A good-ol’-boy teen firefighter might not be quite as good as he seems.
At first glance, Alabama country bumpkin Wee Wee—short for William—seems like the perfect small-town hero. He regularly goes to the church where his daddy preaches. He sticks up for the underdogs, including his gay younger brother and Samantha, a beautiful African-American teen girl who’s new in town. Finally, despite his alcoholic mother’s worries, he’s also the town’s finest volunteer firefighter. Gibson packs in a good number of rescue scenes that will have readers racing through the pages. What they don’t realize, however, is that William may actually have more of hand in these fires than it seems. The psychological reasoning provided for his motives feels shaky, but readers will definitely do a double take and even reread some of the more shocking moments. Gibson pens authentic Southern, small-town teenspeak and settings that add fuel to the fires (so to speak) of William’s life. Readers know he’s torn between his father’s religious teachings and doing the right thing for his brother, but deep inside he secretly relishes the cleansing flames of fire.
Readers know that it’s only a matter of time before he gets caught by the law or by his own doings, and they will find waiting for it compelling reading. (Fiction. 13 & up)