*STARRED reviews from Booklist and Kirkus!
*A July 2019 Book of the Month Club selection!
*A USA TODAY pick for Must-Read Women’s Fiction of 2019!
*One of The Washington Post’s 10 Picks for the New Year!
*One of Good Housekeeping‘s 25 Best New Books for Summer 2019!
*One of The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER‘s 2019 Books to Keep on Your Radar!
*One of SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of 2019!
*A BOOKish pick for Summer 2019’s Must-Read Fiction!
*On Cosmo UK’s list of 27 Best Books to Read Summer 2019!
* * *
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.
ON SALE August 2019!!!
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping . . . and it means risking everything—the only job she’s ever loved and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.
Praise for THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE from #1 NYT Bestselling Author JODI PICOULT
“Oh, how I love Katherine Center’s writing…and her newest novel is a gem: a tale of a female firefighter who has to learn the difference between saving a life and truly living one; a story that reminds us that the word emergency has, at its heart, a new beginning. Just read it, and thank me later.”
—JODI PICOULT, NYT bestselling author of A SPARK OF LIGHT and SMALL GREAT THINGS
#1 NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
"Oh, how I love Katherine Center’s writing…and her newest novel is a gem: ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
...a tale of a female firefighter who has to learn the difference between saving a life and truly living one; ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
...a story that reminds us that the word emergency has, at its heart, a new beginning. ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
Just read it, and thank me later.”
on THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE
Praise for Things You Save in a Fire
STARRED Review from Booklist!
The follow-up to Center’s breakout hit, How to Walk Away (2018), in which [main character] Cassie had a brief cameo, has all the hallmarks that made readers fall in love with the previous book: an appealing (if guarded, in this case) heroine, a compelling love story, a tearjerking twist, and a thoroughly absorbing story. Another winner from Center.
—Booklist • STARRED REVIEW
STARRED Review from Kirkus!
Expertly crafting this page-turner, Center creates a character you can’t help rooting for while constantly adding new tension to the story . . . a sharp and witty exploration of love and forgiveness that is at once insightful, entertaining, and thoroughly addictive.
—KIRKUS • STARRED REVIEW
A July 2019 Book of the Month Club Selection!
“I don’t even know how to explain how much I adored this book, but let’s start with the best thing about it: the main character. Cassie is smart, unapologetic, and great at her job, and watching her make her mark at a firehouse that’s practically muggy with testosterone is as satisfying as it entertaining. This is a story of love, of family, and of learning how to be vulnerable—and trust me, Cassie’s life journey is one you don’t want to miss.”
—Siobhan Jones • Editorial Director, Book of the Month Club
One of SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of 2019!
“Everyone fell in love with the breakout hit How to Walk Away in 2018 and this upcoming August, Katherine Center brings readers another important women’s fiction novel.”
One of The Washington Post’s 10 Picks for the New Year!
“A spirited, independent heroine meets a smoking-hot fireman in Center’s smart romance.”
—The Washington Post
A USA TODAY pick for Must-Read Women’s Fiction of 2019!
“I know, you’re thinking, August? But this book is so good! Loved the juxtaposition of the hero’s and heroine’s roles. She’s the expert and he is the rookie. Fabulous forgiveness theme. Humorous and touching!”
—Leigh Davis, USA TODAY
A GOOD HOUSEKEEPING pick for 25 Best New Books for Summer 2019!
A title readers “can’t wait to dive into, according to the experts at Goodreads.”
"This poignant, beautiful, thought-provoking, emotionally- intelligent and timely novel had me laughing and tearing up in equal measures . . . I would have given it six stars out of five - it was such an enjoyable, heartwarming read!"
"Katherine Center did it again!! “Things You Save in a Fire” is an absolutely wonderful read!! . . . She has become one of my favorite authors. Do yourself a favor... go buy all her books!! You won’t be disappointed!! Again — Bravo!"
"This book has it all! Strength, love, romance, courage and hurt . . . An excellent, well written novel! I was caught in Cassie's world and found myself rooting for her to take her life back! You will love this story!"
"This story just filled me with so much joy, I don't know how to explain it . . . If anyone is looking for a story that'll have you swooning and then in tears, but leave you with your heart full, then you must pick this one up."
"You will fall in love with Cassie. She is such a strong lead and watching her go through so many changes is incredible. Owen is my new favorite male lead. He is such a gentleman! Enjoyed this book so much!"
"I read this book in one sitting, and it wasn't what I thought it would be, it was so much better. The writing was so on-point, it was both heartwarming, a bit humorous and at times quite serious. Yet through it all, it gave me pause to think about human frailties, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Highly recommended. "
Early Praise for Things You Save in a Fire
READER REVIEWS for Things You Save in a Fire
“I loved this heartfelt, addicting novel! Cassie is a scrappy, funny, spitfire of a character and I loved the character development throughout the book. The author does a fabulous job tackling tough subjects in a lighthearted, witty way. This well balanced novel was beautifully written and solidified its spot in my top reads of the year.”
“I LOVED this book! I loved How to Walk Away and I was honestly worried that The Things You Save in a Fire could not live up to that—but it did!! . . . This book is about forgiveness and about the ties that bind us. It’s a love story and a family story and a story about being a woman today. It’s the story of a woman in a man’s world and the story of friendship. There is just so much in this one that you have to read—it’s so good!”
“Being married to a firefighter and being a firefighter/medic myself I was instantly hooked! I could tell that the author had done a lot of research on firefighting, which made me enjoy the book even more! I loved the storyline of Cassie and the Rookie and loved how in the end, love and forgiveness trumps everything!”
