Can’t-Wait Wednesday: We Are the Ashes, We are the Fire by Joy McCullough

Posted August 26, 2020 by Stephanie in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read.


We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire by Joy McCullough 
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

From tauthor of the acclaimed Blood Water Paint, a new contemporary YA novel in prose and verse about a girl struggling with guilt and a desire for revenge after her sister’s rapist escapes with no prison time.

Em Morales’s older sister was raped by another student after a frat party. A jury eventually found the rapist guilty on all counts–a remarkable verdict that Em felt more than a little responsible for, since she was her sister’s strongest advocate on social media during the trial. Her passion and outspokenness helped dissuade the DA from settling for a plea deal. Em’s family would have real justice.

But the victory is lived. In a matter of minutes, justice vanishes as the judge turns the Morales family’s world upside down again by sentencing the rapist to no prison time. While her family is stunned, Em is literally sick with rage and guilt. To make matters worse, a news clip of her saying that the sentence “makes me want to use a fucking sword” goes viral.

From this low point, Em must find a new reason to go on and help her family heal, and she finds it in the unlikely form of the story of a 15th-century French noblewoman, Marguerite de Bressieux, who is legendary as an avenging knight for rape victims.

We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire is a searing and nuanced portrait of a young woman torn between a persistent desire for revenge and a burning need for hope.


After reading Blood Water Paint recently and absolutely loving it (read my review here), I found out the author has a new book coming out next year and I’m super excited for it. It’ll be partly written in verse like Blood Water Paint so that makes me even more excited to read it. I can’t wait to get a copy in my hands!



10 responses to “Can’t-Wait Wednesday: We Are the Ashes, We are the Fire by Joy McCullough

  1. verushka

    Oh wow, this is going to be a powerful read, IMO (to say the least)! And verse as well — it’s not my first choice when it comes to reading but I would be willing to give this a go bc of the topic.

  2. Oha, that sounds like an intense read. I hope that the story will handle the topic of rape in a sensitive way and give the reader something to think about and to enjoy. Happy reading and looking forward to your review *smile* Thank you for sharing.

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