Mini ARC Review: When We Caught Fire By Anna Godberson


It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze. Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.


Title: When We Caught Fire

Author: Anna Godbersen

Pages: 384

Genres: Historical FictionFantasy, Young Adult

Release Date: October 2, 2018


Rating: 2/5 Stars

Usualy if i read up to at least 50% of a book, I find it hard to just DNF it. I mentioned I was just gonna DNF this but I decided I may as well give it a shot to see if I would enjoy the last half more than the first half.

Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me. The concept was really interesting but I just found it way too slow for my liking. For being just under 400 pages, the pace of the story moved at a snail’s pace. I kept expecting it to pick up but never quite did, and at around halfway through the book, it felt like nothing had really progressed, and those 150-200 pages could have been condensed to half that amount at least.

The time period could have added so much detail to this story that could have made it more interesting, but I could hardly notice the fact that it was set in 1871, the characters and story all seemed to be caught up in some timeless period with no clear world building to really draw the reader into the time period.

As well, I struggled with the characters. I found that all 3 main characters were either unlikable, confusing or both. Anders, the love interest, was hard to understand and his motivations were unclear. Emmeline was unbearable to read, her personality was so frustrating I really could not stand her. Fiona’s personality was lost in the clutter of everything else, and her character development was left in the shadow of Emmeline’s personality.

By the halfway mark, I had no interest in knowing where the story was going or where the characters would end up. A lot of the time I was confused about the general plot line and what was happening, so I decided to skim the last little bit.

On the other hand, though, this cover is absolutely stunning. It is definitely a favourite as of recent.

I’d also love to know if anyone has read Anna Godbersen’s other series (I never did) and whether or not you enjoyed that and if you have or will be reading this one!

Read/Like this review on Goodreads 

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