Guest review from Mollie at the Lawrence Branch.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
It’s summer in New York when Son of Sam is on the loose and a lengthy blackout causes lots of rioting! Nora, nearly 18 and ready to graduate high school, meets the description of his victims; she has long dark hair, has a new boyfriend, and often walks home from working late shifts at the deli, where she met her new beau. Her younger brother, Hector, is causing major trouble, and not just petty crimes. Dealing is a route to quick cash for him. Despite his income, Nora is forced to help support her family when her mother’s hours are cut at work. Nora’s apprehension that her best friend can’t relate to this vida loca puts a strain on their relationship. How is she to enjoy the few remaining months with her best friend while she trying to figure out college and life plans?
The story is a fast-paced page-turner. Nora is a relatable character. Meg Medina’s writing emphasizes emotions the characters feel and convey it to the reader. My heart was pounding from fear in many of the scenes.
With such suspense, the ending felt a little rushed. Perhaps I enjoyed the characters too much to want to put it down.
Teens who like historical fiction, murder and crime stories, or a strong female character, may enjoy this book.