“Katherine Center writes stories that are full-person immersion: heart, brain, body and soul are totally involved in a satisfying, inspiring way — and her latest novel THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE fulfills that promise in profound and emphatic mastery. . . . Read this book. I emerged feeling sated by a marvelous story and appreciation for fire fighters and community connection, for reconnecting long-broken relationships, and for finding a new way to succeed in the world.”
“My goodness, this story is just the sweetest. I just loved it. So much that I finished it in a little over 24 hours . . .There’s a reason you’re hearing so much about this book. It’s a beautiful, thought-provoking story and you won’t want to put it down.
“I absolutely LOVED this book. I won an ARC in a giveaway and I honestly had no idea what to expect. I haven’t read any of Katherine Center’s books before, but I plan on putting them all on my TBR pile now! This was a touching, engaging, fun, and uplifting story to read. Katherine Center has a truly amazing gift at writing. The dialogue drew me right in, and Center’s ability to strike just the perfect balance in both pace and tone kept me riveted to the story. Five stars!”
“This book was so AMAZING!!! It seriously touched me and it kept my attention. I truly enjoyed it and I’m happy to add it to my library!!!”
“I finished this book in one afternoon and absolutely adored it. Cassie is such a fun character to get to know and her difficulties in life were so relatable. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again and I didn’t want it to end. I loved the progression and personal growth in this book and especially how the human spirit survives and thrives in the worst and best scenarios that life comes up with. It was a feel good read through and through. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ 5/5 heart rating.”
“I would give this book 10 stars if I could – I absolutely loved it.”
“I think I felt every emotion possible while reading and I had the worst book hangover when I finished. I loved the little shout out to How to Walk Away, too – so awesome. The theme of forgiveness plays throughout the whole story, and it just rings so true. I highlighted and post it tabbed the heck out of this book because so much stood out to me.”
“While this is a step away from my normal reading, I could not put it down from the opening line until the end! I loved it and cannot recommend it highly enough! Character driven by some of the best characters I have met in a long time.”
“Equal parts humorous and poignant, Things You Save in a Fire is one of my favorite reads of 2019. The dialog is fantastic, Cassie is a hot mess of a heroine who is a beast when it comes to fighting fires, but terribly afraid of intimacy because of the wounds in her past. Her struggles and her heartache are common experiences for many of us, which is why I was so invested in her story from the beginning of the book. And can we just talk about Owen/the rookie and what a wonderful hero he is? His love for Cassie, his sense of humor, his angst over past mistakes … I could go on and on. Finally, the themes of hope and forgiveness and learning to move forward without letting our emotional baggage take us out really resonated with me. Nicely done, Katherine Center!”
“I love this book! Katherine Center is such a great storyteller! She created a character full of emotions and showed us how kindness and love can change everything!”
“The perfect summer read! Sweet but not too saccharine, funny, and with depth. I thought she captured the first responder experience really well and I loved the badass protagonist. Recommend!”
“Katherine Center became my newest favorite author when I accidently stumbled upon her wonderful “How To Walk Away” in the library one day, and I quickly read all she had written after that. I was fortunate enough to receive “Things You Save In A Fire” as an ARC, and like all of Ms Center’s books, it made me fall in love with her all over again. Her characters are so real they could be your friends, relatives, next door neighbors . . . I don’t need to go into the storyline. Do yourself a favor. If you haven’t read a Katherine Center book, now is a great time to start. You can thank me later! The hardest part is waiting for her to write the next book . . .”
“I thought this would be a chick lit beach read. But it was so much more. It is one of my favorites of the year. . . . The book deals with the acquisition of self knowledge, the possibilities of forgiveness, and a study in stereotypes. I know you will love it.”
“I loved, loved, LOVED this book!!! I must admit that I am a huge fan of Katherine Center and she definitely did NOT disappoint in this one . . . This was a page turner, filled with action, witty dialogue, and a just plain great story. It’s about love, forgiveness, family, and revenge. I’d give it 6 stars if I could! If you only read one book this year, make it Things You Save in a Fire.“
“I read this in a day and almost turned right back around and started reading it again. Yes, it’s that good.”
“If I could give this book 6 stars, I would without a doubt! I loved everything about this book and literally could not put it down—finished in less than 24 hours! I loved the insight into the life and careers of firefighters, the grit and strength it takes to be a female in a male-dominated field, the power of forgiveness and love… there is so much depth to the story and characters! Pre-order this one RIGHT NOW! It will be a favorite of mine and yours for the entire year!!”
“Absolutely loved this book!!!”
“This is the first book I have read by Katherine Center, and now I’ll be reading them all! Things You Save in a Fire just grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. I stayed up late and couldn’t put it down. The characters and emotions are spot on and the firefighters and fire station setting is perfect! Forgiveness is always difficult and Ms. Center dealt with it beautifully, carefully and realistically. I will remember this story for a long time. I strongly recommend.”
“Well that was just rather lovely, sad and fun all rolled together. And what a badass, powerful lady! I feel like working out :)”
“This book belongs on my very short list of the best books I have read in my lifetime! It touched my very soul, had me crying, and laughing and often just smiling to myself.”
“I will be forever grateful for the words, the story, the talent of the author. Truly Things You Save is beautifully written. It will pull you page to page, elicit giggles, tears and acceptance that all things in life are not good…..but hold on for the good to outweigh the bad. Ms. Center’s humor will delight the reader. DO NOT miss this – Amazing doesn’t say enough.”
