Burn Review

Burn by Patrick Ness

5/5 stars

Honestly this one surprised me! Not because I didn’t think I wouldn’t like it (I mean it’s got dragons!), but because it seemed so many people thought it was merely meh. But I loved everything to do with this book! It got a rare 5/5 from me, and I honestly can’t pick anything I would change. It was so good! From the characters, to the dragons, to the vagueness. It was all *chef’s kiss*

Honestly how do people NOT like this?

Okay, okay, I’ll move on.

Before I get into what this book is *actually* about, I want to give a few trigger warnings.

  • Trigger warnings for: homophobia, racism (consistent with the times)

We’re gonna flashback to 1957 real quick. The Cold War is upon us, tensions are high, people are scared. Not to mention the judgement that comes from everyone. Thus is the setting for Burn. It follows a girl named Sarah Dewhurst. Her and her father work on a farm in Washington state, and are trying to make ends meet. In order to do that, however they need to clear out a field behind their house. They only way the Dewhursts can afford to do that is by hiring a dragon. Yes a real (not metaphorical) dragon.

On the flip side to the Dewhurst family, and their hired dragon, there is a cult. They view dragons as the superior species, and set out the help them. One cult member, name Malcom, has set out to make sure their mission of showing the world dragons are superior. But to do that he must kill.

If that synopsis didn’t get you! I heard there were dragons AND cults and I said SIGN ME UP! But in all honesty I personally think this book was amazing, and I’ll do my best to describe why.

Things I liked:

  • The social commentary. I know this book takes place in 1957, but it has elements that are still relevant in society. People still have these fears, and it saddens me that they’re there, but I also think it’s important to not ignore them so we can fix them.
  • The dragons. I LOVE that there are different kinds, but they refuse to go with human classifications.
  • The way infinite worlds was brought up. So many times in literature, it feels like infinite worlds are just thrown at us and everyone accepts it no question. I really enjoyed the characters that were rejecting the idea.
  • The slight differences between world. I for some reason assumed they were in OUR world, despite there being no dragons here (yet).
  • Grace. She was adorable, and if I met that kid I’d love her.

I know I said I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like, but there’s just two. They’re so minor I didn’t even dock half a point (which I feel like I’m notorious for)

Things I didn’t like:

  • There were a lot of perspectives. Like more than realistically are necessary. The story revolves around Sarah Dewhurst, Kazimir, Malcolm, and Agent Woolf, so realistically there don’t need to be many (or any) more.
  • I want MORE cult. Like more members, or more interventions. There was just Malcolm and the leader.

In case you didn’t get from the above, I think you should DEFINITELY read this! I think it’s amazing. Equal parts weird, and fantasy!

If you read it, let me know what you think! Also, please read it so I can gush with you, and not just in a post.

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