Rummanah Aasi
 I first heard about Friendship on Fire on Nic's blog, Irresistible Reads. For full disclosure, I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange of an honest review. I liked the book and would recommend it to someone who enjoys contemporary romance.

Description (from Goodreads): Daisy Brooks’s senior year is not off to a great start. Her first assembly as school captain is slightly ruined by her new bright orange hairdo – thanks to her father’s inability to choose correct permanent hair dye. The local Blonde Brigade is already giving her a hard time (and affectionately dubbed her ‘ranga’) and her teachers have done the unthinkable and handed out assignments on the first day back.
   The one bright spot in Daisy’s first day back is the appearance of a private school boy hottie. Oh, and her best friend and vice-captain, Roman, who she can count on to hold her temper and have her back, but the winds of change are sweeping through Daisy’s small town of Twin Rocks. Turns out the private school hottie is new in town and fast friends with her brothers. His name is Nate and he turns Daisy’s legs to jelly. But her totally platonic best friend, always reliable Roman, is starting to act strange.
   This is Daisy’s senior year. She’ll learn hard truths and lose small battles on the path to adulthood but, hey, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Review: Danielle Weiler's Friendship on Fire is a book that a lot of readers will be able to relate. Our narrator is Daisy, an Aussie who is in her 12th year of school. Like most kids her age, she is trying to find her place in the world. The journey with bumps on the road particularly when it comes to relationships isn't always smoothed. Not only is Daisy uncertain about her future, but she also finds herself falling in love for the first time, changing her friendships, and learning more about herself along the way all the while keeping her head above the water with all her responsibilities as a school captain and student.

   It took me a while to connect to Daisy. She had a fiery personality and a bad temper that often got her to trouble. I found her to be a bit whiny and self absorbed, but as I continued to read Daisy opened up a bit more and I didn't mind her as much. Though she is at a crossroads about her future, Daisy seems more preoccupied about wanting to be in love. When she spots an arrogant hottie from another school, she is determined to find out who he is but more importantly, if he's dating anyone. For the first time, Daisy is listening to her heart and not her mind. During the process of a crush and the highs of a beginning relationship, Daisy loses her perspective on life and becomes one of those girls whose lives revolve around her boyfriend. What makes Daisy different is that recognizes what she's become and struggles with being true to herself or giving into the feelings of a first love. She makes real choices and mistakes that many teens will be able to relate too. There were quite a few times I found myself wanting to remind her to listen to her gut and stop being so gullible, but that's only because I'm cynical and had my suspicion radar go off on numerous occasions. Weiler does a great job in showing how ones teen years can be fun, challenging, and confusing time. 
  I also liked the supporting characters around Daisy. She has a very close knit family and I loved how protective her big brothers were of her. Her parents were much more lenient than mine, but I was glad that they trusted her enough to make her own mistakes and let her grow. There were plenty of times I got frustrated with Daisy, especially when so many people around her advised her about the mistakes she is making, but she ignored them all. 
  As Daisy's boyfriend, I didn't care for Nate. Sure he was rich, cute and had a great body to lust after, but beyond that superficial surface he was a complete jerk who gave nothing but back handed compliments. I had a really hard time trying to understand what he saw in Daisy. Perhaps he craved her undivided attention or maybe she was a pet he took care of during his endless amount of spare time. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that Nate is not the right person for her. Though I did want Daisy to be happy, I couldn't fully support her in this relationship especially how they barely meet in one scene and then madly makeout in the other.
  I did, however, really like Daisy's best friend Roman, who truly cared about her. Daisy and Roman's friendship is solid and slowly becomes more. You very easily tell that Roman liked Daisy. I grew frustrated with him when he pulled the "I don't want to tell her because that'll ruin our friendship card" when clearly he was miserable watching her and Nate get close. Regardless, I really liked watching these two interact. 

 Though the book's length is a lot longer than needed for this contemporary story, Weiler brought a lot of issues female teens deal with in her story, which made it realistic. I liked her character development and humor in the book. The plot, as you can probably tell from the description is predictable, but if the book was edited a bit more and trimmed, the story's climax and Daisy's self realization could have been much stronger and memorable. Aside from that I liked the setting. Being set in Australia it was fun to get glimpses of the culture and learn some of the slang, which I understood by the context. Over all I enjoyed Friendship on Fire and I think many people could relate to and identify themselves with Daisy's struggles and her rite of passage.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, underage drinking, crude sexual humor, and a couple of allusions to sex. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kelley, Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
7 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I'm so glad you reviewed this one today Rummanah! I have it on my list for this week and I haven't read many reviews for it and very much wanted to know what to expect. Some of the things you mentioned (Daisy's whiny attitude and her downward spiral into "that" girl that can't function without her boyfriend) but it seems like all those character flaws are at least acknowledged and are dealt with because they no doubt happen often in real life. Thanks for such a thorough review, I'm ready to give this one a try now!

  2. I completely agree with your thoughts, Rummanah. It took a while to connect with Daisy but I liked how realistic she was and the supporting characters in this one. Nate was such an ass which is why I thought Roman was better for her too.

    As for whether I'll read the next book in the Pretty Crooked series, I'm not sure. It was good brain candy but I can't imagine Willa acting like Robin Hood again based on the way things ended. I might just wait for the reviews to come on the sequel before I decide.

  3. Daisy sounds like a good character, I like my heroines to be fiery. I also like the Australian setting. I will have to look into this one. Thanks for your honest review.

  4. This sounds like a good contemp! I will have to put it on my list since I don't read many of those but want to read them. Oh and I wouldn't worry about the boyfriend. Once she realizes how shallow he is, the friend will still be there to pick up the pieces! :D

    I love books with supportive families... you rarely get those!!

  5. Yes! I started this book a while back but had to put it down when because Daisy was really annoying me. I guess gave up before Tate showed up because I don't remember him, but I do remember thinking Roman's feeling were very obvious. I do plan on revisiting the book so, but so far I haven't felt motivated to do so.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I saw this one on Nics blog forever ago...:) Ill have to add it to the TBR- lovely review Rummanah

  7. What is a school captain? Does it have anything to do with cheerleading? And why in the world would she let her dad get her hair dye? I wouldn't even send my mom for hair dye! It kind of sounds like it was meant to be funny, but it sounds serious. I don't know if I'd like Daisy. She sounds a bit cliche. Think I'll leave this one off my list. Thanks for the thorough review!


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