“Katherine Center’s HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS and HOW TO WALK AWAY are stellar, so I had high expectations for this book. THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE did not disappoint! It was heartfelt, had a fantastic message, and the plot was so compelling that I finished the entire book in a day.”
“This has to be one of the best books I have ever read.”
“I am not sure I have ever related to and loved a character as much as I loved and related to Cassie. Things You Save in a Fire is a beautiful story about forgiveness, family, love and perseverance. What I loved most was how real Cassie was. She experienced severe heartbreak and trauma, and while she closed herself off from emotions, she pushed herself to succeed in a career she was passionate about. She is both fragile and impossibly strong. I also thoroughly enjoyed the inside view into what it’s like for female firefighters. Through Center’s writing, I felt like I was right there with Cassie fighting for her place, proving herself and finding love and forgiveness.”
“I loved this book. Not just liked, but really loved this book!”
“I LOVED this story. I don’t stay up late anymore on week nights and this one had me up until midnight and until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore! The main character was such a badass and so strong 💪🏻 the setting was so unique, and I liked how Cassie fought the stereotypes and proved how strong and amazing women can be.”
“Absolutely loved this book. This was my second book by Katherine Center that I’ve read, and I’ll be a lifelong fan. I enjoyed seeing a woman succeed in a hyper-masculine environment like firefighting, and she made it easy to root for every character… even you know who. Awesome read!”
“This was my most anticipated book of the year and it was definitely not a disappointment. Katherine Center’s writing style is incredibly beautiful and I was instantly captivated by Cassie’s story. I laughed, I cried, I got butterflies and I could not put this down!!”
“One Million ~Brave~Stars***** Things You Save In A Fire is truly a transcendent read that will live in my heart and soul forever. Just like any other Katherine Center book, this story is not just about romance, but so much more. It’s about bravery, forgiveness, and family. Cassie is a true hero, and she will go down as one of my favorite female characters EVER!!!!”
“I have no words, it was completely amazing, way too short. I would have read this for weeks. It was an emotional, funny, heartwarming story.”
“Dramatic, heartbreaking, edge of your seat amazement . . . beautifully written with an easy flow. I devoured the book in a couple days because i just couldn’t get enough, definitely an unputdownable read. The way Center develops the characters and their relationships was outstanding. I was able to feel what Cassie was going through. A very well written book full of romance, tough decisions, friendship, family, death, love and even a little suspense. Definitely a 5 star read.
“This book was so good it is hard to review without giving away the story. The writing is so good it pulls you into the lives of the characters as if they are your long time neighbors. You’ll share their highs and lows and be happy for them in the end.”
“This was the first book I read by Katherine Center, very well written, an easy read. Things You Save in a Fire is a story of forgiveness, family, love and passion. A hilarious story and a must read. ‘The best revenge is forgetting.'”
“It had a very shocking start that blew my mind and even better ending. If you want a story that will pull at your heart strings this is one to check out.”
“I loved Things You Save in a Fire. I loved the characters, even the grumpy sexist firefighters, and the storylines. Although this seems like just a beautiful love story there was so much more. This book is a lesson on forgiveness. How to forgive and how to accept forgiveness. This is a story that will stick with me a long time and hopefully make me a better person.”
“I absolutely loved this book, and I couldn’t put it down.”
“What an amazing writer! I loved that this book had a small tie in with “How to Walk Away.” Great love story without it being “cheesy.” I loved every bit of it! It made me stay up way past my bedtime for the past few nights!”
“I unequivocally adored this book! Somehow Katherine Center was able to weave heavy topics into a lighthearted story that will make you (happily) feel all the feels. This is a lovely story about digging deep for forgiveness when forgiveness is impossible, fighting misogyny like a bad-ass, moving past grief, and above all, love. This was my first Katherine Center book and I’m most definitely going to check out her others! It was truly a joy.
“Things You Save in a Fire was a story I simply could not put down. I finished it in one day.”
“I flew through this book and I absolutely LOVED all of the characters. There is some sadness but this is mostly a hopeful book full of humor and feel good moments. I liked this author’s last book but I have to say that I liked this book even more.”
“Oh dear readers. You will love this. The slow build is so very worth it. I loved every second of reading this. Katherine Center is a master of writing complex characters, but giving you an engaging read with some romance. Since reading How To Walk Away, I can say with confidence I have found my go to author.”
“This is an amazing story about forgiveness. This is one of those books that gives you a “book hangover” and you continue to feel the after affects long after you’ve read the last page . . . I thoroughly enjoy books by this author and highly recommend Things You Save In A Fire.”
“Five stars are not nearly enough to rate this phenomenal read by Katherine Center. I am a huge fan of Katherine and her books and this one did not disappoint! . . . This story is incredibly detailed yet fast-paced and you won’t be able to put it down. It features romance, forgiveness, family, girl-power, trust, and the love of family. It’s a beautiful thought-provoking story that had me thinking about it long after the last page. Congrats Katherine Center on another incredible book!”
“Every single star to this emotional, but uplifting story. Katherine Center has her own style . . . one I love . . . Easy to read, fun, engaging, lovable characters . . . It has it all. If you enjoy domestic fiction, don’t miss this one! Five bold and fiery stars!”
“Five Stars🔥This is going to be one of my all time favorites! This book will make you laugh, cry and swoon, which is the trifecta for me. It is about love, forgiveness, feminism… The main character was written so well! Must read this book!”
