Google+ Reading Teen: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini {Review}

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini {Review}

The Worldwaker Trilogy Book 1
by Josephine Angelini
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy (Book 1)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (September 2, 2014)

Goodreads | Amazon
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

In Josephine Angelini's Trial by Fire, what makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.
At a Glance:

Trial by Fire is a thrilling, original and thought-provoking story, filled with science, magic, mystery, monsters, betrayal, brutality, and a fierce romantic tension that just won't stop. I loved this book from the beginning to the end, and can't wait to see where it goes next.


Lilly Proctor spends her life just trying to survive all the world's attacks on her. Allergy attacks, that is. She doesn't understand why she has such a hard time just existing. So when the boy she's loved most of her life humiliates her at a party, Lilly thinks she'd just like to leave this world for good, and that's all Lillian needs to make that exact thing happen. Lilly suddenly finds herself pulled into a new world, one that sometimes resembles her world, but other times is vastly different. This new Salem is overrun with strange creatures, a wild landscape, and strangest of all, magic.

The Heroes:

Lilly was a really interesting character because even though she was physically weak in much of the book, mentally she was incredibly strong. She had convictions, and she would not back down from them no matter the consequences to herself. It was admirable. In the new world, though, where her magic is discovered, with the help of ROWAN (*sigh*), Tristan and Caleb, she was able to become much more powerful. I loved the relationship between these characters. The progression from untrusting enemies to loyal friends was completely awesome.


Trial by Fire was filled with intensity. Whether it was fighting, romantic tension, or Lilly trying to learn how to use her magic without killing herself or everyone around her, this book just didn't stop. Every once in awhile I just had to close the book so I'd remember to breathe! I loved it!


There were moments of utter savagery, where the fighting was fierce and the cruelty of certain people was barbaric. Not to mention the Woven, creatures that would tear people limb from limb, then proceed to devour them. I have to admit that even though some of the things that happened made me cringe, I still loved it. It added an urgency to the story that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Swooning, Kissing, Sensuality & Romance:

This book was so full of tension! The constantly evolving relationship between Lilly and Rowan was so frustratingly awesome! Do they hate each other? Do they love each other? WILL THEY JUST KISS ALREADY?? Add to that the sensuality of the magical bond they have, and you have a recipe for a tension overload. I thought my heart was going to explode with it! I love this type of relationship. The kind that builds slowly and shakily. It was just, so, so good!

That Ending! WHAT?

Yeah, that was one of the biggest cliffhangers I've ever read. But one thing I did think about, the good thing about cliffhangers is that the book never lags. The intensity kept building until the very end. Now I seriously can not wait for the next book!

Book Doppelgangers:

The River of Time Chronicles by Lisa T. Bergren, Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburn, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity: Mild
  • Violence: Heavy
  • Other notables: Witchcraft, otherworldly creatures, underage drinking, a boy spikes a girl's drink and tries to take advantage of her but doesn't go through with it.


  1. I like how you capitalized ROWAN haha~ I'm excited to dive into this book! I hope that cliffhanger ending is bearable.

  2. Sounds like a fun book but cliffhanger? Those always make me leary to start them!

  3. I'm even more excited now to this book. I loved Josie's Starcrossed series and have been anxiously awaiting this one!

  4. Yessss. I'm so so so happy that you loved this book as well. <3 Amazing review sweetie :D Sigh. Wasn't it just perfect? I ADORE Lily and Rowan. I need them together. <3 Just so perfect. Sniffs. I need book two right away :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  5. sounds a great book, i like ur review :)

  6. eheheh do I spot one more boy for me to love?!?! x)

  7. I like that you give ratings for sexual content, profanity, and violence. With books like this where it is YA and classified for 12-18, and is heavy on the sexual content and violence, it always makes me wish the the ages of 12 and 13, would be given a sub catagory. Parents who are not bookish look at the YA ages and think that all YA is fit for any age 12-18. I have been shaking my head lately because I keep seeing more and more books coming through Edelweiss and Netgalley classified as YA that say 18+; to me that is not YA.

