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Thursday, January 8, 2015

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Review: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin (Ooo, Acid)

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue
Paul Griffin
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
Reviewer: Sophia

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

Well, Kahlan and Lupe and other members of book club who think I'm negative over every book, I hope you're happy. REALLY happy!

Burning Blue has got to be one of the best book club reads of this year – I might even have my vote finalized for the 2014-15 Gateway Readers Award.

Of course, I want to get my hands on Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gragnon and Croak by Gina Damico first before voting... unless I don't get to it by March.

It's not all about the acid – that's a bonus – being thrown at wealthy and popular beauty queen not-a-bee Nicole Castro of New Jersey or the mere fact that a hacker is the one who decides to look at the situation more closely to find out who did it, it's the other stuff that I really enjoyed.

The writing's engrossing – we don't read from just Jay Nazarro's view, we read from Nicole Castro's journal, and a few of Dr. Julian Nye's (apparently he's like the shrink of the book) notes about Nicole. It's almost as though we're watching CSI, NCIS, or Law and Order with all the likeness to an investigation going on behind NJPD's backs, though CSI and Company (those other fun shows we call Law) are certainly less predictable than Burning Blue. Plus, TV shows have detectives, not an outcast hacker deciding to find out who the culprit is by hacking and whatnot.
What day is it? What night? I'm burning, burning, burning blue.
That obviously doesn't mean reading about Jay's past wasn't highly awkward though... or more accurately, a tad bit gross.
You don't get a lot of homework in the fourth grade, and I didn't have anything to do except make mini snowmen with my earwax.
Although the perpetrator was very predictable, I found it enjoyable to read the rest of the story and see how it would all play out in the end. I obviously watch too much TV (which by the way, isn't even close to true because I don't even watch TV most of the time and I pretty much live under a legit rock) to take a fantastically, pretty whopping close to accurate stab.

I did not, however, take a stab at who actually threw the acid. I merely guessed who came up with the entire plan in the first place.

To top it off for the non-romantics out there, Jay falling in love with Nicole as he investigates the situation further doesn't overshadow the plot at all. There are brief mentions from Jay and Nicole's journal, but that's about it, much to my delight. Really, I'm done with romance currently – eclipses suck, okay? Euphemism intended.

Perfectly paced and with great dialogue among the characters, Burning Blue is a fantastic book. Plus there's acid. Yay, chemistry!

4.5 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.