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Download How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel, by Jesse Ball Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jesse Ball Narrator: Emma Galvi Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A teenage girl. A shattering loss. An obsession with a secret arson club. This is the story of a girl who has nothing and will burn anything.

Lucia’s father is dead, her mother is in a mental hospital, and she’s living in a garage-turned-bedroom with her aunt. And now she’s been kicked out of school—again.

Making her way through the world with only a book, a zippo lighter, a pocketful of stolen licorice, a biting wit, and the striking intel­ligence that she tries to hide, Lucia spends her days riding the bus to visit her mother and following the only rule that makes any sense to her: Don’t do things you aren’t proud of.

But when she discovers that her new school has a secret Arson Club, she’s willing to do anything to be a part of it, and her life is sud­denly lit up. As Lucia’s fascination with the Arson Club grows, her story becomes one of misguided friendship and, ultimately, destruction.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extremely well done: swift, sharp-tongued, and enlivened by cockeyed humor.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “One of the triumphs of the novel is the delicacy with which Ball opens his narrator’s smart-aleck voice just wide enough to admit a sincere measure of wonder and dread.”


  • “The novel’s disaffected, Holden Caulfield-style young narrator and heroine…Lucia is a marvelous creation.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A high-spirited, edgy coming-of-age novel…Ball has created a voice that echoes the beloved narrators of J. D. Salinger and John Green…or a high-IQ, antiheroic Katniss Everdeen, but with a better sense of humor.”


  • “The beautifully blunt narration of a gifted delinquent propels this excellent sixth novel…A song of teenage heartbreak…[and] a mature meditation on how actually saying something, not just speaking, is what most makes a voice human.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

  • “Narrator Emma Galvin’s youthful voice and snarky attitude put Lucia Stanton right in the listener’s face…Galvin makes Lucia’s nihilism credible…Galvin is convincing in Jesse Ball’s very dark, very truthful novel.”


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