We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire is a book that will ignite your rage. It's so fiercely feminist in the ways it discusses a culture that ignores and excuses. The way women and girls are taught to be ashamed, to be blamed for their assault, to become ostracized for speaking up. The rampant sexism and culture that does not believe victims and excuses perpetrators. It's a world we know, one we live in, like fish in water. Em's story is one about coming to terms with the ideas of justice.
Knowing that justice sometimes doesn't win. That, despite fancy words and sentences, it cannot address the roots of the problem. All the people who stood by and said nothing, if not defended. McCulllough brings her skill in writing verse novels not only to feature some moving verse sections, but also to infuse that lyrical quality in the prose. It's a book that was full of me nodding my head. Me clutching my book and screaming to the skies. Em has to figure out how she can come to terms with the women society ignores. The accusations and stories that are never told. And what we can do when we have the power of speech.