Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: Burning By: Elana K. Arnold

Title: Burning
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Published: June 11th, 2013
Source: E-Galley from publisher
My Rating : 3 out of 5 stars!
Buy The Book: Amazon/Barnes andNoble
Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book that I have read from Elana K. Arnold, I was really curious and  didn't have any expectations going into Burning and while I am not shouting from the rooftops, this book was something that I haven't read and it was definitely a breath of fresh air.

Burning was a story of new beginnings for all of the characters we meet in this book, the small town of Gypsum, Nevada, which is right outside of the site where Burning Man is held every year is closing down. The main occupation for almost every family in this small town was the gypsum mine, which during the housing boom was very successful because gypsum is what dry wall is made of, but with the decline in home building  the company that owns the mine shut down, they also own the town which means that everyone in it has to pack up and move out. Ben, is a runner which is lucky for him because it got him out and he gets to go onto a full ride college scholarship that many of his friends could only dream of.  Lala and her family are gypsies, their a tight knit and strict community that follows many customs that differ from American traditions.

 I was fascinated with learning about Gypsy culture and their beliefs.  I never really connected with Lala's character, I don't know if that was Arnolds intention because of her different culture, while I was reading, her voice sounded distant and foreign and  I wasn't completely interested in her story. Ben on the other hand was a much more relatable character and I really felt for him throughout the book. He is torn between going for his dreams and his future. He feels guilty that he is leaving his family and friends behind, he knows that his best friends aren't going  to have the bright future that he is getting to have. 

Lala and Ben's romance felt to much like insta-love but , Arnold redeemed herself  in the end for me  because it was definitely empowering to girls in my opinion and it wasn't just happily ever after. They definitely had a chemistry together but, the romance never really made me swoon and I didn't fall in love along with them.

Overall, Burning was a fresh and new read and it was nice to read a book that was more about self discovery then the romance, if you enjoy learning.

 Want to learn more about Burning? Check out the links below!

Some Like It Paranormal
Leisure Reads 
I Swim For Oceans

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