Molly E. Lee writes about empowered heroines and I was lucky to have her write a guest post a couple of years ago that you can revisit here.
Molly E. Lee
May 4, 2021
I am a weed.
Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.
But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.
Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.
Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.
So what does he want?
I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…
We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.
While the year is semi-young, not quite half-there, Molly E. Lee has scored my vote for best young adult paranormal with Ember of Night, a fascinating tale of familial relationships, good and evil, and demons that had me swishing pages as fast as I could.
I am not one to read stories of abuse of any kind, but after reading Lee’s Ask Me Anything (see this review) a couple of years ago and loving it, I felt like I was in safe hands. And I was. There is physical abuse on these pages, a father beating his daughter, and it is disturbing, but there is also Harley the heroine who will do anything, even take a beating for her beloved sister Ray. But, I, the reader, felt that with each beating, Harley was growing immensely stronger, empowered. I felt that there was going to be a stronger reality for her. In many ways, she reminded me of Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer who might take a fist to the face but would taunt and gesture her attacker closer and we knew at the end that Buffy would dominate. I felt that way about the amazing Harley. There is something about Harley’s indomitable spirit that makes this story beyond palatable. We know she will rise and be glorious.
While Harley, because of her father, doesn’t think much of herself, she is an incredible heroine. She works at a sandwich shop when a new boy, Draven, shows up. At first, she thinks he’s full of himself but then she begins to like him. And the reader does too. He is kind to Ray, even putting back together the drawing Ray had done that her father had ripped apart earlier. He talks to Ray and makes her feel special, which makes Harley like him all the more.
But, of course, there’s more here than meets the eye. Harley’s best friend, Kai, warns her against Draven, and, in turn, Draven warns her against Kai. As the days go on and bad things begin to happen, Harley’s trust in Draven grows.
I thought this was an amazing paranormal by Molly E. Lee. I almost literally couldn’t put this book down. Harley and Draven are so very likable. Lee obviously has a knack for creating likable characters. I loved their interactions.
This book hit all of the emotions, made me laugh when Harley realized how old the guy she had just made out with was, made me sad, fearful, and thrilled. This one did end on a semi-cliff-hanger, which I’m never fond of but here I didn’t mind, well, except for the fact that I have to wait–for just how long?–to find out what happens next.
Wow, great book.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies