Out of the Fire by Andrea Contos


Out of the Fire -Andrea Contos, Scholastic, 2021. 9781338780581

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Paperback Arc

Genre: Mystery/ Realistic YA fiction

What did you like about the book? When Cass is kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of a car, she manages to escape.  But, though she escaped, her ordeal will not end: her kidnapper keeps sending her letters and seems to know everything she does.  She has isolated herself from everyone.  Though she has taken the first two letters to the police they have not helped her; indeed they think it is possible she concocted the whole thing for attention.

She aligns herself with three other girls from school who are going through their own forms of persecutions that they cannot escape.  Nomi and her mother have been in hiding from her physically abusive stepdad who runs a meth lab in his basement.  Ori is African-American who has a white-supremacist for a teacher who targets all the Black kids.  Margot has an ex-boyfriend who threatens to publicize photos of her/them on social media if she will not continue to have sex with him.  The girls form a pact to seek revenge on their persecutors.  Cass, unfortunately, first has to find out who hers is.

The tension is high as the girls devise methods to attack their attackers.  The main part of the story centers on Cass as she tries to find out just who is behind her kidnapping and the letters.

Ori is Black, Nomi is Japanese- American and others present as White.

Anything you did not like about the book?  I did sometimes have trouble remembering which girl had which situation.

To whom would you recommend this book? Many teenage girls would be able to identify with the situations these four girls are experiencing. The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Tiffany Brooks is another story about a teenage girl seeking retribution for having been unjustly wronged.

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries.

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not quite.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: October 16, 2021

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