Review: Burn Girl by Mandy Mikulencak

25335399._UY470_SS470_So this is another one of those books, even though I read it as an advance copy, that had mixed reviews. Some readers really liked it while others were strongly in the opposite camp. Most people fell sort of in the middle. As I’ve stated before, I rarely pay attention to reviews unless they come from a trusted fellow book-lover. Most of the time it pays off, as in this case.

Arlie has seen and experienced too many things in her young life. As the child of a drug addict, she’s been forced to step into the parenting role. Arlie and her mom have been on the run for years, hiding from a stepdad/abuser/meth dealer. As if that wasn’t enough, she has to deal with standing out in a very obvious way. She carries a daily reminder of her traumatic early years in the form of a very large scar on her face. As if being a teenager isn’t already hard enough…

When Arlie’s mom overdoses, her chance at a somewhat normal life appears in the form of an uncle she’s never met. She’s been lucky enough to have a best friend who loves her no matter what. And then, of course, she meets a boy. The question then becomes, can she get over her past and have a chance at a normal life? There’s romance and friendship with a good dose of suspense thrown in as Arlie struggles to accept her new life.

Burn Girl is a young adult story about a teenager trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Sound familiar? But of course. So is the plot of most young adult books these days. Here’s where the author’s true gift for writing must come into play. Can she/he weave a story compelling enough to stand out from the others? Are the characters sufficiently developed to make the reader care? And, bottom line, is it a good story that makes ME want to keep reading? With this book, it’s a “yes” to all of the above.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Burn Girl

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