The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…
Everyone wants to be me.
Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.
I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.
They all still talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?
But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.
Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.
What I say: *There may be spoilers from the previous Fall Away books!* Once I knew the series would end by revisiting Tate and Jared, I wasn't sure I wanted to read Aflame. This was only because I felt like they had already been through a lot together, but I decided to trust Penelope when she said the events needed to happen. She is the creator and writer of the series and knows her characters far better than anybody else could ever hope to. I'm glad I decided to give Aflame a chance because it was nice to see all of the characters come full circle. After finishing their stories I now understand why the books took the direction they did.
As I mention above I wasn't sure about Aflame and this was mainly because I'm not a fan of drama for drama's sake. For me there's nothing more annoying than for my fav characters to suddenly break up and have a load of unnecessary tension after the HEA. This really isn't the case with Aflame. It's actually a very different book to what I was expecting - It's not an angst-fest. Tate and Jared are still the same characters we love, but they have definitely matured and aren't about just punishing each other.
I have to admit I was one of the readers who blamed Jared at the end of Falling Away (yes, I know it was unfair). I also was firmly on team 'Tate-should-get-more-experience-with-other-guys-and-Jared-should-have-work-hard-to-win-her-back' and I'm not going to spoil the story by telling you if this does happen. I will point out that Penelope made me feel completely horrible for doubting Jared - I feel as though I should be baking him some kind of apology cake!
As I reflected back on the entire series it became more and more obvious Jared was trapped. Tate is passionate about medicine but Jared's yet to find out what he wants to do, so he has to leave. It was the way he left which came as a shock to both the reader and Tate. I completely understood her anger and devastation. I got why she wouldn't listen to him after everything he'd done to her in the past and what they'd been through together. I wouldn't have been happy in her situation, but I now understand why he left.
If you're worried about reading another story full of drama and teen angst then I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Aflame - It is a Tate and Jared story so there is always going to be a certain amount of arguing, petty behaviour and tension - but that's what I personally love about them. I'm extremely happy with how the story ended - spin-off anybody?!
4.5 Stars in my Sky!