    1. I soooo agree with you. I think it's gotten worse because so many adults read YA too and they want more sexual content in them (for themselves). I really wish there were guides on the books. Some kind of rating.

    2. On sex:

      Personally, after reading this, I wouldn't let my 12-13 year old read this, maybe not even my fifteen year-old, depending on their personality and life-experience. It was very sexual. But it wasn't talking about sex most of the time when it was building that tension. While reading it I was telling Andye, "OMG. It makes me burn. That "intimacy" is something else."

      This is my theory: I think it is hard for adults, who have had sex be part of their life for such a long time, to know how to NOT put it in there or want it in there, as it seems a natural progression. Yet, on the other hand, although we adults read YA books, I think we have to be more careful with teens. Because technically, the book is for them.

      Maybe that teen is having sex, but if so, it has likely been comparatively little-to-none in comparison to an adult ten-years older than them. A few times having sex as a sixteen year-old girl doesn't necessarily translate into an "automatic end" like it might in the mind of an adult, who might always expect sex at the end of a kiss.

      Is that a valid theory? Sex often expected (adult) verses a slight peripheral possibility (12-13 year old)? I'm not sure it is, but it is a theory of why adults are the ones not concerned about it in YA.

      It is statistically unlikely a 12-13 year-old is having sex, even though they know about it and might read about it. But maybe they don't want to read something that makes them think that sex should be the next obvious (and ideal/should be done) step. I can't even imagine reading something like this at that age, I was so happily naive, and given the choice, I would have chosen that.

      But how would I know if I picked this book up? Or my parents did, without reading it themself, as it was recommended for my thirteen-year-old age?

      Anyway, this is just my opinion and I actually loved this book (and it wasn't nearly as sexual as other YA I've read). But, I do think there should be ratings or something that gives parents or the kids themselves some indication that when they read this book, it will most likely lead them to be wishing the characters could just have sex already.

      elisa @AverageAdvocate

  8. I love books with strong females!

  9. Sounds like a great book! Will have to read it sometime.

  10. I enjoyed this book too. I wish we didn't have to wait for the next. :)

  11. I'm so excited for this book!!

  12. Really enjoyed your review. It was very helpful and sounds like I would enjoy reading it.

  13. Ohmygosh you make it sound amazing!!!!!! I want this in my life. I love when the romance is full tension and hate at first, BEST KIND! Definitely going to pick this up, I'd heard to many negative reviews but this definitely makes me want to read it, Sounds right up my ally.

  14. I'm hearing so many great things about this book! I can't wait for it!

  15. The "other notables" caught my attention. A very helpful review thank you.

  16. I'm not really a fan of parallel universe story lines but I'm intrigued by this one- sounds awesome and I love the cover!! Great review!

  17. I have heard so much of the book. The book cover is also great and enticing.

  18. This review has made me want to read this book! Thanks!

  19. I'll have to give this one a read sometime soon. People have been talking about it alot and I want to know what all the fuss is about! Great review by the way! :)

  20. I loved Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed books, so I can't wait to read Trial by Fire!

  21. I'm not a huge fan of cliffhangers but I love books with tension.

  22. I really want to read this one. So glad to see that you loved it!

  23. I love your review and I can't wait to read this book because it sounds really interesting and the best books are the ones that have cliffhangers!! Also, thanks for the giveaway!! :)

  24. I've saw a lot of different options on this book. I was going to write it off but I think I'll give it a chance.

  25. I am getting more and more excited for this story, despite my reservations. It has so many of the elements that make a great story for me, but I didn't have the best experience with the Starcrossed series. I am very much willing to overlook that though, because I have a feeling I would be an idiot to pass this one up. It just sounds too good. And just so you know, I have read a ton of reviews for this one but yours is the best I have read, and ultimately sealed the deal for me with Trial by Fire. So, thank you!

  26. Loved your review, thanks for preparing me for ROWAN.. sigh.. I don't really like cliffhanger endings but I think I'll make an exception with this book :)


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