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When We Caught Fire

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  157 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is del ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by HarperTeen
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Melissa
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have so many feelings for this book. I felt so many emotions while reading it. I just want to read it again!!!

Yes, there is a love triangle that is sure to end badly, but the Great Fire brings so many twists and turns in the story that you won’t be able to stop reading it.

Thank you so so much to HarperCollins Canada for my copy of this book❤
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Nadhira Satria
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
bleh
boring as hell
Sarah Mac
I can't lie...the minute I saw Anna Godbersen had released a new historical YA , I ordered a copy. I barely even read the synopsis. Chicago fire! Love triangle! Maid! Boxer! Socialite marriage! All red flags for classic 19th-c soap. 😈

Edith Wharton's influence on the Luxe series is undeniable, but IMO this newest effort pushes that appreciation to the forefront. The Chicago fire provides a tangible threat, esp when combined with certain unnamed parties, but the era itself shares much of the blame
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 ⇝LEAH⇜
4.2 Out 5 "Incendiary" STARS

Despite having less than likable characters (with Fiona as the exception) this was still an engrossing listen.  The backdrop of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was what made this story stand-out for me.  I could see how others found this to be slow in the beginning, with its soap-opera-like feel and melodrama of the elite high society of the times, but on Audio, those parts fly by fairly quickly.  Once the fire starts burning, the unceasing flames and the lives at stak
...more
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
2.5*

Historical fiction is so fun, is it not? And the Chicago Fire... well, that's intense! This particular book was... less so. Not a bad read, but I suppose a tad underwhelming? It's basically a story of friendships and romantic relationships colliding in a big ol' love triangle that happens to get extra dramatic. One of the girls (Emmeline) is a newly-minted high society girl who's set
...more
Rachel Rockwell
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anna Godbersen has done it again!!! I was fully captivated and feeling all kinds of emotions, and maybe I’m biased because I love her work, but she just kills it when it comes to sophisticated writing, vivid details, and of course, historical research.
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, bea-2018
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I went into When We Caught Fire with high hopes– I mean, you all know how much I love YA historical fiction by now, right? Plus, I absolutely devoured Anna Godbersen’s previous two series– The Luxe and Bright Young Things– when I was younger, and I was excited to see how her writing held up for me as an adult. However
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Jamie
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I love this author and was excited for this story but it fell short in every regard. I am not a fan of love triangles anyways. I didn't get Anders, I really could not stand Emmaline, and felt a little bad for Fiona. It was rich privileged people dealing with rich privileged problems.

FRTC

---------

Full review can be found here: http://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...

Before I start my post, I want to take a small moment to admire the cover. It is gorgeous. Beautiful covers make me even more excite
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KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I will offer you.

A Very Well Deserving 3/5 Stars

The fire had sometimes leapt over buildings, over whole blocks, leaving safe patches in its wake. But they were not really safe–the fire was often blown back, thus consuming what it had missed the first time.

Anna Godbersen wrote a generally enjoyable story I consumed in less than four days. The synopsis sounds like the classic gag-filled love triangle, but I can assu
...more
Eden Church | The Required Reading List
I LOVED this book! Victorian Chicago is so deftly rendered, I felt like I was there—I could see the city as I read, even though I’ve never been to modern-day Chicago, and have certainly never been to Chicago in the 1870s. I burned through this novel with romance that sizzled on every page (pardon the puns). The story of two women, one who fate favoured, the other who fate forgot, this novel delivers friendship dynamics right out of Downton Abbey. Fans of historical fiction, romantic fiction, gla ...more
Nattie
Oct 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: incomplete
1.5 stars. I read most of this book and I did like it until Anders joined the story, but even then it was almost exactly like dozens of other books I have read set in the 1800's or early 1900's.

I have lived in Chicago my entire life so the story taking place in Chicago really spoke to me. I enjoyed reading all the luxurious details the author included, but could have done without the long winded paragraphs above each chapter.

Emmeline was just like every other rich girl you find in these types o
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SJH (A Dream of Books)
I've only read a few of Anna Godbersen's previous books but this one caught my eye when I discovered that the story was an imagining of events leading up to the Great Fire of Chicago. Although I don't read a huge amount of historical fiction now, this used to be one of my favourite genres so I thought I would give it a try. I read it in one sitting but finished with mixed feelings about it.

Godbersen has crafted a love triangle which takes centre stage in the book. Emmeline, Fiona and Anders are
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Joséphine (Word Revel)
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Initial thoughts:

Some positive points:
+ It's historical fiction, a genre rather overlooked in YA
+ Vivid setting with the Great Chicago Fire as backdrop
+ A father willing to see the error of his ways and who apologises when he is wrong
+ Friends who love each other like sisters
+ Good audiobook narrator

Some neutral points:
+ Love triangle quadrangle (I didn't care for it but you might)
+ Lots of to and fro about marrying for love or status (again, you might care for it more th
...more
Laura (thechronicbookworm)
2.5/5
Trigger Warnings: Physical abuse, death, grief, murder,

When We Caught Fire is a historical fiction novel about a love triangle, during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. I went into When We Caught Fire expecting to love it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. The writing was engaging, but I felt like I only knew the three main characters at a surface level.

