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Burning Paperback – 7 Jul 2016
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Orange is the New Black meets Carrie in this uniquely creepy story of the darkness that dwells in each of us
From the Inside Flap
Chilling new YA, perfect for fans of Orange is the New Black and Stephen King.
After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just three months shy of release. She'll finally see her little brother again. And she'll get the hell out of the pit that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility.
But then Jessica arrives . She's young, only ten years old, and she's brought to Brunesfield in shackles under the highest security possible. She doesn't speak and is placed in the segregation ward. No one knows what she did to end up there. But there are plenty of rumours. Soon creepy things begin to happen to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival and it becomes clear that Jessica is more dangerous than anyone ever expected ...
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The cover of Burning is in some aspects good; I love the bold colors and vivid center image of a girl lit in flames. However, though this may seem picky, the rounded font and larger than usual size used for the top caption and the blurb struck me as childish. This led me to believe Burning was aimed at a far younger audience than it turned out to be. It's not that I don't like middle grade books, it's just that I would have liked the cover much more if it matched the content to some extent.
Therefore, when I read Burning by Danielle Rollins, I was in some ways quite surprised. Expecting something more like Witch and Wizard (one of my favorite childhood series), I did in some senses get it but rather diluted into an explosion of other genres- Fantasy, Spy Realism and Horror to name a few. As well as displaying something highly original because of this, Burning also provided a sense of nostalgia. The main plot line rings similar to what I remember reading at a younger age but with an older, revamped and definitely better feel. Overall this created a lovely concoction of a book.
On a different note the no-nonsense, tell-it-as-it-is style of writing was a great healer from the heavy fiction I have been reading lately. I assure you it will be a very fast read and that is a good thing in my head considering the lengthy to be read pile sitting on my desk.
*Incoming clever quote*
"Monsters are more interesting than heroes"
Cleverness aside, Danielle Rollins does a decent job with the characters in Burning. Set in a female young offenders institute, there was much potential for it all to go wrong. Rollins could have created monsters or Rollin could have created virtuous women who were in prison by complete accident. But she didn't. All the people in the book were flawed to some extent and that was refreshing. Characters like Jessica, the 10 year old central to the novel, was interesting as well as moving. Angela, the MC, was relatable and her relationships between her friends and the guards was also done exceptionally well.
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Angela has been spending the past few years in a juvenile detention center for breaking and entering, and basically stealing stuff. We learn more about how she came to that life, but the real story focuses on her interactions with little girl named Jessica who is also brought to juvie. Right away Angela, is scared of this strange little girl and how at times it looks like her eyes have turned pure black.
Angela and her cellmates start to notice certain changes being made to the prison. A group known as SciGirls comes to help get the girls involved in their program which basically gets girls involved in science and whatnot. The leader, Dr. Gruen has a special interest in Jessica and wants Angela’s help in getting Jessica to open up. Angela soon learns that Jessica is no ordinary girl.
I wouldn’t exactly call this book a horror novel like Danielle’s other books written under her pen name Danielle Vega. This one is more of a thriller with a twist of paranormal tied in. The book is pretty freaky too in some spots. It’s definitely one that keep you turning the pages. While the pacing isn’t overly fast, it’s not exactly slow either. It’s just the right amount to keep you invested and slowly show you its tantalizing secrets.
I think one of the most terrifying aspects of this book was its setting! We’re talking a prison…so to speak. Prison for teens at least, so yeah juvie but still the same atmosphere in some ways. Angela is a criminal, so are her friends, their young age kept them from being tried as adults. And based on their crimes, Angela and her friends are sort of the worse defenders. So I was actually a bit surprised when Jessica came to stay with them in their cell. Her supposed crime was pretty high up there I guess, but still, the age differences had me wondering if it was a smart move? Throwing a ten-year-old into a cell with sixteen-year-olds? Maybe it does work out that way. I don’t know. I would assume that Danielle did her research when it came to these things, so naturally, I just rolled with it.
This book was pretty weird. And I like weird. Yet I also like answers, we don’t get too many of those in this one. I’d like to think that what I inferred to have happened is the case. But there were just things that get left unsaid at the end that didn’t leave me 100% satisfied. I plan to read Breaking next, which is said to be a companion novel. So maybe those answers might be mentioned in there. We’ll have to see. It was little things really, like when it came to the SciGirls group. And some other things that I really cannot mention, but again, I have some theories about what happened there and think my guess is fairly good, but there is still some questions that I have at the end that I seriously have no clue to answering! Lol.
We have a few teases of romance in this one as well. Granted, it’s not really the kind of book where you should expect there to be love and kisses and all that. I wasn’t really expecting there to be anything really, so the little teases and tastes that we got were surprising yet well played. They weren’t there just to simply have kisses and teases, so that was kind of nice.
Overall, Burning was a most intriguing read. I feel like at the end of every novel of Danielle’s I’ve had questions. Ones that make me feel like the story is far from over. Though it seems one of them really was over at the end. I hope to learn more from the next book of this maybe kind of series? It’s unclear whether this one will be a part of a larger world series or not, but one can always hope for these things! If you’re looking for an eerie read that will keep you guessing and twist your head around a bit, I would totally recommend Burning!
Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars
I LOVED IT!!! Only problem is the ending!! oh and i read it in a day😂 i really hope a sequel comes because this is one of my new favorites! then again all of her books are my favorites!