Updated: May 14, 2022
An emotive and important book. You will rage. You will cry. This is such a good book for school libraries - it should be essential teenage reading.
When journalist-in-training Safiya's school paper is hacked it's the start of a chilling chain of events. Racist graffiti, a missing teenager and a ghostly voice on the wind asking Safiya for help. It will take all of Safiya's journalist skills, and courage, to get to work out what's really going on, before she finds herself in danger too.
Hollow Fires explores a broad range of difficult but necessary subjects, such as hate speech, racism, privilege and online radicalisation. Reading it would be a great way to start conversations on so many different topics teenagers face today.
It's also written in a fantastic format. Safiya and Jawad's stories are interspersed with articles, phone transcripts and tweets. They come from a number of viewpoints and perspectives (sometimes making for difficult reading).
One of the things I loved best about Hate, Love and Other Filters was how Maya's passion for photography shaped every word. I could definitely say the same for Safiya and journalism - it isn't a hobby in name only, but the thing that shapes her entire character and means her every decision makes perfect sense.
I raced through this twist-filled, fast-paced YA novel and would absolutely recommend it.
I was provided with an advanced copy for review on NetGalley