Out of the Fire

Scholastic. Oct. 2021. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338726169.
Gr 9 Up–A twisty revenge tale that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Five months ago, Cass Adams was kidnapped. Although she escaped, Cass is forced to relive that trauma each time she receives a pink envelope, letting her know the kidnapper is still there, still watching, still able to reach her in places that should be safe. After her kidnapping, Cass withdrew from all of the positive things in her life, but now she’s ready to reclaim her freedom. She isn’t the only one who has suffered at the hands of a man, and she teams up with three friends to enact revenge on those who wronged them—an abusive stepfather, a blackmailing boyfriend, a racist teacher, and the kidnapper. But as the four girls become embroiled in their plans for vengeance, each detail they uncover complicates things, and Cass’s quest for the truth about what really happened to her has deadly consequences. This darkly feminist thriller hooks readers from the very beginning, balancing action and information as readers are introduced to each character and the groundwork is laid for the girls’ revenge. Things quickly ramp up into an action-packed, fast-paced thriller full of twists and turns. Although things can get a bit confusing toward the end as readers must keep track of all the new information about the kidnapping plot and the many people involved, the story does reach a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.
VERDICT An excellent addition to teen and high school collections; hand this to readers who enjoy revenge stories like Gretchen McNeil’s Get Even, Dana Mele’s People Like Us, or Hannah Capin’s Foul Is Fair.

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