Firefighters by Connor Betts on Unsplash: Things You Save in a Fire by Katharine Center (The Modest Reader)

Book Review: Things You Save in a Fire

I was a little worried going into Things You Save in a Fire (in stores now!), because I had heard nothing but amazing things about it, and I had high expectations after reading How To Walk Away a couple of weeks ago. I knew I needed something to break the reading slump I’ve been in lately, so I was hoping Katherine Center was going to pull through for me… and did she ever!

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

My musings
I’ve got to say, much like How to Walk Away, I did find the plot of this story a little predictable. I knew who the villain was right off the bat (well, when she actually gets to Lillian) and I’m sure most of us saw the love story coming from a mile away. That being said, I wasn’t at all disappointed by how the story developed. Despite knowing where things were going, Center kept me interested with her quippy dialogue and great character development. These people seemed real and the struggles were believable.

Katherine Center writes emotion in a way that is so unique to her that I can’t really explain it. You feel the highs and lows of what the characters are feeling without being burdened by it. The story takes you on a journey with yet another bad-ass female characters (though I personally love Cassie so much more than I did Margaret), and the fact that she ties Margaret and Cassie’s stories together is a bonus to all of her fans.

Fans of Katherine Center will love this, without a doubt, and I think this book is good place to start for people who want to get to know the author a little bit better. I highly recommend it.


Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (Book Cover): The Modest Reader

“Yes, the world is full of unspeakable cruelty. But the answer wasn’t to never feel hope, or bliss, or love—but to savor every fleeting, precious second of those feelings when they came. The answer wasn’t to never love anyone. It was to love like crazy whenever you could.” —Katherine CenterThings You Save in a Fire

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy, and to Connor Betts on Unsplash for the featured photo of the firetrucks.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Things You Save in a Fire

    • The Modest Reader says:

      How To Walk Away is also excellent, and I highly recommend it if you liked Things You Save in a Fire. I think I preferred this one, but only because I liked Cassie a bit better and loved the firefighter setting. That is literally the only reason.

      Liked by 1 person

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