When this book came out I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. I thought Kiss the Sky
was an amazing enough book that said all that needed to be said about Connor and Rose but I couldn’t be further from the truth. This book is everything. There is maturity. There is exponential character growth. And oh my god, the family bonds and the friendships are stronger and deeper than they’ve ever been before, to the point where I was tearing up in the final quarter of the book as the story knocked me off my feet with heartfelt emotion. And the funny thing is, Fuel the Fire
happens to be one of the longest books I’ve read this year yet it felt like it wasn’t long enough. As the book was ending, my only thought was why the story had to end. To me that’s a sure sign this book is a special one, where the story and characters stay with me long after I finish, making me yearn for more.
Since the plot of this story is mostly based off of what happened in previous books, I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers. What I can say is that this is the second book in Rose and Connor’s POV and concludes their part of the story in this entire Addicted series. This is Rose, Connor, and the rest of the gang in their mid-twenties, so their level of character maturity is well beyond what I’ve read about them in the first few books in this series. Rose and Connor have always been my favorite couple out of the Addicted gang and this book just reinforces that sentiment. They are quite literally the smartest characters I’ve ever read about, and when you put two brainiacs like them together you get a nerd powerhouse. Their banter – while witty and funny – also possesses a level of intelligence that showcases their bright minds and makes me wonder if I should laugh or stare at their words in awe. Probably both :D
“The more you grin like I’m giving you a quickie in a disgusting public bathroom, the more my ovaries wither and die. So just think about all of our future children you’re annihilating, Richard.”
“I’m so extraordinary that my mere grin can make you infertile?”
“When I was seventeen you said you wanted to perform an autopsy on me, to crack open my ribcage and squeeze my heart until it burst between your fingers. What is that – if not flirting?”
“That was me hating you, Richard. I dreamed of your death.”
“You dreamed of clutching my heart.”
I just love the way their minds work! :D
Even with a stable, loving marriage, a beautiful daughter, and the best friends they could have, all is not well in Connor and Rose’s lives. They’re extremely influential icons in the Addicted world, thus being constantly monitored and exposed by the media takes a toll on them and their loved ones, so much it finally cracks the couple.
Yes, there is drama but not the kind that’s normally done that involves social media. What I love is that no matter what goes on, Rose and Connor tackle their problems together. There is no pushing away or second guessing or character stupidity, and because they are so close to Lily & Loren, Ryke & Daisy, those four are also a big part of the story and seeing them all collaborate and support each other warms my heart. The friendship and family dynamic among all of them is intricate and can’t be explained in just a few words, but just by reading their interactions the love and respect they have for each other feels tangible. In a way it’s almost enviable. From the group, Rose and Connor – especially Connor – have always been the foundation the others could lean on. Nothing and nobody could shake them, except this time, the media has hit a sore spot so invasive that they falter.
I think it’s because of how hard they’re hit that I felt so many emotions while I read, particularly in the last quarter of the book. It made me realize that even though Connor and Rose are fictional role models in their world, their ideals, morals, and beliefs are sentiments that carry over to the real world and are truths I draw my inspiration from.
“I’m attracted to people.
To the words they speak, to the actions they take, to their full-bodied mannerisms and soulful gaits. I am attracted to people. To impassioned hearts that beat out of sync, the ones that skip a measure, heard in hushed places and violent spaces – I am attracted to people.”
Somehow the Ritchie twins not only delivered a story that enraptured me and entertained me, but also a story that spoke volumes about the society we live in today that’s colored with harsh judgment and biased stances. Rose and Connor’s struggles mirror what many of us go through ourselves and that adds a layer of depth to the book, something that makes them even more relatable and easy to connect with.
It’s truly amazing that with this book marking the 8th installment in the entire Addicted series that the plot and characters still keep me engaged after all this time. I have to admit that not every single book in this series was a complete winner for me, but overall, it’s a NA series I won’t hesitate to recommend to other readers.
Oh and one more thing! I don’t hide the fact that I’m not a fan of Ryke ever since he f-bombed his way through the series, but what I’ve read about his character (and Daisy’s too) in this story really changed the way I think about both of them. I’m looking forward to reading their story in Long Way Down.
:)**SERIES READING ORDER**
Because this series is a long one and can seem pretty intimidating to those that haven’t read any of the books I decided to do a reading order breakdown. There are a ton of ways to read this series but I’m only going to outline the full series order along with how I read these books. The first and best way is to just read all the books in the order they were published:
#1 Addicted to You (Lily & Loren)
#1.5 Ricochet (Lily & Loren) – note: this is a full length novel
#2 Addicted for Now (Lily & Loren)
Spinoff #1 Kiss the Sky (Rose & Connor)
Spinoff #2 Hothouse Flower (Ryke & Daisy)
#2.5 Thrive (Lily & Loren) – note: this is a full length novel
#3 Addicted After All (final Lily & Loren book)
Spinoff #3 Fuel the Fire (final Rose & Connor book)
Spinoff #4 Long Way Down (final Ryke & Daisy book) – note: upcoming release
The way I read this series is a little different. I read #1, #1.5, #2, Kiss the Sky, and Hothouse Flower. I skipped Thrive and Addicted After All and went straight to Fuel the Fire. That is technically okay to do and I didn’t feel like I missed anything. You can choose to do that too but it is imperative to read Hothouse Flower if you decide to skip Thrive and AAA. Also keep in mind that there’ll be a time gap between the events of HF and FTF.
On a side note (and this is completely opinion-based): To me, Thrive is more of a bridge novel and less ‘new stuff.’ It fills in the gaps between Hothouse Flower and Addicted After All. The authors themselves have said that it is an optional read if you’ve read the first 2 spinoffs. If you haven’t, then Thrive must be read.