A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
Published by HarperTeen
Published on June 28th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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A story of second chances from the author of Between Us and the Moon, which Kirkus Reviews called “what first love is meant to be.”
A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee.
As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.
This captivating new novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory is perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Katie Cotugno’s How to Love.
This book was such a quick read. I flew through it in one sitting which is a great feeling to start and finish a book so rapidly and have that sense of completion.
That said this book hits one of those areas that I’ve seen pop up a bit more as of late, memory loss. Whatever the circumstance the memory is lost to a point and how life has changed. This always intrigues me and makes me wonder if I lost my memory and had to ask people what kind of person I was would I like the answer. Penny didn’t lose all of her memories just those from the last year when her life went completely upside down from what she was used to.
Penny is fun and quirky. She always likes to make an entrance and she loves her friends and has her passion. She is having a hard time with things at home though and it takes a toll. I could relate to some of her decisions and her lack of desire to want to talk about things even with her closest friends. When you’ve always thrived at being in the spotlight and now you need to step back and stay out of the light. Sometimes it’s easier to start fresh, rather than pull down the good in one’s life with the bad. She makes some pretty crappy decisions along the way. She basically decides to change her entire life in one emotion filled night. While it made an interesting concept but it was a bit harder to see her sticking to her guns like that.
Two others who really caught my eye were Wes and new BFF Kylie. I loved the dynamic after Penny loses her memory and pretty much doesn’t remember Kylie but on the other end she always felt a connection to Wes. There is something really great in those parts to read. Maizel did a great job there. I enjoyed post memory loss the best part because it was like relearning things all over again, and the emotions portrayed were so genuine. Confused to find your life not as you remember….horrifying. Thankfully for me my life doesn’t change all that much so I wouldn’t have much issue but it’s still a scary thought. I wish we had a bit more with her original drama friends before to get more of a feel for them and just have a bit more of a connection to them but for such a short read it gave me enough to imagine the depth of their connection.
This book is full of complex dynamics between friends past and present and reconciling the different, but it also touches on some serious family dynamics. Her mom is not mom of the year. Her dad is sweet but distant, lost in his own world. Throughout the book they both come into play and both factor into who she is and who she becomes because in the end it’s a book of self discovery. It only took a little lightening strike in a pool to help her put her priorities in order. Side note here, I apologize to my mother for all the times I rolled my eyes as she made me get out of the pool when it started to storm because yep nope this doesn’t sound fun in the least.
Overall I enjoyed it, and for a couple hours of reading, I had a great time. I even liked the idea of the influx of fireflies because who doesn’t remember being a kid and chasing after them to catch them. In times much more innocent before things got all wonky and adulting took over.
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