Burning by Danielle Rollins

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Burning by Danielle Rollins

Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Supernatural thriller with good character interactions and a realistic setting. Begins well but gets a little messy in the second half.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408869950

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Angela has been at Brunesfield Correctional Facility - a juvie institution - for almost three years. She's managed to navigate her time there and in just three months, if she can keep her record clean, she'll finally be released and will be able to see her little brother again. And Angela is determined that nothing will get in the way of that.

But then Jessica arrives. A scrawny little ten-year-old, what can possibly be so bad about her that she requires the maximum security levels and a place in the segregation ward? There are rumours but nobody knows for sure. And then Dr Gruen arrives, too. She says she's running a mentoring program for bright girls in the juvie system but there's something odd about her and her sidekick Scigirls.

What's wrong with Jessica? What is really behind the appearance of Dr Gruen? And will Angela see her little brother again?

Burning starts out really well as a realist drama set in a teen detention centre. I liked Angela and her friends Issy and Cara. I liked how they interacted with the other inmates and the guards and how they found little bits of pleasure for themselves and guarded their secrets. I also enjoyed the tension and mystery surrounding the arrival of Jessica. Tension built really well and I was keen to see how things turned out once the action really kicked off.

I think perhaps, however, that the second half of the book was less successful. This is where the conspiracy and supernatural elements of the plot come in and they felt a little obvious and even clumsy at times. I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil it for you, but I will say that cookie cutter villains aren't hugely satisfying.

Overall, I'd recommend Burning to fans of page-turning reads who don't mind suspending a little bit of credibility.

Other enjoyable novels with juvie as a setting include Juvie by Steve Watkins and The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma.

Buy Burning by Danielle Rollins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Burning by Danielle Rollins at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Burning by Danielle Rollins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Burning by Danielle Rollins at Amazon.com.


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