“I can’t describe the giddy feeling I get when I know I’m about to read a new Katherine Center novel. She has become my go-to author when I want to read something fun and light on the surface, but with true to life characters and deep meaning that will touch my soul . . . This novel is beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, and uplifting all in one go. When I have the opportunity to read one of Katherine Center’s novels, I know that I’d better plan on staying in one place for an extended period of time—there is no way I’ll be able to put it down. Things You Save in a Fire was definitely no exception. I highly recommend this one—you won’t be disappointed!”
“Damn this book was on Fire. I did not want to put it down. I absolutely loved this book! It was easy to read, easy to follow and become engaged in. It held your interest from the first page to the very last. Well done Katherine Center!”
“Oh, Katherine Center, how I love you! Writing this as I wipe happy tears from my face. Despite receiving this ARC from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, I still plan on purchasing this beautiful story as soon as it hits shelves! Center writes a heart-warming story about Cassie, a fierce female firefighter. Filled with strong characters (literally and figuratively), readers follow a story of love, fear, and the beauty of forgiveness. Wonderful!”
“Katherine Center has done it again with a beautiful story about finding yourself and the road to forgiveness. I couldn’t put it down! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟”
“Every now and then a story comes along that gets me right in the heart. ‘Things You Save in a Fire’ is that kind of story.
I’ve said it before but I really do love the way Katherine Center writes about the messy parts of life with such honesty. The storyline was well-written and there were many great relatable characters. From the laugh out loud moments to the heartbreaking moments, this story had me gripped until I finished the very last page. ‘Things You Save in a Fire’ is a heart-warming, gut-wrenching, and hilarious story about healing, family, forgiveness, courage, and love.”
“Her characters are so crisply right and so relatable, you expect them to come knock on your door. Add to that a story line that is both humorous and truly sad. Now throw in the fact that her books draw you in somehow and you don’t even realize time is marching on, or that you are reading. You are there. Right there. I cannot say enough about her writing. This book was just plain enjoyable on all levels. I’m sure you will find it to be the same.”
“Katherine Center does it again! This book had me hooked from the first page and had a little bit of everything- romance, mystery, family drama, and medical drama. Katherine always does so much research on the things she writes about and it shows. . . . I can’t wait to get a hard copy of this book so I can reread it!”
“This book was beyond cute. It was a cute story, with (mostly) cute characters, and yet it managed to bring a range of emotions to the surface for me…I laughed, my heartbeat raced, and at one point, I even cried. At its core, Things You Save in a Fire felt very raw and very human.”
“Things You Save in a Fire is beautiful story about tragedy, loss, forgiveness and love . . . Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.”
“I love this book! I finished it in 2 days and I could not put it down! Katherine Center weaves this story together so effortlessly. The main character, Cassie, was so charming and relatable (and such a badass) it was impossible not to like her. Her character development throughout the story made me pause several times to self reflect on situations in my own life, as well as giving me a few lessons to take away for the future. The themes of kindness and forgiveness were seamlessly woven into the plot without being overbearing. It’s equal parts uplifting, heartwarming, funny, and keeps you rooting for the characters. It also seemed like the author did a good job researching firefighters and the profession and giving a realistic glimpse into that line of work. All in all, one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a long time!”
“I absolutely loved this book!! It pulled on every heart string I have. A book about forgiveness and love. And the ending was wonderful!!”
“I really LOVED this book. Having read How To Walk Away and found it to be such an amazing feel-good story, I wondered if Ms. Center could repeat her success. Well, I’m here to say she did, and Things You Save in a Fire was even better. She has put her name on my list of “Must Read” authors. I highly recommend this book to everyone—unless you don’t like to feel good.”
“This was the first book I’ve ever read by Katherine Center. It won’t be the last. I loved this book! The characters, the story, the underlying message, all of it!”
“This book was so much more than I expected and I had already expected to love it . . . I loved Cassie’s character so much. If I could do my life over, I would want to be her! . . . The moment Rookie Owen turned his goofy, smiling face towards Cassie, she wasn’t the only goner. Along with some sweet romance, there were other wonderful elements to this story that created something relatable, empowering, and hopeful. Great wit, a little mystery/suspense, honorable characters, and a swoony romance. Things You Save in a Fire was pure reading bliss.”
“A moving, funny, emotional quick read! 100% recommend and will be telling everyone to read this August!”
“This was such a surprisingly, wonderful book and I’m so glad that I read it. I was all in after just a few pages, and could not put it down from there until the end. I loved it, and will now be seeking out other books by Center.”
“Katherine Center does it again. She has an incredible knack for making you feel all of the emotions without the book feeling heavy. The characters and story weave together seamlessly. I was rooting for Cassie throughout the book and loved all of changes she made and the person she became in this book.”
“Katherine Center is becoming one of my favorite authors! After reading How to Walk Away, I just HAD to read this. I could not put it down. Highly recommend!”
“Things You Save in a Fire had all of my favorite things in a story: a fierce and admirable heroine, a love interest, a complex and fast moving plot, and inevitably lovable characters. The exceptional plot of this book allowed for both tears of saddness and compassion to stream down my face and bouts of laughter to come from deep within my chest. I could not put down Things You Save in a Fire. This is a story that will stick with all readers for a long time.”
“Oh my goodness. Five brightly-shining, hopeful, joyful stars. It’s only January and I can already tell this is going to be on my list of favorite books of 2019. Katherine Center, you magnificent woman, you’ve done it again. I think I loved this one even more than I loved How To Walk Away. This is a story of hurt, anger, injustice, forgiveness, love, hope, and an incredibly strong woman. As is her custom, Katherine Center has managed to weave a beautiful story with a powerful message without being heavy-handed or preachy. Brava! I was devastated for this one to end!”
