Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Centre – Book Review

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There are only a few books that I know I’ll remember clearly for the rest of my life. This is one of them. It’s not overly poignant, poetic or even that original as a story. Rather, it’s a writing style that just spoke to me from the very first page to the last. I read this book all in one sitting and loved every minute of it!

Things You Save in a Fire has the perfect balance between hope, new beginnings and the importance of forgiveness, love and family. It’s the simple tribute to strong, independent and capable women such as Cassie who defy the odds and keep fighting for their right to pursue whichever career they set their mind to. Highs, lows, love, life, pranks… this book has it all!


Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew―even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all―the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

I always have a hard time writing a review for a book that completely swept me away. It’s the same in this case. I’ve been waiting a week for my thoughts to finally settle and I still think my review will come across as vague and trite. As someone from Aussie-Land the impact of fires on families, homes and communities is never easy to forget. Bush fires and their debilitating damage during Bush Fire Season is harrowing to watch. Emergency Services and Firefighters in particular are considered true heroes, in my opinion.

Cassie’s love for her job as a firefighter, as more than just a job but rather an identity was made clear from the get go and immediately gained my respect. What I truly adored was the privileged insight we gained in to the lives of firefighters and the way they positive despite all that they’ve seen. The pranks, the camaraderie and support that they share with each other, in order to stay sane while doing their job, was heart-warming and inspiring to read about. This book made me dreamy sigh, laugh, cry and almost everything in between!

When reading this book, it felt like I had fallen in to an alternate universe. You know when a writer does their job so well, you end up forgetting where you are, who you’re with and what you were supposed to be doing at 5pm? The pace was sublime. It was like a steady ticking clock, never too slow or rushed but just right. When adding in beautiful character development and interesting family dynamics, this is a book that would appeal to many.

What I truly adored was the romance. It was slow-burn, wholesome and just so good. My heart fell completely for fellow firefighter and feminist: The Rookie. He caused innumerable sighs during this book. I would dare any reader not to fall in love with him. It’s impossible!

While I hate to put a blemish on a book I thoroughly adored, I wish we had gotten a chance to see more of Cassie’s relationship with her father and old fire crew. We saw snippets but it wasn’t enough for me. I mean… technically the book didn’t need it. The story was stellar without it. I’m just greedy. I wanted (selfishly) more, more, more. For that reason (my utter selfishness in never wanting this book to end) I decided to stick to a 5-star rating rather than dropping it down to 4.5. The story deserved every star and is one I’ll be re-reading for years to come!

// have you read a book by Katherine Centre? what’s were your thoughts on it? //


20 thoughts on “Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Centre – Book Review

  1. “I always have a hard time writing a review for a book that completely swept me away.” ME TOOO GIRLLL! OH MY GODDD I FEEL LIKE THERE IS SOO MUCH TO SAY THAT I COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN AND LET ALL THE EMOTIONS SETTLE DOWN BEFORE GETTING DOWN TO REVIEWING IT! And when I do write the review straightaway, it ends up being soo fucking longgggg!!🤣🤣🤣




    • AWWW thanks Rain! It was such a stunning book. Honestly, I was completely immersed the whole time and it really stole my heart ❤ ❤ ❤ I hope that you get a chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did! Firefighters deserve all of this love, especially Cassie! She's a gem. Thank you for the absolutely lovely comment and support! Jen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous review, Jen! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one as much as I did too 😍 It was such a pleasant surprise and I loved Cassie’s strong lead character and her passion for her profession — even if she was literally the odd woman out amongst all those men! I have to admit that while the romance between Cassie and The Rookie was sweet, I wish I felt more of a connection there lol I mean, there were some feelings but it didn’t overwhelm me with the swoons. Don’t know what I missed there! I can’t wait to read more Katherine Center 😍🥰


    • It’s a shame you weren’t feeling their connection. Maybe it was just me, haha 😛 I thought it was dreamy and weirdly slow but beautiful. I’m really keen to read How to Walk Away. It has so many positive reviews and well I’m a bit of a fan now haha. Thank you for the lovely comment, as always! Jen


  3. oh this seems absolutely amazing. I completely get what you mean by it being so hard to write reviews for books you love because you feel that you can’t give it the proper justice.
    this is such a touching poignant review and i’m so glad you felt it so deeply. i’ve been eyeing it for awhile but now I definitely have to move it up on my list.


    • That’s it exactly! It wasn’t a poetic book but DAMN I fell completely in love and never wanted it to end ❤ I hope you enjoy this one if you get around to reading it! Jen


    • Thank you Emer! It took me a while to actually know what I was going to say about it 😛 Half of the time I just wanted to keep writing ‘READ IT NOW’ and leave it at that haha. Thank you for your lovely comment and support! ❤ Jen

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aww I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one too! 😀 It was such a fascinating read for me. I became completely immersed and never wanted to leave! I’m really excited to try her other book How to Walk Away as I’ve also read some really positive reviews on it 😀 Jen

      Liked by 1 person

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