Ignite by Lily Paradis, released on August 26 this year, is a Young Adult novel best described by the blurb:
After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine.
Lauren’s first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she’s always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life?
Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?
I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of Ignite and didn’t read the blurb before I read the novel so everything was a surprise for me. For a début novel, Ms Paradis has done remarkably well. Ignite ticks all the boxes for a YA novel, although in my opinion it probably has a PG rating rather than an M, if that’s what you are expecting. I enjoyed it more than I expected, given the genre.
It contains all the elements of a great young adult story. Romance, action, man-candy for the girls, near death experiences, the list goes on. Told in the first person from Lauren’s point of view, it shows the internal conflict she experiences when faced with her new responsibilities, her self-doubt and her battle with the distraction that is the hunky Dean Powell. The characters of various ages mostly come across as quite realistic in their respective behaviours, especially the teens, however, I felt the older adult characters seemed a little under-developed.
The significant romance element of the novel does stretch the actions of Dean a little toward the bounds of believability. At times he comes across as a little too polished and perfect. Having said that, the story focussed on Lauren’s perspective of Dean and her inherited family, and given the intended genre and audience these points may be forgiven.
Overall, Dean’s “perfectness” is kept in check by the relationships and motivations of the characters which, by the end, will reveal themselves to be a good tie-up of most loose ends. There were enough unanswered questions about Lauren’s family to leave the reader hoping for more in the planned sequel.
Generally I enjoyed Ignite and I’m willing to bet many young ladies will also love reading the story of Lauren Lindsay and her new relationships with her step siblings, and of course, the almost to good to be true Dean Powell.
I give Ignite by Lily Paradis 3.5 stars. Call it 4.