“Loved this book sooo much! I loved every character and felt every feeling reading this book. This will be my go to recommended book for 2019. Can’t wait to read more from this author!”
“Katherine Center can do no wrong, in my opinion. I read How to Walk Away last year and loved it, which made getting this as an ARC a huge thrill. It didn’t disappoint . . . I think my favorite part, though, was the message about forgiveness, and how difficult, but necessary it is to achieve happiness. I give two thumbs up to Things You Save in a Fire.”
“You never see it coming on how it reaches deeply and touches you to the core.”
“I loved this book and I love Katherine Center’s writing. Last year i read her book How to Walk Away and absolutely loved it. I was worried that this one wouldn’t live up to it but I believe this one is every bit as good! I love her writing style—it is so easy to read and the storyline is not hard to get interested in. . . . I loved the storyline and I loved the characters and I thought this was just a great book! An absolute 5 star must read—add to your TBR now!”
“I totally fell in love with this book.”
“Such an awesome read. Could not put it down. I was drawn into Cassie’s emotional rollercoaster of her life. I love stories that deal with everyday concerns. I get so lost in the book , I have no idea what is going on around me in everyday life. Katherine took me on that journey. I’ll definitely be reading other novels by Katherine.”
“This book is hilarious, but at the same time, so damn truthful at its core. I almost cried 10 times. And at the end, I finally did, while my husband just stared at me thinking what is going on?”
“A good story transports you to places and people you wouldn’t know otherwise, but a great one brings the story to you—makes you see what the characters see, and feel what they feel—you become so immersed in the story you’re not just reading it, you’re actually part of it. Things You Save in a Fire is that kind of novel.”
“What a fantastic read! All the feels in this one and more, had great input on forgiveness!! Even shed a few tears. A definite must read for 2019.”
“Things you Save in a Fire is hard to put down… After reading How to Walk Away I became an instant fan of Katherine Center . . . and this book did not disappoint. Cassie Hanwell had a tough life and because of her circumstances becomes one tough firefighter. Slowly we learn how she overcomes all obstacles to find love and forgiveness. This story was wriitten from the heart of the author as any one who reads it can tell. Another winner from Katherine Center.”
“First time read for this author and definitely not the last time. After closing the book on Things You Save in a Fire, I immediately went to my computer and looked up her other novels. I am not a type of person that gets emotionally pulled in and sheds tears, but this novel tugged at my heart strings and showed the grace in the power of forgiveness.”
“This novel evoked so many different emotions in me. I was crying one minute, then smiling, then laughing aloud . . . I could see the research that went into the novel all along the way as I read it and I am thankful for the author’s firefighter husband who helped to make the details so realistic. As the sister of a fire chief, I was enthralled by this book from the beginning to the end. Fans of Katherine Center will not want to miss this one because it is an excellent portrayal of the real life of real heroes. I loved it and highly recommend it to those who want to be entertained and educated about the sacrifices of firefighters everywhere.”
“Katherine Center writes a strong female lead and covers some hard topics, while making me as a reader swoon and laugh. I cried, I laughed, I cheered for #girlpower!”
“There were moments of this book when tears were just falling down my face. And they weren’t always sad tears, but happy tears too. I can’t even tell you what points I loved about this book because then I’d tell you every chapter that I loved; and there were multiple chapters that I absolutely loved. Ms Center has a very unique writing style. I loved the dialogue that Cassie had between her friends, coworkers, Diana and the rookie, but I also loved the self reflections. I loved her inner dialogue and the workings of her mind. I felt like I knew Cassie and at times I was Cassie. That is incredibly talented and it made the book flow so well.”
“It filled me with joy, it made me cry, I even giggled. Read this book, you will not be disappointed. I’m so happy I picked it up….and couldn’t put it down.”
“In the beginning, this book may seem like a lighthearted, fun read. It is that, but it’s so much more. It’s about preconceived ideas about people, about our views of things that happened versus what really happened, about how we are all human and make mistakes, about how life can (and does) throw you a curveball at any time, about how we perceive ourselves, and…about what is really important in life . . . It’s a great book that will have you cheering for everyone in the story!”
“This was one of my favorite books of 2018! It was sweet and adorable and I absolutely loved the characters! I found it relatable in ways, as myself and my husband both volunteer for our town’s FD, so there were some references that I appreciated being thrown into the plot. I laughed, I cried and I truly felt all the feels with this novel. If you’re looking for a heartfelt, good feeling read; this is it!”
“I’m so lucky to have read a 5-star read four days into the new year! I actually think this will end up being one of the best books I read all year. . . . The novel sounded good; instead it was absolutely wonderful. It’s always nice when a book is such a pleasant surprise and is even better than you expect!”
“If you love strong female characters and stories that manage to combine romance, laughs, and heart-stopping thrills, definitely pick this up. But do it fast, because this book is sure to be turned into an (amazing!) movie sooner rather than later. And I can’t wait to experience that, too.”
“I haven’t been so excited to write a book review in such a long time! Katherine Center has quickly become one of my favorite authors over the past year with her deep messages and relatable characters that leave me drooling for her next book. Things You Save in a Fire is a five star across the board story. It has humor, it has pain, it has edge of your seat suspense, but above all it has an underlying and powerful message about forgiveness. It touches every emotion and makes you feel it deeply rather than just touching lightly on it and moving on. I was laughing, I was crying, I was even stressed and nervous. Only the best authors can take you to so many places and leave you satisfied. Things You Save in a Fire is not a story you ever forget. If we were all just half as empathetic and wonderful as the main character, Cassie, the world would be a much better place.”
