Happy Halloween!! Hope you all have a creeptastic holiday!
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
When a book’s tagline is “Orange is the New Black with a twist,” one cannot help but be drawn to the book. When the book also has a creepy cover and a REALLY cool premise, one feels the need to get one’s hands on it as soon as possible.
One in this case is obviously me (and could also be you, IDK how you feel) and I was really excited about this book. The excitement paid off because Burning is a really fucking good book. It is deliciously creepy (pretty sure I’ve used this phrase before to describe a good horror-y book, I CANNOT HELP it okay, I am not that great with words) and it made my heart pitter patter. I’ve also admittedly be in a reviewing slump and Burning just made me feel better about everything. It was the kind of book that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to yell at the world and tell everyone that they needed it in their lives. Burning is the kind of book you really want everyone to know about in case it completely slipped their notice. IF IT SLIPPED YOURS, PLEASE GO ADD IT TO YOUR TBR.
Okay, I think I’ve done enough ‘vague’ fangirling and perhaps it’s time to actually mention what it is that I like about this book.
For starters, I absolutely love the world. The author does such a fantastic job with building dynamics between various groups in the novel. Most of these relationships are horrid, but within all the badness, there is some good. We have some fantastic friendships and an interesting budding romance (which I am not sure was needed, but the love interest was super cute SO YAY.)
Angela is also a great character. She makes mistakes, I did yell at her a bit, but she is so well rounded. It is easy to slip inside of her head and understand how her desperation to get out of the correction facility affects her decision making skills. Her backstory also comes to us in bits and pieces scattered throughout the novel. It makes it easy to sympathize with her and wish Angela could just get the fuck out of there.
The author also does a great job of including diversity in the novel. Given the setting of the novel, I think the diverse aspects are important and really help understand the various dynamics with groups and also help us better understand the power dynamics at play.
The best part about this book is its plot. There are twists but they aren’t surprising. I am not sure they are meant to be surprising either. They work in that they read like pieces of a puzzle coming together. You see the general picture but the little pieces help make the image clearer. As the novel progresses, we get more paranormal elements come out and play and add to the creeptastic atmosphere of the book. All the conspiracies floating around and the growing desperation of all the characters adds to the intensity of the book and everything comes to a conclusion with a big bang.
So the ending... For those of you who absolutely despise cliffhangers, this book has one. I also do not like cliffhangers but I don’t think there is any other way for this book to end. The book ends on a very high note and all I want right now is a sequel. *makes puppy dog eyes*
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book and think that everyone should read it. After all, monsters are more interesting ;)
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
This was my first John Connolly book, and it certainly won't be my last. It took me a little bit to get into the story, but once the creepiness came into play I was hooked! Things definitely got really creepy, and I enjoyed it!
It had a little of this...
Which made me want to be like this....
My only real complaint is that the ending is very abrupt. Just when things got really good, it just ended, no resolution. It left it open for you to fill in the blanks I guess, and I'm not really a huge fan of that. I really wish there were a companion full length novel to go along with this novella, I would have bought it on the spot after finishing this. I am really curious to see now what John Connolly can do with something more substantial than a novella. I added a few other of his books to my to-read list and look forward to reading them.
Hmm. I think I need a few days to process. My initial reaction is that it was a little creeptastic. Loved the way it was written though, a definite homage to Nabokov and the often referenced Lolita. I'm just unsure about the characters still.
So, it's been a few days and I am still unsure what I think. I still absolutely love the writing though. I guess I'm still bothered by the semi-twist to the book. But for the sole fact that I am still talking about it days later, I'm bumping my original rating up to a 3.5-4. I personally can't move past the previous relationship, even if it was only once, with a student. I was cool with everything until then, but it really upped Evan's creepfactor with me. I can get behind one teacher/student relationship but making it a pattern bothers me. He is a teacher after all. I guess I just wanted it to be a strictly because she's Maise situation. It makes it easier for me to swallow. It's most definitely unfair on my part because I LOVED it up until that part, but I can't move past it. I can be a judgmental bitch. I'll own it.