Weekend reading: A teenage girl stumbles into an arson club

'How to Set a Fire and Why' by Jesse Ball
'How to Set a Fire and Why' by Jesse Ball
Courtesy of Pantheon

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country to find out about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Jason Foose of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz.

Foose doesn't just want to recommend "How to Set a Fire and Why" to everyone he knows — he wants to throw it at anyone who walks through the door. It's that good.

Jesse Ball's novel is a coming-of-age story and a thriller, Foose said. He describes it as part "Perks of Being a Wallflower," part Chuck Palahniuk, of "Fight Club" fame.

"It feels like one of the freshest voices I've come across in a long time."

The novel follows Lucia Stanton, a teenage girl with a chaotic home life who finds herself involved with a secret arson club at her new school.

Lucia is "probably one of my favorite characters I've ever read about. I just want to keep hearing more of her sideways way of looking at the world." She's "a new Holden Caulfield, except, in my opinion, a little bit more insightful and a little bit more emotional."

When Foose finished reading the book, he immediately wanted to re-read it. Ball has "a way with words that feels completely unique," he said.

How to Set a Fire and Why How to Set a Fire and Why

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