Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Burning by Elana K. Arnold

By: Elana K. Arnold
Pub. Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash--especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her. . . and for him.
Burning is a very interesting story about a gypsy girl and a small town boy. Ben, who scored a scholarship to a college in California is about to move out of the small town he has always lived in. But he isn't the only one leaving. Once a booming mining town, Gypsum is nothing now, and more and more families are leaving by the minute. Ben just wants to enjoy his last few days with his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy. Lala is 17 years old. She loves her family, and lives by the gypsy way. Her way of life might seem strange to outsiders, but she lives by it. While she doesn't agree with some of the more old fashioned laws, she respects this way of life. When Ben and Lala meet, their attraction and connection is undeniable, and it will change the course of Lala's life.

I don't want to give anything away, making this review a little harder to write. I loved learning about the gypsy way of life, and learning what each of the tarot cards mean. Despite learning the laws and rules that govern this group of people and even understanding some of them, I couldn't help but feel that what Lala did, did not warrant the punishment she received.

I couldn't help but feel for Lala. She is a normal girl, who goes on facebook and loves to read Catcher in the Rye. She loves her family, but desperately wanted freedom. She wanted to marry who she wants, not who her parents choose for her. Without giving anything away, I enjoyed the ending. I understand why she did what she did.

Overall, I did enjoy Burning. It was a fast read. I would have liked a little more resolution in the end, but I was happy with it all the same. 


  1. Ooh, this sounds fascinating. I'm definitely intrigued by the gypsy aspect!

    Great review :)

  2. Thanks so much for reviewing BURNING! I am so excited to see it hit the shelves tomorrow.

  3. This sounds really interesting. I don't know that I've ever read a book dealing with gypsies, and now I'm definitely intrigued.


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