mystery, romance

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Summary: Nicole Castro used to be beautiful; she was the kind of girl who every guy had a crush on, and every girl wanted to be. But when someone pours acid onto her, destroying the left side of her face, she becomes an outcast. Jay Nazarro knows about being a loner, he is one. When he hears what happens to Nicole, Jay befriends her, and vows to find the person who did it. And Jay has a secret: he’s a brilliant hacker. But as he digs deeper and deeper into the case, he puts himself further and further in danger. It’s not long before he’s falling for the girl who was burned, either. There’s only one problem: everyone is a suspect, even Nicole.

I do not recommend this book for anyone who can’t handle burns, bullying, alcohol, and overall highschool life. Thinking back on it, I can’t figure an age limit (i.e. 13+, which would probably be the ideal for this book, but I think a twelve-year-old could easily read it as well), and there was nothing overly inappropriate. I can’t even remember if there was any cussing; if there was, it was limited (since I didn’t note it).

I have to say, despite some issues, I did like this book. I’ve been looking for a book that I couldn’t put down, and while this book held my attention, it wasn’t The book. But I did like it. Jay is really curious (which I could relate to, since the entire book all I could think was who did it? Who burned Nicole?), and easily lovable. He wasn’t invincible, which I really liked. He was the hero of the story, but he also had a weakness that worked to his disadvantage (there really is no way he could have used it to his advantage): Jay suffers from seizures. I liked that weakness. It made him seem more human, and less like Superman (and no, Jay does not have superpowers like Superman, unless you count hacking a power, but I consider it more like a really cool talent or skill. Don’t get me wrong, Superman is awesome, but he definitely wouldn’t have worked in this story). And I liked Nicole, and her old friends, or ex-friends. It gave a nice contrast. While Nicole was sweet and smart, her ex-friends were real snobs. It really put how popular and rich could either be really bad or a good combination, but it doesn’t have to be a stereotype. It showed how being rich and popular doesn’t always make you obnoxious, but it could happen.

What I did not like, was the fact that it was so anticlimactic. Paul Griffin had this huge buildup and then…Well, let’s just say it ended with a fizzle and not with a bang (overused, but appropriate), which was seriously disappointing, since I was expecting something shocking and huge, maybe a fight, to happen, and instead got dull, expected. It wasn’t that it wasn’t shocking, but that it wasn’t shocking enough. Griffin had this whole mystery climax waiting at the top of the hill, the reader just had to get there, but it was almost ruined by the barren wasteland below. Like you climbed all the way up that mountain of excitement, just to see the view, only to see nothing. Maybe there are a few promising sprouts of something living, like a tree, but mostly it’s just dirt and rocks. Not even desert pretty. That’s what the climax was like. Disappointing. Otherwise the book was really good. It was just the climax that was so unfortunate.