Title: Burn Baby, Burn Baby
Author: Kevin Craig
Publication Date: December 11, 2014
Excerpt from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago.
Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.
The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars.
If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.
Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted.
Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Francis has had a very, very hard life. His father abused him as a child and even set Francis on fire until half of his body was burned. Francis is now a teenager and is picked on constantly in school because of his burns. Lucky for him, he has a best friend, Trig, who would tear down anyone he caught trying to hurt Francis.
This book was short. Normally I don’t mind this, but I feel like it worked against the book’s favor. While I did appreciate the fast pace and wasn’t bored for a second, I really wanted to explore more of Rachel’s and Francis’s relationship. When I saw the cover of this book I figured I was going to be reading a sweet contemporary, but this book was focused mainly on Francis overcoming his bullies. I’m not saying I didn’t mind that part of the story…I just wanted more of Francis and Rachel!
I’m not going to lie, this book is sad. My heart hurt while reading the moments when Francis was abused by his father. The author handled these issues with grace and perfection. I am seriously serious, the feels while reading this book were all too real. Have you ever wanted to step into a book and just give the character a giant hug and tell them it’s going to be alright? This happened to me numerous times while reading this book.
Burn Baby, Burn Baby was such a great read. I couldn’t put it down and it didn’t take me long to finish this book! If you are looking for an emotional and moving read, pick up this book today!
3.5 out of 5 stars
Meet The Author
Kevin is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. He is also a passionate and accomplished playwright. He’s had eight plays produced. Kevin is a member of the Writers Community of Durham Region and was a founding member on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Writers’ Conference.