Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Title: Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down
Author: Anne Valente
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Recommended If You Like: beautifully written reads on really difficult subjects

The Book:

Four survivors of a school shooting struggle to find a way to memorialize all that has happened, while fires rip through the homes of the fallen's families.

What I Liked:

This is an absolutely beautifully written book. Valente has a gorgeous grasp of language. The book is almost surreal at times, due to Valente's unique writing style, and she really gets at the heart of how different people react during times of tragedy and terror. There is also an overarching mystery that is really intriguing.

Anything I Didn't Like?

This is also a very difficult read. School shootings are always a subject I struggle with reading about, perhaps because they are one of my biggest fears, and still feel so immediate. Valente's grasp of language and writing style also make everything she writes about feel so graphic. I had to put the book down and read lighter fare in between. I started this book in time to have it done before its publication date, but it took me over two months to actually finish reading it.


I was originally drawn to this book because of the mystery behind it, of who was setting the fires and why. Had I realized just how gut wrenching some of the pages would be, I most likely not have requested a copy. But I would have missed out on a really well-written, emotional, deep read. The ending is not one that I think everyone will necessary be satisfied with, but I was really surprised by how much I thought it really fit.


  1. Sounds interesting! I've only read one school shooting book and I agree that they're very hard to read, but they also tell and important message too!