Synopsis (from Good Reads):
When Dominick Siddons moves in, however, all of Phyllis's priorities become inferior to finding out his secret. A young lawyer with a vicious wit and ferocious temper, Sid may understand Phyllis in a way no one else can. And through truth and fiction, through the inevitable chaos of the house, Phyllis finds much more than she bargained for.
I was asked by the author to review her book a little while ago. I apologize that it took me so long to get this review up. Well anyway on to the long awaited review......
I LOVED the characters in this book! They were all extremely original....not an ounce of "cliche" to be found anywhere with the characters. I especially loved the main character Phyllis. She's written in a way that makes her very real with a rich honest voice. Even going through that weird teen stage where she feels weird and unsure of herself, she wasn't cutting herself down. For me it's a major turn off when I read a YA novel where the female characters are constantly cutting themselves down.
Phyllis has the awesome (in my opinion anyway) ability to breath fire. How this ability came to be is very original....you never really would have expected it to come about that way. Phyllis has shall we say a very interesting "family," which ultimately was one of my favorite parts of the story. See Phyllis lives with two of her aunts and these aunts rent out rooms in the great big house that they all live in. Her aunts have spent their lives trying to help the people who rent the rooms, so naturally there are some very neat characters, with very neat characteristics. Of these characters my favorite was Bill, he liked to take on different movie persona's.....my personal fav was Captain Jack Sparrow (cause honestly Captain Jack is my favorite character in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies). Followed closely by Anna, the opera singer/kung fu master.
Figuring out Sid's "mystery" becomes the number 1 priority of Phyllis when he moves in. It was very exciting for me to follow along as she kept trying to figure out what it was. That and he was written in a way that had me thinking HOTTIE!
Overall, I really enjoyed Emma's unique writing style. I think she's excellent at dialogue and character developement. It seemed to me that when Emma was writing this book she wanted to get right inside the head of all her characters. The dialogue was very realistic....which is a major plus, because the story is pretty dialogue driven. Being that the story is so dialogue driven it is a little on the long side (504 pages) but they honestly go by very fast.
I also liked how Emma took the time to make sure that each of the characters were explained. It defiantely helped to keep track of all of them while I was reading. In the beginning I was a little bit weirded out by the relationship between Phyllis and Sid....the age difference had me thinking it was going to be on the creepy side. I am glad to say that that was not the case. If anything it was more of a friendship than anything else. I found A House Afire to a very unique and original story, that I enjoyed VERY much. I can hardly wait to read more by this author!