We Set the Dark on Fire

Title: We Set the Dark on Fire
Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Rate: 3.5/5
Bookstore: Barnes & Nobles
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date Published: February 26, 2019

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run her husband’s household or raise his children, but both wives are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.
Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret – that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio – and a chance at a forbidden love?

Daniela Vargas is the top student a Medio School for Girls, she has been studying and working on being the Primera in a household, to stand by her husband and be the perfect wife. While the Segunda raises the children. At the same time, there is a war going on between the resistance and the government because those in power are letting the lower class suffer.

I really don’t know how I feel about this book, it sort of fell flat for me. It did keep me turning the pages and curious about where the author was going with this story. In the beginning, I was enjoying it, but by the time it got to the middle and to the end, I was sort of lost. I felt like the storyline had switched and lost its meaning. The characters were somewhat relatable. Coming from a Latin family, we are told at a young age that we must care for our husbands, stand by them no matter what, and be the perfect wife we can be. There was some machismo in this book through Mateo’s character. He has a hard demeanor who holds power and is used to no one questioning him on anything. Then there were his stone-cold mothers, who believe that their son could do no wrong and constantly fighting for him to be the top in their government along with his government official father.

The confusion of the story in the beginning, with the sun and sea was useless to me, I didn’t find the connection of that story to the book and why it was part of it. I just left me plainly confused or it could just be me and I didn’t get the connection.

What really felt relatable was the way the at the story was referencing around the privilege and the less fortunate. How the government and the rich wanted to end the lives of the poor and had a wall built around their area. While on the other side of the wall were their own people dying from starvation and getting no medication attention. The book shows how the government doesn’t care about their own people and just of themselves, which brings to people becoming rebels to get their point across.

What I mostly loved about this book was the Latinx representation as well as the LGBTQ representation. It is great to relate to characters in a book. I personally didn’t connect with any of them, it sort of feeling like a Spanish soap opera with the high society aspect with the evil mother in laws and an over-ambitious male lead.


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