Book Review: Burning, Danielle Rollins (2016)

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Entertaining enough, but not without some issues.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

If my dad taught me anything it was what it felt like to want something, whether it was a book in a faded folder, or him, or whatever was on the other side of a tiny silver lock. But my dad taught me something else too, something that stayed hidden in my memories until years later, when a little girl with black eyes knocked it loose. Monsters are more interesting than heroes, he’d said. I had no way of knowing then, as I lay awake through the night with stories echoing in my head, that he was talking about us. He was talking about me.

In the nearly two years since I started coming up with four letter words to write on Issie’s hand, I had never once thought of “hope.”

Located near Syracuse, New York (the fictional) Brunesfield Correctional Facility is home to one hundred-odd girls between the ages of ten and eighteen. A large minority are considered low-security: runaways and unwanted teens whose parents dumped them in the system. Roughly half are in for drug offenses; along with the dozen girls convicted of theft and destruction of property, these inmates are considered medium-security. And then there are the high-risk inmates, the violent offenders, the so-called “monsters” of the group, one step above Seg in the prison hierarchy: Seventeen-year-old Angela “Angie” Davis and her dorm mates, Cara and Issie.

(More below the fold…)