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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Fifteen-year-old Jane Carter's last foster family was abusive. Broken and scarred, her search for healing with her new family, and the prospect of facing her abuser again, lead her to a decision: cling on to her hate, fear, and bitterness or, like the mythical phoenix, let herself be engulfed in flames and be reborn from the ashes.…

Flames of Redemption

by Michelle Thompson

Overall Book Review:

Like the mythical phoenix bursting into flame, fifteen-year-old Jane Carter feels like she has hit rock bottom. A lifetime of tragedy that has culminated with horrific abuse has left her physically and emotionally broken. When she is sent to live with a new foster family—a place where she may at last be able to feel at home—Jane isn’t sure she can move past the scars in her past. Reading Jane’s story is heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting, as she finds a way to let herself heal from her past and, like the phoenix, be reborn from the ashes. Flames of Redemption drew me in, and made me care about Jane and her foster mother, Senator Kelley. However, I had a hard time connecting to the other characters; they didn’t stand out in my mind. I also found myself a little confused by some parts of the book; at times, it felt disjointed and rough. Overall, however, Flames of Redemption was an inspiring read, with a strong message of redemption, forgiveness, and healing.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Cadence Group

Content Analysis:

There is no profanity.

There are a few scenes of strong violence throughout the book; in the beginning and the end, the main character remembers being horrifically physically abused by a previous foster father. The violence is not gratuitous, but it was enough to make me a little queasy as I read it. At one point, a character almost drowns and there is a question about it being a suicide attempt. A character is violently kidnapped and later shot in the arm. A character often gets herself into situations where she ends up sick or injured.

Sexual abuse is also alluded to, but no detail is provided (the most detail given is when the character says “I could feel him… pressing himself against me in an inappropriate way”).

Mature Subject Matter:

Strong mature themes include physical and sexual abuse, death, suicide, and grief.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


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About the Reviewer

As a kid, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a “professional book reviewer” when I grew up (along with writer/ballerina/figure skater/mom). I thought that any profession that involved the full-time reading of books was my idea of heaven. Getting the chance to review books is a little dream come true!