Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Title: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication date: September 12th
Genre: Contemporary


In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.


Real rating: 3.5 stars

Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

I’m honestly trying to review this book for over a week now. I don’t know why this one is so difficult to review for me! If this review is all over the place, I apologise in advance.

For me, this book felt like it was split in two different parts. The first half felt very different from the second part. I enjoyed the first part more, because it was fast paced and funnier than the second part. It was a good book, I just hadn’t expected this book to be so slow. Because of that I wasn’t able to enjoy this one to the fullest. This really is one of those book you wish you can go back in time to start reading it with different expectation of what it is going to be. I hope this review can make this book more enjoyable for other readers!

The characters are all so different. A lot of different stories are going on at the same time.
Mrs. Richardson is convinced that everyone wants to live a life just like hers, she is living her perfect life. But not everything goes as planned and not everyone is agreeing with the way she handles things.

Rules existed for a reason: if you followed them, you would succeed; if you didn’t, you might burn the world to the ground.

What is so good about this book, is that everyone is handling with, what they think are, the best intentions. But their beliefs are all so different and a lot of feelings get hurt in the process. This book makes you think about right and wrong, about which way is the best way to handle things and about being able to forgive people.

Adoption is a big theme in this book. And I’m still not able to choose a side in the adoption case. It shows how easy it is to judge people, especially mothers. It’s very easy to say someone is a bad mother, who made all the wrong choices, when you’ve never been in a hard situation yourselves.

So just know that this is quite a slow paced novel that makes you think about all the people you judged in you life, and you will probably be able to enjoy it more than I was!

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  • Ack I really get annoyed too when I go into books with the wrong expectations! Although I struggle so bad with slow books, so I hear your pain.? Glad you still like this one a bit though!!

    • Yes!! I was really struggling until I figured out this book just wasn’t what I was expecting! It took me half the book to figure it ou!

      Thank you so much for your comment!

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