13 August 2012

Review: Burn by Heath Gibson

Burn by Heath Gibson

Published: 8 August 2012 by Flux

Pages: 264 (paperback)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher for review

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads)

All it takes is one spark

William Tucker loves being a volunteer firefighter (maybe it's no coincidence that a pastor's son would enjoy saving people). And after he rescues his crush, Mandy Pearman, she undergoes a profound transformation for the better. In fact, it seems like a lot of good comes from the embers of tragedy in his small Alabama town. William may not be able to meet his father's expectations, force his mother to ditch the gin, or protect his gay brother, but for those who need a second chance at life, William isn't afraid to light the match--and become the hero the town needs.

My Thoughts

I have friends that are volunteer firefighters, so as soon as I saw the synopsis for this book, I was interested in reading it - I can relate to the sense of community that they help to build and foster and the admiration and respect that people have for those who volunteer to risk their own lives for others.

But although Burn is centered around a young volunteer firefighter, it is mostly an examination of small town mentalities, how people who are different from the 'norm' can struggle to find their place, and how families can keep big big secrets.

I don't quite know how I feel about William as a character - his composure was more than a little un-nerving, but it's pivotal to the storyline. I didn't really feel any empathy towards him, and in fact I found his brother to be a more interesting and likeable character - I wish there had been more of a focus on him. And although William's new friend, Samantha had some intriguing ideas and a different personality, again there was less of her than I wanted.

The plot of Burn is quite believable, although I did feel that William's father was built up to be far scarier than the reality, and his mother kind of just faded into the background, despite the problems that seemed to be centered around her.

Although this book played out pretty much the way I expected, it was an intriguing read, and there was a lot of potential to make this a realistic, dramatic storyline, if only some of the characters had been fleshed out a little more.

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