“Katherine Center did it again!! Things You Save in a Fire is an absolutely wonderful read!! . . . I loved “How to Walk Away” but I think I love this one even more!! Ms Center’s writing style is emotional, familiar and safe. She does such an amazing job of introducing the characters that you feel immediately connected! She has become one of my favorite authors. Do yourself a favor… go buy all her books!! You won’t be disappointed!! Again — Bravo!”
“I had never read anything by this author before but after reading this I think I may go hunt down every book she’s ever written. This book was an incredible journey through pain and suffering and love and loss, and how it shapes who you become. I’m really not even sure how to quite put in words how much I enjoyed this book. The characters were so relatable and I laughed, cried, smiled and become incredibly angry through the pages. An excellent book draws you into the characters and evokes all kinds of emotion, this book goes above and beyond in doing so.”
“Last night I finished Katherine Center’s ARC of Things You Save in a Fire and wow!! Her books have this ability to be light and fun while also touching on some really deep issues and this one really struck a chord with me. . . . Definitely add to your TBR list!! Five stars.”
“Oh my goodness – this is one of the best books I have read in a while! . . . I love the way Katherine Center writes. Her style is so simple, yet detailed, and the story line of this book grips you from the beginning. Her characters display such wide range of emotions—from confusion, to anger, to forgiveness and contentment/happiness, just to name a few. I became emotionally invested in Cassie’s story and finished the book in just over a day. Definitely a must read!
“Katherine Center has done it again! Things You Save in a Fire was the most beautiful book I’ve read in so long.”
“Katherine Center has become one of my favorite authors . . . The synopsis is very accurate but this is also just a really fun book. It’s a love story but it’s about multiple kinds of love. And best of all, it’s about a woman who’s completely excelling at her job. She may have had to prove herself repeatedly to her new colleagues, but she’s more than capable of doing it. They may not immediately respect Cassie, but they learned pretty quickly that they needed to. Katherine Center is one of the authors who’s an auto-buy for me. I think you’d love her, too. Highly recommended.”
“I loved this book. It’s so hard to get the real struggle of ambiguity right with words and Katherine Center does that plus more in her book, Things You Save in a Fire.”
“I read this book in one sitting, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was so much better. The writing was so on-point, it was both heartwarming, a bit humorous and at times quite serious. Yet through it all, it gave me pause to think about human frailties, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Highly recommended.”
“I couldn’t get through this book fast enough. The storytelling is superb. The characters are relatable and deeply developed. I will be recommending this book to everyone!”
“This poignant, beautiful, thought-provoking, emotionally intelligent and timely novel had me laughing and tearing up in equal measures. Indomitable Cassie and goodhearted Owen can’t help but capture your heart and your imagination as surely as they did mine. Whenever I pick up a book by Katherine Center, I know I will invariably find a story full of wit, laugh-out-loud humor and personal insight, written in a melodious, flowing style that pulls me so far in that I forget my surroundings . . . I would have given it six stars out of five – it was such an enjoyable, heartwarming read!”
“A feel good story that tugs at all your heart strings. This book has a little of everything that keeps you turning pages way into the night.”
“This was my first Katherine Center book. Which means I am now a super fan and will read all of her books! This book was wonderfully written . . . It’s a story of forgiveness and love. One that has been told many times, but not quite like this. The story is beautiful. I found myself laughing loudly and also quietly crying. I am so grateful for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion: I LOVED THIS BOOK!”
“Center has mastered the art of writing about emotions without drowning in them and keeping the story moving at a snapping speed so that you can’t put it down. She kept me up into the wee hours of the morning with this one.”
“Things You Save in a Fire had me laughing and crying, and then upset when someone interrupted my crying. It’s such a wonderful story about love, forgiveness and the power of healing from the things that try to break us as we go through life. Katherine does such a wonderful job of giving us characters to relate to and love, she gives us such a realistic and yet wonderful world to take part it, and then she takes us through an entire emotional roller coaster. I knew I would love this book. I knew because with some authors one book is all you need to know that you are always going to love their work. How to Walk Away was that book for me, and that little cross over that happened here between the 2 books, had me giddy as can be. Silly, I know.”
“Beautiful story. The way the author weaves several layers of love, redemption and forgiveness into the story is breathtaking. As when I finished How To Walk Away, I feel a sense of loss that the story is over and a sense of completion for a story well told!”
“Another great book by Katherine Center! I loved Happiness is for Beginners and How to Walk Away, so when I saw this book on NetGalley, I said a little prayer in hope that I would be approved. I read it over the Thanksgiving weekend and could not put it down. Another 5 star book from her! She writes in a style that is so easy and fun to read and her messages are full of hope and forgiveness. Her words really make me think about ways to make life easier on myself (and others) by learning about yourself and practicing letting things go. It’s well written, funny and very witty. Definitely put this on your TBR list!
“I’m loving this author. She gets better and better. Loved the characters! Loved the story! Did not want to put this down or want it to end. I loved her last book How to Walk Away. This was even better.”
“Things You Save in a Fire is amazing!! I laughed and cried, mainly cried. It is a beautiful tale of forgiveness. And love, I can’t forget the love. Cassie needs to get out of the heat of Texas, and her Mom needs her in Massachusetts. She hasn’t seen her Mom in ten years and she is not looking forward to spending time with her. But she is dutiful. But oh what awaits this sweet child!!! I’m crying trying to write this review!! Read it! You won’t be disappointed!!!”
