with nature throwing everything at them. Honestly, I enjoyed the flashbacks into Natalia’s childhood the most as they gave context to her fearing literally everything. (The fearing everything part annoyed me at the start of the book but thanks to the flashbacks I better understood Natalia’s perspective by the end.) Also the chapter cliff-hangers were on point. However, overall I unfortunately found Playing With Fire to be a frustrating novel. First, why did April Henry choose this adventure? Because it felt like she chose the subject simply to give readers a crash course in first aid training. The characters’ dialogue was incredibly stiff the whole narrative and it was highly unbelievable everyone had that much precise first aid knowledge. Also, when a child wakes up in the Burn Center after barely surviving a house fire, why would any mother start with telling said child the terrifying statistics for surviving a fire in the first place? Secondly, the whole adventure lasts for about twenty-four hours. Yes, hiking can be dangerous but running from a forest fire, almost getting attacked by a bear, the numerous times someone almost fell off a cliff, fighting off a swarm of bees plus the medical injuries like asthma attacks, panic attacks, allergic bee stings, and dislocated knees and broken collar bones (and this list isn’t even complete) seems improbable to all happen at the same time. (Once again, it felt like Henry was just working off a list titled “Everything That Can Possibly Go Wrong in the Woods” and using this novel to explain how to medically treat said list.) Moreover, I grew up in the mountains (a national state park was basically my backyard) and in my experience if a forest fire is occurring anywhere in the park, the whole park is closed down. Or, at the very least, any possible trail that could even remotely get close to the fire would be closed. So Natalie, Wyatt and the gang shouldn’t have even been on that trail in the first place. Speaking of Natalie and Wyatt, where was the chemistry? The personality? I don’t know anything about the main characters except that Natalie is scared of everything and she wants to be a doctor (even though she struggles with high-stress/high-pressure situations). Honestly, the two act like good acquaintances rather than first-date-lovers. And Jason made absolutely zero sense. Why did he light the car on fire to being with? Why did he steal from a museum in the middle of the day? And how did he get stuck on the trail? Yes, fires spread fast but he was already in the parking lot when it began while trail entrances are usually narrow so he would’ve purposefully chosen to be stuck on the trail. Also, the reasoning behind his thievery felt like it was thrown in just tie up lose ends. Based on how the novel began versus how it progressed felt like Henry forgot her original idea/outline in favor of sharing all her Red Cross training. Verdict: The pieces are there but the end result remains flat with a heavy emphasis on educational value.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Natalia is not certain that hiking is really her thing, but her co-worker Wyatt convinces her to give it a try. The perfect day turns into a less than perfect scenario when a wildfire breaks out and blocks their path back to the car. They, along with several other day-hikers, are trapped by the rapidly encroaching fire and must work together to try to find their way around it. With few supplies, and a lot of twists and turns, the group will rapidly discover that there is no easy way out. I am al Natalia is not certain that hiking is really her thing, but her co-worker Wyatt convinces her to give it a try. The perfect day turns into a less than perfect scenario when a wildfire breaks out and blocks their path back to the car. They, along with several other day-hikers, are trapped by the rapidly encroaching fire and must work together to try to find their way around it. With few supplies, and a lot of twists and turns, the group will rapidly discover that there is no easy way out. I am always a big Apri l Henry fan and this book was no exception. In fact, I particularly enjoyed that this book departed from some of her more typical storylines. Her ability to create tension and to do so in a succinct yet compelling way is one of the things that makes her particularly appealing to the students I serve in middle school. I recommend this to any reader who enjoys survival stories!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.