Review: Trial by Fire-Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire

Book 1

Pgs: 385

Genre: fantasy, young adult

Rating: 3.5


This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergiesmake it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she's ready to disappear.

"Come and be the most powerful person in the world."
Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem. One overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women—including Lillian, this world's version of Lily.

"It will be terrifying. It was for me."
What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilites she can barely understand and a love she never expeceted, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

This was part of my February TBR and I saved it for last, because honestly, I wasn't sure if I would complete the other books first. I flew through those ones, and ended up picking this one up despite my hesitations. I haven't read a fantasy in a while, and wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish this one or even get into it. 

“There comes a day when every girl loses the stars in her eyes. And then she can see clearly.” 


This story follows Lily, an odd ball girl. She has life threatening allergies and that makes it hard to be a normal teenage girl. She has a crush on her best friend, and womanizer, Tristan. He doesn't know how she feels and invites her to a party. She doesn't let on that she had an allergic reaction that day, and goes to the party. After an incident, she rushes home embarrassed and frustrated. Lily wishes to be somewhere else, somewhere better. And boy, does that happen. 

The Good:

I loved the fantasy aspect. I think it's such a new and refreshing idea for this plot. A completely different world where there are some of the same people from Lily's main world. It's interesting to read about that aspect and I enjoyed it. I also love the relationship between Rowan and Lily, I find those two the best of the story and look forward to reading more about them. I love the magic that's introduced in this book. It's so different from other witch stories and I think it's neat to have stones hold it all for them and they can channel it. 

Funny how quickly the mind moves, but how slowly time does when you’re in pain.” 

The Bad:

I disliked Lily in the beginning. She was so whiny and dramatic. I know she's a teenager but geez, make her a little more likable. I get it, she's got problems. She has a crush on her best friend who doesn't know she exists that way and she's practically allergic to everything. I just would have liked to have seen her a little more mature in her thoughts and movements. 

Lily came off as if she's better than everyone. She made comments about being vegan and being better because of it and so much other stuff, it was so annoying. I had to put the book down a time or two just to get over how absurd she was being. 

Rowan and Lily would fight over the silliest things. She would be her whiny self and he would start a thing with her and it was so frustrating. I loved them together but during those parts I wanted to hurdle my book across the room. 

I found it so hard to connect with these characters. I tried really hard, and while there was some redeeming qualities, I couldn't make myself have a dire need to finish this book to see what happens to the characters. I wouldn't care if any of them died, sadly. 

I didn't like how fast Lily came into her powers. She knows nothing about being able to use magic and suddenly after a few lessons from Rowan and Tristan (other world Tristan) she was invincible and was so smug about herself. It made no sense whatsoever and drove me nuts. Like how is that at all realistic, even for a fantasy book? 

I would have liked to know more about Lilian and her whole plot against everyone in that world. I didn't understand that part of this story.

This of course ends with a cliffhanger as it's book 1 in a 3 book series. I knew that going in, but I still didn't enjoy it.

While there were a few parts I liked, it was a struggle to get through this one. I found myself struggling to read a few part.

"I remember what I must do, even if it makes me the villain of my own story.”

-The Avid Reader-