Jesse Ball

How to Set a Fire and Why

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The highly acclaimed author of A Cure for Suicide now gives us a singular, blistering novel about a teenage girl who has lost everything—and will burn anything.

Lucia's father is dead; her mother is in a mental institute; she's living in a garage-turned-bedroom with her aunt. And now she's been kicked out of school—again. Making her way through the world with only a book, a zippo lighter, a pocket full of stolen licorice, a biting wit, and striking intelligence she tries to hide, she spends her days riding the bus to visit her mother and following the only rule that makes any sense to her: Don't do things you aren't proud of. But when she discovers that her new school has a secret Arson Club, she's willing to do anything to be a part of it, and her life is suddenly lit up. And as her fascination with the Arson Club grows, her story becomes one of misguided friendship and, ultimately, destruction.
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180 printed pages

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Quotes

    Yves Tanguyhas quoted3 years ago
    A person writes down what has happened in order to know it. Then a person can find the way forward.
    Yves Tanguyhas quoted3 years ago
    Imagine if someone would show you a beehive that doesn’t make honey. What’s the point of it, you say? Oh, it’s just to keep the bees busy. We love it when they learn to like what’s given to them. That’s what the voice would say if it decided to reveal itself to you. But usually it keeps quiet.
    Yves Tanguyhas quoted3 years ago
    Can you imagine? That you can say something, offhand, and it can matter, it can really matter to someone else? Can you imagine what it’s like to hear something like that? To hear someone say something and feel the world ripple around you?
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