“Absolutely could not put this book down. I loved both Happiness for Beginners and How to Walk Away so I was super excited that St. Martin’s Press sent me an Advanced Readers’ Edition of Things You Save in a Fire. I just love Katherine’s style of writing and her characters’ dialogue is so witty and engaging and often filled with quips of wisdom.”
“This is a fantastic, well written novel about learning to love. It’s the story of someone very strong who needs to learn to live life more fully by accepting the softer parts of life and learning to accept others.”
“Katherine Center has become one of my favourite authors. I really enjoy her style of writing, she incorporates heavy subjects and manages to keep the books enjoyable and relatable. I found myself laughing, smiling, and gasping at different parts of this book. It kept me engaged and I finished it in a day.”
“if you are even slightly considering this, preorder it/put it on a library hold immediately because it is incredible!”
“Wow!!!!!!!!!!! I devoured this book in two days!!!!!!!! It is amazing!!!!!! It really hit home for me because my husband is a volunteer firefighter and captain of one of the stations in our hometown. This story has everything- love, amazing characters you fall in love with, drama, exciting fire calls, redemption, forgiveness, happiness, and best of all a lovely happy ending!!!!”
“Center has a way with words and knows exactly how to pull at the heartstrings. Forgiveness is such a struggle that so many of us battle with and it’s obviously easier said than done to forgive others—let alone ourselves. This book has everything I love in a good novel—likable characters, realistic writing, strong friendships, a sweet romance, a strong female lead, and of course a hottie (Rookie aka Owen!) 😉 HUGE props to Center for writing this amazing book as if she were a firefighter herself and knew the ins and outs of what goes on in a firehouse.”
“This is a friggin fantastic read. I loved it!”
“I loved Cassie. She was complex, nuanced, flawed, and relatable. The ability to write characters whose motivations are so human and understandable is rare, and Center has it down. I appreciated the way she treated gender and feminism in this book, and made it a core issue that she addressed pretty unflinchingly. She also just writes relationships SO WELL. And I appreciated that while a potential romantic relationship was one of the main themes of the book, we also got a lot of focus on other elements of Cassie’s life, like her relationship with her parents, the way she takes care of herself and manages her life, and how awesome she is at what she does. . . . And, as always, Katherine Center is a really good writer. The writing was tight, the pacing was great, there was some solid subtle humor, and the book sucked me in right away – I read the whole thing in an evening. Highly recommend.”
“Katherine Center has written a book that made me laugh, cry and swoon several times over.”
“Loved this book so much!! Cassie is strong, independent and guarded. She built her walls up so high, but soon learns the power of forgiveness and acceptance that allows her to break them down and find to best version of herself.”
“Similar to How to Walk Away, it’s taken me a week to digest Katherine Center’s latest and greatest novel – Things You Save in a Fire. Writing this review will not do the book justice. I would give this book 10 stars if I had the ability to do so.”
“Katherine Center is such a fabulous author! She has such an amazing skill at plotting a fantastic story, developing characters that are so real and multi-leveled, and drawing out the reader’s emotions. I have read most of her books and totally enjoyed all of them.”
“Love love loved this book!!!! Wonderful, complex characters and such a strong female protagonist. Cassie is a firefighter who leaves Texas to go take care of her mother in Boston. She joins a new firehouse, falls for someone unexpected, and begins a path of forgiveness. This book was just wonderful.”
” *sigh of contentment* I wish this happy place could have lasted a bit longer, but once I pick up one of Katherine Center’s books, I can’t put it down because it is so comfortable and pleasant.”
“I absolutely love Katherine Center’s writing. This book is about a strong young woman, the only female firefighter in her Austin, Texas firehouse. After an “incident” she transfers to Boston to take care of her mother, she finally learns how to forgive and to love. The only problem that I had with this book: I wanted more!”
“I truly loved it. Cassie is my hero!”
“I love the way she creates these hopeful stories while slowly building characters so you develop a kinship and can’t help but root for them. Things You Save in a Fire is a story about hope, perseverance, forgiveness, making tough choices and how all of those things shape who you become.”
“Katherine Center has done it again! Five stars all the way! . . . The resounding theme of this book is forgiveness and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Katherine Center’s creates fun likable characters and her writing style is so enjoyable.”
“If Katherine Center’s husband wasn’t a firefighter, I might start to worry that she had an unhealthy obsession about fire. But even if that were true, I wouldn’t mind because wow can that woman write! I was stuck in such a heavy book fog while reading this one. This book completely wrapped me up and I was engrossed. I couldn’t put it down. I mean every spare moment. I was literally reading while brushing my teeth. This is exactly the kind of book I live for. It was the perfect blend of realistic romance, but with a very unexpected feminism with such a deep and complex protagonist.”
“I loved this book! Katherine Center hooked me with How to Walk Away, and won me over with this one. I laughed, I cried, I talked to myself!”
“I would give this book 10 stars out of 5 if I could. Things You Save in a Fire was everything I hoped it would be and more. Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away was one of my top five books of 2018, and her next novel does not disappoint.”
“Katherine Center’s storytelling gets better and better with each book she publishes. Things You Save in a Fire is Ms. Center’s latest and the best yet . . . As the story unfolds, this turns out to be a story of forgiveness, community, connection and love. The story starts as a slow burn, and as it unfolds, builds to a full fledged blaze, skillfully controlled by Ms. Center’s expert storytelling. I loved the pace of this book. I loved how much Ms. Center slowly entrusts the details of Cassie and Owens pasts to the reader providing more and deeper information as the story unfolds. I loved how emotionally invested I was in all the characters lives. I have read all of Ms. Center’s books and I am so looking forward to reading more for many more years.”
