An exposed secret. A knife. And an argument that changed everything

Wella and Finn have been glued together since Finn’s mom dropped him off on Wella ‘s doorstep at age 6. After each having troubling childhoods, they became dependent on each other. Aside from the moon glinting off her knife, Wella doesn’t remember much from their last night together.

Almost a year later with no contact, Wella still cannot understand what happened that night. She starts seeing things around town that hint at Finn’s return.

Enter Tusk, a strange and quirky guy from group therapy on a mission to help Wella figure what happened the night Finn left. Faced with reality, Wella has to choose: try to salvage her friendship or live with the unresolved damage.


“Or maybe we’re both too bright – we need too much, take too much – for this world. We just… burn everyone up.”


We Burn too Bright is a story about a young woman dealing with the loss of her bestfriend and not understanding why it happened. She falls into this unhealthy, self destructive behavior. After about 10 months of radio silence, Wella believes that Finn is back, leaving her little gifts everywhere.

After meeting Tusk, this strange kid next door, she realizes that Finn isn’t back and it practically breaks her. After so much back and forth with Wella and Tusk, they start this complicated friendship.

I really enjoyed this read. It reminded me a bit of Kelly Oram’s “The Avery Shaw Experiment.” They both had unhealthy relationships forced upon them at a young age, a breakaway from their codependency, and someone there to help pick up the pieces as much as they could. Elle Pallmore’s “We Burn Too Bright,” I feel had more depth, for me, anyways. Touching more on how each character feels and the mental health aspect is bigger.

Without giving too much of the book away, the perspective switches occasionally to Finn and we can see his reactions to what happened and being away from his best friend. We also learn some more about Tusk, why he feels the need to save Wella, and why he is the way he is.

Pallmore did a wonderful job sucking me into the story, making me feel these rollercoaster emotions. I felt Wella’s anxiety, Tusk’s pain. Pallmore definitely has a way with words. I wish she was a bit more descriptive with her characters and some locations, it was a little hard to get a great visual of most scenes.

“I have not broken your heart – you have broke it and in breaking it, you have broken mine” -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

When describing this book to my sister the first few chapters in, I had said it was sad, heartbreaking. And it is. Wella knew she was controlling Finn, even if subconsciously, she says as much her self in the first chapter or so. How she would basically badger him until he gave in to what she wanted. But when you get further into the story, you get different character perspectives, and it is definitely something needed in every story and not always given.

I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. I am in love with this book. I am craving more, especially after that ending. I NEED to know what happens with Tusk, what happens with Finn. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a coming of age book with minimal romance and a hopeful ending.

Trigger Warning:

  • Mild language (mainly some f bombs)
  • Threatening behavior
  • Implied suicide
  • Mental health
  • Drug abuse and underage drinking

*I received an ARC from the author in exch