The Arsonist ARC Review 

This review is based on an unedited copy I received for free from the publisher.


Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman–the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall–is unlike anyone you’ve met before. When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life–and death–than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. 

The story is written from three perspectives. Molly, Pepper and Ava. Molly point of view is written addressing Pepper looking back to how they got to her sitting in his hospital room. Pepper part is written as essay/ letters telling the story of the events that lead him to meet molly and get involved in the mystery of Ava. Ava’s point of view is diary entries written during the Cold War.

I found Molly to be really annoying at times and Pepper seemed really simple. While I enjoyed the mystery and the journey they went on together their meeting and team up seemed crazy. I don’t understand especially from Peppers perspective why they decided to go on this journey. Molly just turns up sort of stalker like and he just invites her back to his house to show her a weird book he was sent. Has no on taught him about stranger danger. Lots of the clues they were given just seemed so random and I figured the mystery out long before they did.

I enjoyed Ava’s story the most. Her parts were the most interesting and I was constantly left wanting to know what happened next at the end of her chapters. Overall it was an interesting mystery, emotional at times but also humorous. 

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