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Sunday, January 18, 2015

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ARC Review: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

Going Down in Flames #2
Chris Cannon
Publication Date: January 19, 2015
Publisher: EntangledTeen
Reviewer: Sophia

Don't just fight the system…burn it.

Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…

But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn't a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.

Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
Advanced copy provided by EntangledTeen for review – thanks!

Let's get this little fire out of the way before a bigger fire grows: I was not very fond of Going Down in Flames when I read the ARC back in June. It had a fantastic idea and all, but I just didn't like how the story played out, especially the end and Bryn simply damning the Directorate throughout the entire novel. Oh, and the ending did end with another "Damn Directorate."

So.... why did I even bother reading Bridges Burned – I switched the title around for a good week – if I didn't like book one?

Basically it all goes down to a second chance (a rarity that I bestow to authors): I liked the idea behind Going Down in Flames, and the Dragon culture Cannon wrote about. I couldn't exactly let that go to waste without seeing how the next book would play out, especially when the teeny amount of dragon books is compared to the whopping amount of Contemporaries.

So when I signed up to review Bridges Burned, the book would either a) slowly slip into my good graces, or b) burn. Figuratively. I then vowed to throw the book at the wall and out the window if the sequel ended with "Damn Directorate" again.

This series is surely, yet slowly, falling into my good graces. Throughout book two, Bryn and Jaxon team up to investigate the motives of the actions behind the attack in the end of book one. Cannon eventually plunges Bryn into the world of the Blue dragon clan, where Bryn isn't entirely welcomed and the dragons aren't entirely very friendly with her until Bryn does something that meets their approval.

Cannon also seems to give some of the characters a distinct personality that makes them unique rather than simply a cold personality because Bryn is "abnormal and doesn't fit in dragon society." Bryn's grandparents don't seem like something you'll expect from a statue – cold, stern, icy, etc. Jaxon's meant-to-be-antagonizing comments are beginning to sound adorable and amusing (read: entertaining), and his banters with Bryn seem much more natural rather than a mocking that seems forced.
Bryn: Calm down. I’m talking about your social circle, not your mom in particular. How do you know those women are content to be by themselves? How do you know they aren’t sleeping with their gardeners out of spite?
Jaxon: *glares* Our gardener is a seventy-year-old female. If I have nightmares, I’m going to call you and describe them in detail.
I'm enjoying the dialogue between the characters much to the point where I don't really care too much about the overall plot of the series seeming to be slow in its development. But while I don't care too much about the overall plot development being a little slow (there are future books for more plot development), I really dislike how Bryn jumps from one guy to another throughout the majority of the book and is being a little too obsessed with Zavien, even after huge, gaping cracks are developing in their relationship. It almost makes a little too desperate in the romance department and it's starting to fry my nerves.
Bryn tried not to look for Zavien, but his absence gnawed at her. Where was he?
Over the next few days, Bryn found it harder and harder to contain her jealousy. No matter how irrational it was, she hated that Zavien jumped whenever Nola called.
One does not simply pursue someone continuously after being continuously rejected, unless they're desperate.

Though I currently have mixed feelings about the series overall, I honestly enjoyed Bridges Burned much more than Going Down in Flames – perhaps the sun is finally shining through the vortex.
Jaxon: *sighs irritably* Haven't we spent enough time together?
Bryn: You're such a joy to be around I couldn't stay away.
3 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.