Girls on Fire

Robin Wasserman

fiction Mystery Thriller Young Adult
dark mysterious tense slow-paced

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On Halloween, 1991, a popular high school basketball star ventures into the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, and disappears. Three days later, he’s found with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of Satanic worship in the region.

In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshiping bad influence in lip gloss and Doc Martens. The charismatic, seductive Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image and unleashing a fierce defiance that neither girl expected. But as Lacey gradually lures Dex away from her safe life into a feverish spiral of obsession, rebellion, and ever greater risk, an unwelcome figure appears on the horizon—and Lacey’s secret history collides with Dex’s worst nightmare.

By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship, set against the unsettled backdrop of a town gripped by moral panic, Girls on Fire is an unflinching and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls strong and weak, girls who burn bright and brighter—and some who flicker away.

What the community thinks

summary of 224 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

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Alcoholism (1 reviewer), Animal cruelty (1 reviewer), Bullying (1 reviewer), Death (1 reviewer), Drug use (1 reviewer), Emotional abuse (1 reviewer), Gun violence (1 reviewer), Physical abuse (1 reviewer), Rape (1 reviewer), Self harm (1 reviewer), Sexual assault (1 reviewer), Sexual violence (1 reviewer), Suicidal thoughts (1 reviewer), Suicide (1 reviewer), Torture (1 reviewer), Violence (1 reviewer), and Blood (1 reviewer)


mysterious 75%
dark 50%
tense 50%
emotional 25%


medium 100%

Strong character development?

It's complicated: 50% | No: 25% | Yes: 25%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 66% | No: 33%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 100%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

It's complicated: 50% | Yes: 50%

Average rating


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