Book Review: Under the Flame Tree by Karen Wood

Under the Flame Tree
Author: Karen Wood
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Pages: 296
Under The Flame Tree 
Daniel cupped her cheek. 'I'm trouble Kirra. I'm no good for anyone.'
'You are good for me.  You're good for Moorinja.' Kirra touched the stitches under his right eye. The cut would leave a scar, one that would fade but never completely disappear.
When Kirra leaves school to begin her first job on Moorinja Station, she is unimpressed to find herself partnered with a new ringer who will barely speak to her. Daniel is undeniably cute, but he has a serious attitude problem and a mysterious past- there are whispers that he's fresh out of juvenile detention. As Daniel gradually thaws, Kirra starts to see beyond the moodiness to a boy she can believe in. But others remain wary of him, and her best friend warns her to stay clear...

My Review
Thoughts on the book: Under the Flame Tree is my first Karen Wood's story and I can't wait to try her Diamond Spirit series as it sounds like it would be right up my ally with my sudden love for horses.  Under the Flame Tree wasn't really what I expected it to be like when I read what the book was about. For some reason I thought the book was going to be all about horses and nothing else. This may have been because I had just finished Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart and the main storyline in this book was about mustangs and how they were training them. I'm not saying that I was disappointed with Under the Flame Tree just that it was a lot different to what I thought it would be like but it was still really good.
I really enjoyed the setting of the book. Moorinja Station is a normal outback working station with horses and cattle. I loved reading about what it would be like to be on a station and can't wait to visit one for myself to compare with what I have read about them. I also found learning about the main characters Kirra and Daniel very interesting, however Daniel seemed to stick with me more. I loved the mystery that surrounded him and his sudden appearance at Moorinja Station, and also learning about what happened to Daniel to make him the person he is now compared to before. I kind of guessed what part of his secret was but also not the whole secret or to the extent that it was. It was great to see Kirra pull Daniel out of his shell.
Under the Flame Tree is a fantastic book for anyone who loves the farm life setting, as well as a good secret and a love story.

Favourite quote/part:
Daniel looked up at her, his face a bloody mess, fat in all the wrong places and with one eye closing over. 'For the last time, Kirra,' he panted, 'will you please give me those truck keys?'
A burst of relieved laughter shot from her chest.
But he wasn't laughing. He looked angry.
'What's up?'
'That ute that you pushed halfway up the driveway?'
She grinned at him, sure he would have enjoyed that as much as she did. 'Made a proper mess of it, didn't I?'
'That was mine.'
Rating: 4/5


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