Don’t just read Chasing Fireflies…Experience it!!
I had the privilege of reading Chasing Fireflies by Chloe Fowler after joining a young adult writers group on Facebook. I was long overdue to branch out into the writer’s world. Within the first week, I stumbled across a post from an author teasing her book. I was able to get my hands on a copy, and I am very glad I did. I enjoyed reading a book by a debut author, and I look forward to seeing what other stories she has to tell in the future.
Okay, here we go, no spoilers: All Rainey wants is for her sister to be able to live a normal life, free of medical drama. All Liam wants is to make it through today without being someone’s punching bag. But when Rainey and Liam’s paths suddenly cross at school, they begin to see life on a bigger scope. Soon they are considering possibilities for themselves–ones that go beyond today–that could change them forever.
Chasing Fireflies is about how the chances we take not only affect us, but affect others. How often do we go through life wondering if now is the time to make a change, but then get sidetracked because of some mundane routine? I know this happens to me as an adult, and in high school, it happened just as much if not more. It’s always easier to blend in and play it safe, but when Rainey and Liam start pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone that’s when they start to really feel what it’s like to live.
Liam has a shaky homelife, and that is putting it mildly. School is rough for him as well. Not the academics, because he is intelligent, but the social aspect. On top of that, he doesn’t have a lot of money, which is a constant source of anxiety in his life. Money is a seemingly insurmountable barrier between himself and his peers. At one point, a sudden series of unfortunate events depletes his budget for an evening leaving him scrambling to try to finagle a one of a kind night. It turns out his lack of budget makes his night memorable in the best way possible.
This portion of the book left me reminiscing on the evenings in my life that stand out for a similar type of inexpensive fun. I think of sitting in my best friend’s kitchen eating chips and salsa, sharing entertaining anecdotes about our part time jobs, which left our faces red with laughter and our future conversations full of inside jokes. I remember a college scavenger hunt that revealed I could indeed fit into a dryer in my dormitory. Don’t question it, I have photographic evidence! I recall nights baking with my three kids where there are ingredients everywhere–counter, floor, inside drawers, shirts, pants, hair–and I don’t care because everyone is smiling, even if they are afraid of the noise the mixer makes. My mind drifts to being curled up on the couch with my husband as we work through a crossword puzzle with our sarcastic anger at the inconsistency in the clues. It’s so true that the cheap nights can be the absolute best.
Chasing Fireflies is a great reminder about the things in life that really matter, one that we all need from time to time, and if you take the time to read Chloe’s beautiful story, it’s a message you won’t soon forget.
There you have it. As you read Chasing Fireflies, try to plan a creative inexpensive night out (or in) with someone you care about. Think about something that used to bring you joy but you forgot about over the years, think about something you know you love but haven’t taken the time to do recently, or think of something brand new. Regardless, make the time to actually carry out the plan. Do it for Liam and Rainey. Do it for yourself.
If you haven’t already read Chasing Fireflies, what are you waiting for? If you already have, why not pick it up again? Either way, take my advice when you do–don’t just read it, experience it!
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