One of our recommended books is Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

NOTHING BURNS AS BRIGHT AS YOU


This emotionally charged novel in verse follows an intense and tumultuous relationship between two queer teen girls, anchored around a single day where they set a fire and their relationship spirals out of control. An unforgettable love story, Nothing Burns As Bright As You is a beautifully written, propulsive read that will take your breath away.

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This emotionally charged novel in verse follows an intense and tumultuous relationship between two queer teen girls, anchored around a single day where they set a fire and their relationship spirals out of control. An unforgettable love story, Nothing Burns As Bright As You is a beautifully written, propulsive read that will take your breath away.

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  • Versify
  • Hardcover
  • April 2022
  • 288 Pages
  • 9780358655350

Buy the Book

$18.99

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About Ashley Woodfolk

Ashley Woodfolk is the author of Nothing Burns as Bright as YouAshley Woodfolk has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University and worked in children’s book publishing for over a decade. Now a full-time mom and writer, Ashley lives in a sunny Brooklyn apartment with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest baby in the world. Her books include The Beauty That Remains, When You Were Everything, and the Flyy Girls Series. Find her on Twitter or Instagram @ashwrites.

Praise

“A fierce, wrenching, deeply honest look at first love—I invite Ashley Woodfolk to break my heart with a book like this anytime.” – Leah Johnson, author of You Should See Me in a Crown

“This highly original story is both heart wrenching and hopeful. Ashley Woodfolk takes chances with form that make this verse novel captivating. Her skill as a writer has never burned so bright. Pure fire!”Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling author

“Wildly ambitious, fearlessly honest, and crackling with the top volume feelings of messy first love. Ashley Woodfolk is a virtuoso. Consider my breath fully taken.”—Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat

Discussion Questions

  1. Woodfolk says in the author’s note “how ingrained bi-erasure is in our culture.” What does she mean by this and what examples in the story illustrate this concept?  
  2. The story’s timeline is told in a non-linear fashion. If Woodfolk had written the story in a more traditional narrative style and with a linear timeline, what effect would it have on the book’s message and the relationship between the Narrator and You?
  3. Re-read “1232 Days Before the Fire” (page 39). How does this incident relate to the Narrator’s relationship with You? Why does she recount this memory and what do you observe about her emotional strength?
  4. What is the symbolic significance of the dilapidated house that the Narrator visits? Does its meaning shift from the first visit to the last?
  5. Nothing Burns as Bright as You is written in free verse. How does this change the tempo of the storytelling? How does this style help to create a deeper understanding of the Narrator’s emotional experience?
  6. The use of fire is a key important symbol in the story. It represents the volatility of the relationship between the Narrator and You. Provide other interpretations as fire relates to the central characters and/or supporting characters.
  7. A central narrative theme is “the promise of something is better than the actual thing” which is referenced when the Narrator and You are watching movie trailers. Explain the significance of this quote. Do you agree with this idea
  8. Nothing Burns as Bright as You is told from the Narrator’s point of view. If the story was told from You’s point of view, how do you think she would have understood the relationship? Consider her age, socioeconomic, and psychological background. Can you be empathetic to her circumstances?
  9. How does the Narrator’s relationship with her family (i.e., her mother, father, brother, and Grandmother) help to inform her about her relationship with You? Which family member’s advice and wisdom are the most helpful and least? Why?
  10. Why do you think Woodfolk wrote the “A Truth” and “A Lie” sections separately and in a different format from each other? How do they play into the overall theme of the story and what do they tell you about how the Narrator understands the connection between herself and You?