Azar on Fire review by Mel_Clem
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Fiction
Five Star Award

LitPick Review

Age at time of review - 15
Reviewer's Location - Atlanta, GA, United States
View Mel_Clem's profile

Music-loving Azar's vocal cords are broken. So broken, in fact, that talking is excruciating, so she just doesn't. She doesn't answer questions in class, and she avoids every one of her peers besides her middle schooler cousin, Roya. One day, after a particularly stressful altercation in the halls, Azar scampers off to the janitor's closet to relieve stress in the way she always does: by playing music. Things go sideways, however, when her drumming destroys a thousand dollar's worth of cleaning supplies. Her principal proposes a solution: if Azar enters the local Battle of the Bands on behalf of her school, she'll get off scot-free. Unfortunately, in order to participate in said battle, she'll need a band. Assembling one will require plenty of skills she doesn't have like communication, social charisma, and unending patience. In Azar on Fire, we follow Azar as she assembles together both a band and relationships, all while using her voice as minimally as possible. 


When starting this book, I was just the slightest bit apprehensive. Though I can muscle through it, I tend to stray away from books in first person. However, this was quickly proved not to be an issue as Azar is quite literally one of the funniest narrators I've ever read. I doubt that the book would be as good if it was written any way that wasn't directly from Azar. Not only is the book genuinely hilarious, it's packed with personality.

Azar is developed without ambiguity early on, and I love how close we feel to her from the get-go. Her struggles extend further than just her throat and voice, which was lovely to see. She was multifaceted and felt like a real person with real depth. She was relatable and such a joy to follow as a main character!

While I loved Azar, I was upset about the lack of development for the side characters. I'm the kind of person whose character interest spreads way beyond the main character, so it wasn't nice to spend the entire book wishing that we could know more about her bandmates or cousin. While their personalities were somewhat distinct, it felt like a lot of their potential was lost. They're lovely but frustratingly unremarkable. 

However, I wouldn't let this stop you from reading the book! Azar is definitely a strong enough main character that it makes up for it, so it's no big deal, overall.

There is a lot of wholesome interactions and good descriptive writing in this book, making it a smooth read overall. This book was bold and fun, and I would recommend it to, honestly, anyone in high school. Even if you're not a music lover or you're perfectly confident in your voice, this book is fun, light, and an overall good time.

Content Rating:

Content rating - some mature content

Explain your content rating: 

There was some cursing and even the word 'pornographic' at one point, but the most that was actually done was a bit of kissing. Everything else is lighthearted!




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