I’ve heard of Noah the way you hear about car accidents. A series of whispers, theories and rumours…
Kenna’s mother Ava was killed in a bushfire not long ago. Now Kenna’s living with her uncle and his young family in the small town where Ava grew up, and she feels like an intruder.
Noah’s mother has a mental illness that makes him both carer and jailer—constantly watchful, keeping things on an even keel.
One night Kenna sees the general store on fire, and a boy standing watching as it burns. It takes her a while to notice he’s holding a petrol can, but then things move fast. She’s tackled him and run off with his bag before she even knows what’s happened.
The bag belongs to Noah, and he really wants it back. Kenna wants something too. To make someone else burn the way her mum did. And there’s something she doesn’t know: how Noah can help her find out the truth about her family.
‘A powerful novel for older readers. The flames and fury of adolescence scorch every page. Try not to get burnt…’
‘A gripping story full of suspense and longing, Growing Up in Flames pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.’
‘Zach Jones’s debut novel Growing Up in Flames is as gritty as bushfire ash…A confronting but ultimately rewarding read that will appeal to older teenage readers and adults who were moved by Eleni Hale’s Stone Girl.’
‘This searing, atmospheric story of lives scarred by fire explores several themes…Anger, guilt, shame and trauma all reverberate in this rewarding read that will not disappoint.’
‘This is a gripping, contemporary and thoroughly Australian YA novel.’
‘When assessing Growing Up In Flames it is easy to focus on the intensity of things: the arson, the medication, the relationships, the lack of control. But, in the end, it is the strong sense of humanity that shines through brightest.’
‘Growing Up in Flames is an expertly paced book about flawed individuals trying to live with their mistakes…This uplifting and at times suspenseful debut is a delight from start to finish.’
‘Powerful, raw, and unsettling. The concept of control and power in relationships is explored with sensitivity and insight, offering mature young adult readers a thought-provoking and absorbing reading experience.’
‘Holds an Australian flavour…Growing Up in Flames is a suspenseful and gripping read.’
‘[Zach Jones] has written a suspenseful and thought-provoking page turner. The weaving of the story across two generations provides an insight into how trauma is carried from one generation to the next…[The characters] are flawed, complex and instantly believable.’
‘Hard hitting, honest contemporary novel full of complicated relationships and mystery…As the story unfolds, readers will be able to lose themselves in the well written depiction of a small Aussie country town.’