Nothing Burns as Bright as You – 5 Star Review

I was first introduced to Ashley Woodfolk’s writing when she appeared alongside some of my favorite rock star authors in an anthology called Blackout. I absolutely loved that book last summer, and quickly added this one to my 2022 most anticipated book list. Later in the year I found out I was luckily selected as a winner from a Yall Fest giveaway for an advanced readers copy! 

“She needs very little, but what she needs she cannot go without.”

Nothing Burns as Bright as You is about two girls, who’s friendship bloomed into something more. It is told in verse in a way that lends more into the poetic spectrum than other novels in verse I’ve read – which I loved! Woodfolk’s prose is rich, and she threads the theme of fire throughout. Fire is such a perfect symbol for what this book represents, the raging chaos of first love and the uncontainable emotions that love entails. It’s messy, reckless, dangerous, but absolutely beautiful. And it will swoop you away but not before you notice the pain of the flame.

“Little girls’ bodies are war zones with no allies. And women are made of whatever survives.”

The story of these two girls spans over a single day, which starts at dawn with a dumpster fire (and no this isn’t a metaphor haha)! In between the present chapters we get scenes of “before the fire” which gives insight to the complexities of this friendship and love. If you’ve ever experienced a toxic relationship, or simply a relationship where you loved a person so deeply but at the same time knew you both burned too hot, that it wasn’t sustainable, then you’ll feel the nostalgia of this plot.

“But have you ever stopped to ask yourself, who is fighting for you?”

Then ending and conversation with the main speaker and her mother was so powerful. I can only imagine the impact this story would have had on my younger self when I experienced my first heartbreak. I love that this book will be available for teens this summer with this important message within and hope to see it get all the love it deserves on publication day April 5, 2022. 

Reviewed by Coco

Please note all quotes are from an advanced reader copy and may change before final publication

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