I received this book for free from author review pitch in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 27th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: author review pitch
An achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.
It is Labor Day weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; and Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.
But they don’t.
This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other’s lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn’t belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren’t in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play—at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends—and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.
From the author of the universally praised indie hit Brooklyn, Burning comes a funny, unforgettable, and completely original love story.
I’ve always bad trouble with contemporary coming-of-age stories. Ever since Catcher in the Rye reading in grade 9 English class, I knew those books weren’t for me. I don’t get the journey that they go through unless it’s staring at me right in the face. This one is no exception. I was lost, confused and felt like there was no growth at all. Just a myriad of every day life between Svvenlana and Lesh.
It starts off innocently enough. An encounter with a beautiful maniac-pixie -dream-girl and a horny teenage boy. He seems to be incredibly enraptured by her so one day while being grounded by his parents, Lesh decides to make an Elvish princess in an RPG game and plays it as his PC (Playable Character). He stumbles upon another male elf named Stebbins and plays online. In his real life, he’s a sophomore boy who loves listening to metal music, wears a trench coat and hangs around with his best friend and other metal music lovers. Lana on the other hand is a wealth angry teenage girl who lives with her little sister and parents who loves nothing to do but create crafts and make her clothes one-of-a-kind.
There is a moment where she is describing how much she hates her car. A car that was given to her by her parents and her reasons were incredibly snobbish. The fact that you own a car is an incredible thing. The one thing I liked about that part was the fact that she did own up to it,
“I realize this is exactly the kind of problem that people like me—which is to say young white people of generally privileged upbringing—are typically accosted for complaining about. But I hate it. I hate my car.” (168)
I just didn’t get there was a story to begin with except you had to know if Lana was going to find out about him using herself as a PC. And that was the only thing I wanted to know. Everything else I didn’t care too much.