“You will fall in love with Cassie. She is such a strong lead and watching her go through so many changes is incredible. Owen is my new favorite male lead. He is such a gentleman! Enjoyed this book so much!”
“One of the best and most engaging stories I’ve read in a while — with twists and turns the reader likely won’t anticipate. Things You Save In A Fire will not only keep you up all night in page-turning anticipation of what could happen next, but it will also make you think about your choices, relationships,, love, and forgiveness….and what it means to be human. This is truly one of my new favorites!”
“After reading my second of her books, I’m realizing Katherine Center is the kind of author who writes books that absolutely captivate me, and I love her for it . . . This one had so much emotion. I was so into Cassie’s story. At times, it was a hard read because I was so emotionally invested in Cassie’s life – both personal and professional. Also, there were some twists at the end that made it so I literally had to sit down and catch my breath. I mean, y’all, my heart was racing, as I was that into this one.”
“Absolutely loved this novel. Couldn’t put it down!”
“I loved the character of Cassie, the rookie and the practical jokes the other fire fighters played on them at Cassie’s new fire house. While there were definitely some tragedies in this story, the overall feel was more lighthearted and it was fun. I wanted to be at the fire house and wanted to meet all the guys. I truly didn’t want this book to end and found myself hoping there would be a sequel.”
“I absolutely adored this story. The characters are so lovable and the story is so touching. This story has a little bit of everything: friendship, betrayal, love, heartache, and forgiveness.”
“This one just filled me with so much joy, I don’t know how to explain it. But here I go… First and foremost, Katherine’s ability to create such amazing, complex, strong characters is beyond words. I’ve always said that a book is nothing without its characters and these people were my absolute favorite. I loved them from the very first page and I hurt with them and for them, but most of all, I rooted for them and I’m so damn content.”
“This book was so so good. I could barely put it down and when I wasn’t reading I wanted to be! This book is about forgiveness, friendship, betrayal, hardship and so much more! I loved this book and i don’t think you will be disappointed.”
“Katherine Center has done it again. I was so lucky to be given an ARC of her latest masterpiece, “Things You Save in a Fire,” when I was in a very bad spot in my life. As she has in all of her previous novels, Katherine captivated me from page one and didn’t let me go until the final word of the epilogue. She has the rare gift of building a world that is so real and tangible that the reader feels intimately connected to her characters, as if they are old friends . . . Katherine Center’s writing is magical. I cannot recommend this book enough!”
“So smart, with subplots that weave so beautifully throughout. Cassie was introduced to us so engagingly, without an ounce of cliche, and her voice rings true with realism. The connection between Cassie and Owen crackles, with one of the best initial physical contact moments I’ve seen in a novel in a very long time. This story has a ton of heart, strength, confidence, and twists. This is a good one!”
“Awesome book read it in one day definitely a can’t put it down story about forgiveness of not just others but herself and the struggles of being able to learn to trust in herself and others. I cried I yelled and I cried some more (both happy and sad tears) A MUST READ BOOK.”
“I adored this book so much! . . . This book pulled on every heart string I have. A book about forgiveness and love with an amazing ending to boot. 5 of 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️”
“The world can be such a sad and tragic place, even moreso theough the eyes of a first responder. It also has moments of such intense beauty and joy. This book explores this juxtaposition. It is a love story, a journey of healing, and a primer on forgiveness. It covers sexism, pain, rape, abandonment, fear, emotional damage as well as family, heroism, forgiveness, pranks, camaraderie, and love. If you are a reader who enjoys feeling your books, this the book for you! (Tears were shed multiple times.)”
“Katherine Center has become one of my favorite authors. Things You Save in a Fire is a story of forgiveness, self discovery, and finding love . . . a rollercoaster of suspense, heartbreak, and compassion in the end.”
“A beautifully written novel with a strong female protagonist—just what I have been looking for! Equal parts humor, tragedy, growth and romance, the story paints a compelling character who has flaws, confronts them and grows through learning to forgive and striving to be a good person. You’ll feel a renewed sense of humanity while also being entertained. Beware, though, reading late at night or you’ll never get any sleep because I could hardly put it down!”
” . . . What a great book. Cassie is such a unique and refreshing character, and watching her work through the trauma of her past to create a better future for herself was a really enjoyable experience. Things You Save in a Firegets five stars from me all day long.”
“Page after page I fell in love with the story and the characters. Cassie is totally someone I could buddy up with and I had tears forming by the end of the book. This was a wonderful, happy, romantic novel with moments of difficulties that really made me feel close to the characters.”
“I am not usually that into the romance genre but her books are different…there is that element but there is so much more. Her characters are multifaceted and imperfect and she covers some pretty deep issues while still being an enjoyable read. This story was unique and the subtle elements of sexism, past trauma and what forgiveness really means all played a part in making this story so thought-provoking.”
“A great story of how women will fight for all that they have and drop it to start somewhere new to help someone out. Emotional roller coaster with the perfect ending!”
“I absolutely loved this book! It grabbed me right from the first page and it just got better and better as the story and the characters were developed. It is a story about love, forgiveness, and family, my first by Katherine Center, but will not be my last. I decided to read it because of all of the terrific reviews that I kept seeing, and I am so glad I did. Highly recommend!”
“Katherine Center is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. . . . I try not to read late into the night anymore, but I couldn’t help it with this book. The firefighter culture was interesting, and there were several great twists. It was heartbreaking but also beautiful, and I loved the message of forgiveness.”
“Absolutely beautiful book of love, strength, courage and pain. This book had me laughing and crying but hooked me from the very start.”
Quotes from Things You Save in a Fire