Review: Burning Blue (Paul Griffin)

The Deets:
Audience: YA, older MG
Pages: 288
Publisher: October 25th 2012 by Dial (first published October 24th 2012)
ISBN: 9780803738157
Genre: mystery
Source: Library book


Burning BlueHow far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.


I absolutely loved Paul Griffin's Stay with Me, so when I saw Burning Blue on the Teen Read's 2014 list, I had to give it a try. I had super-high expectations for this book based on what I've read before, and I was not disappointed.

Burning Blue is a cross between a contemporary and a mystery. It's not one or the other, but something perfectly blended. The narrator is a teenage boy with his own issues to hide from, which brings a perfect sub plot to the story. On one side you have the mystery behind Nicole's attack, and Jay's back story. But above all that, you have a story about overcoming misunderstandings and first impressions. (and much more)

Jay's voice is perfect. He's not your stereotypical jock. He's not a super-nerd. He's not overly popular, or an outcast. He floats between them all, hoping to be invisible. I think many readers will be able to relate to him on that level, even if his tech savvy habits are a bit hard to follow at times. 

As with other books by Paul Griffin, always expect a twist and a finely executed ending; Burning Blue did not disappoint. The big reveal will blow you away (even if you figure it out about the same time as Jay does). It will make you think, that's for sure.




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