ARC Review: Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson

Title:  Together We Caught Fire
Author: Eva V. Gibson 
Genre: Contemporary, Family, Romance, Drama
Source: ARC via Simon Pulse
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 4th 2020

A forbidden attraction grows even more complicated when the guy Lane Jamison has crushed on for years suddenly becomes her step-brother in this sexy and gorgeously written debut novel about the lines between love, desire, and obsession. What happens when the boy you want most becomes the one person you can’t have? Lane Jamison's life is turned upside down the week before her senior year when her father introduces her to his new fiancĂ©e: mother of Grey McIntyre, Lane’s secret, longtime crush. Now with Grey living in Lane’s house, there’s only a thin wall separating their rooms, making it harder and harder to deny their growing mutual attraction—an attraction made all the more forbidden by Grey’s long-term girlfriend Sadie Hall, who also happens to be Lane’s friend. Torn between her feelings for Grey and her friendship with Sadie—not to mention her desire to keep the peace at home—Lane befriends Sadie’s older brother, Connor, the black sheep of the strict, evangelical Hall family. Connor, a metal working artist who is all sharp edges, challenges Lane in ways no one else ever has. As the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction. Tensions come to a head after a tragic incident at a party, forcing Lane to untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what—and who—she wants, in this gripping and stunningly romantic debut novel.
***Trigger Warnings: Mentions of suicide, graphic flashbacks of suicide, drug overdose, death & self harm***

How do you put into words how much a book impacted you, how beautifully it is written and how days later you are still thinking about it, all with out sounding stupid because there are still tears in your eyes from all the feelings this book gave you? This has been my struggle since I finished Together We Caught Fire. Sexy, raw, beautiful and thought provoking Eva V. Gibson did not let readers down in her debut novel about love, loss, obsession, healing and finding yourself when you think you are too far gone to be found.

Lane has been in love with Grey since the moment they had to dissect a frog together when they were children. But the attraction is about to grow more complicated when Grey moves in and becomes Lane’s new step bother. Their attraction which is already forbidden is even more so do to Grey’s long time Girlfriend, Sadie, who also happens to be Lane’s friend. Needing a distraction from Grey on the the impending explosion at home Lane befriends Connor, Sadie’s older brother, who is the black sheep of the family. Connor who is a metal artist pushes Lane like no one has ever before, forcing her to face her past traumas head on. But as their attraction grows, Lane is just convinced that a Connor is a distraction to the real issue: Grey. The explosion that Lane is waiting for doesn’t happen at home, but rather at a party that her, Sadie, Grey and Connor are all at, now forcing her to confront her painful past and untangle her feelings for these two boys.

There is so much so talk about, but so much I can spoil and I honestly don’t know where to begin. Together We Caught Fire is not an easy book to read, not because of the writing but because it faces such raw and triggering things. (I attached trigger warnings to the top of my review for those who would like to check them out or needs them.)

You don’t see reproductive disorders mentioned in YA nor do you ever see a character suffering from it. Lane suffers from endometriosis, a painful and often times debilitating disorder that is effects hundred of thousands of woman. There were several instances in Together We Caught Fire that Lane would be doubled over in pain, sick to her stomach or vomiting because of this. I was diagnosed with endometriosis my first year out of high school and I have never seen this part of myself represented in a book before, so getting to see a character suffering from something I do as well made me feel seen and not so alone.

Eva created a cast of characters that were far from perfect and all needed work. The story is set in Lane's POV, but we see the struggle of Grey's insomnia and the toll it takes on him, Sadie's controlling relationship with her father and Connor building a life for himself after being kicked out. This book is so much more then just a romance story. Its about hitting rock bottom, finding yourself, healing and accepting those around you. 

Overall I adored every page and moment of this book. This cast of characters will forever hole a special place in my heart, especially because they are so real. I can't wait to read more from Eva in the future and to see what she is going to bring readers next! 

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