The story follows Emmeline and Fiona’s point of view in alternate chapters. I really liked Fiona’s character, and I would have liked to learn more abo
...more
Sydney
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I looooved 'The Luxe' series and the 'Bright Young Things' series, and I was so excited for this new read from Godbersen. Beautiful cover, although I am not a big fan of the pink hardcover underneath.
The love triangle was weird, and I'm saying that as a person who enjoyed Twilight back in the day. I absolutely HATED Emmeline and thought she was such a wishy-washy girl and not too flushed out without any other characters backing her up. Fiona was pretty bad ass, and I enjoyed her and was rooting
...more
Tracy
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
It took me a little while to warm up to this. I don't particularly care for Emmeline, and Fiona was a bit of a mystery. But the description of the fire and being caught in it was mesmerizing. A life time resident of Illinois, I remember the shadow box representation of that barn at the Illinois State Museum when I was a little girl. I suppose I had never given much thought to the devastation that must have occurred, the lives lost and the families devastated. A good story about the event.
Zahreen
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I started reading this hoping it would be a good guilty pleasure read, like The Luxe series that Godbersen wrote before, but it wasn't nearly as fun to read as those books. I still need to read her 1920s series, which maybe I will get into at the end of this year.
ItsOwlRight
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Here is my more generic little blurb/summary about this book I used as my review for the bookstore I got it from, then I'll say a couple words about why I ranked it below. I don't think this is a bad book, it just wasn't good for me.
*****
Lovers of love triangles will enjoy this 1871 historical romance about 3 childhood friends, now the newly wealthy and engaged Emmeline; her best friend Fiona; and Anders, the boy who Emmeline can’t let go of and Fiona secretly longs for. The constant and a littl
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Ruthsic
Warnings: attempted sexual assault, gun violence, domestic violence

A love triange set against the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871, When We Caught Fire overdoes the passion and heads straight into angst. Going into the book, I was prepared for high society politics, class struggle or something like that, with three friends stuck in between, but this was more a case of teenage angst raging hotter than the fire. Barely into a quarter of the book, I was prepared to DNF it, but I somehow carried on til
...more
Teenreadsdotcom
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Emmeline’s upcoming wedding to the most eligible bachelor is the talk of the town. However, she is not quite ready to give up her childhood love, Anders. On a whim, she has her lady’s maid and best friend, Fiona, track Anders down to set up a secret meeting. This course of action strikes a match that lights the world on fire.

Anna Godbersen, author of The Luxe trilogy and the Bright Young Things trilogy, is back with another historical fiction that is sure to blow you away. From page one, Godbers
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Holly
I received a copy of this from Edelweiss in exchange for a review.

When I was younger, Godbersen's The Luxe series was what got me interested in historical fiction. I will always have a soft spot for that series, which taught me so much. So when I saw this, I had to try it.

I don't want to undersell this. It's actually a decent story. Fiona, Emmeline, and Anders all grew up in what is essentially a part of the slums of Chicago. Emmeline got out and took Fiona with her, but Anders was left behind.
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Annette
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and The Luxe Series is one of my favorite book series. So when I saw that Godbersen had a new book coming out, When We Caught Fire, I was very excited. I was not disappointed!

The reader knows that this is a book about The Great Fire that occurred in Chicago in 1871. But the story starts out about a girl, Emmeline Carter, who is a society girl soon to be married to Frederick Tree. Emmeline's father has worked very hard, in a sort of rags-to-riches story th
...more
Wren (WhatWrenReads)
If i read up to at least 50% of a book, I find it hard to just DNF it. I mentioned I was just gonna DNF this but I decided I may as well give it a shot to see if I would enjoy the last half more than the first half.

Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. The concept was really interesting but I just found it way too slow for my liking. For being just under 400 pages, the pace of the story moved at a snail's pace. I kept expecting it to pick up but never quite did, and at around halfway through
...more
Colline Vinay Kook-Chun
The historical aspects of this novel interested me – Chicago’s Great Fire and the possible causes of it. The fire raged over a number of days, killing people and leaving many homeless. The reference to this event in Godbersen’s novel, however, is minimal which, for me, was disappointing. The novel instead centres on the love triangle between three friends since childhood: Emmeline, Fiona, and Anders. There were some moments during the novel, especially in the beginning, when my attention wandere ...more
Milena
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss, dnf
DNF at 60%

I read just over half of When We Caught Fire before deciding not to finish it. I just couldn't care about the story or the characters any longer. I wanted to read this book because I love historical fiction and I love romance, and was interested in the historical event, The Great Chicago Fire. But I just found the story poorly executed. Love triangles can be tricky and I enjoy them when they are done right, but when they are done wrong, they ruin the whole book for me.

I didn't underst
...more
Erika Muir
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
My rating: 3/5 stars
ARC/RC kindly provided by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review

When We Caught Fire is a beautifully written book with, in my opinion, one of the least cliche love triangles that I have read. It had a loveable but honest to life set of characters whose interactions and growth were highly enjoyable to read however, I wouldn’t go as far to say that the book was incredibly impactful.
My favourite element was the language and descriptions, especially of the fire. It isn’
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Jennifer
So, I really enjoyed Godbersen's Luxe series and her series set during the Roaring 20s for their melodramatics and conniving power plays among the rich and the want-to-be rich.

But this one?

Not so much.

It just lacked something. I didn't like any of the characters much, and I didn't even dislike them enough to make them interesting.

Emmeline was too flaky and self-centered to cheer for, Fiona was better, but her angelic loyalty to her flaky and occasionally cruel friend wasn't entirely believable
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Erikka
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Anna Godbersen is the queen of historical fiction world building in YA. You truly feel like you've been transported to another time and place. This book is no different. That being said, when you set a novel during one of the largest fires in American history, why would you spend 2/3 or more of the book on a lame and predictable love triangle? I do not like romances. I don't. This book promised me fire and gave me smoochiness. I'm not pleased. If this had been a story of Fiona surviving the blaz ...more
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Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.