Burning Blue

by Paul Griffith
ages: 14+
First sentence: “Sent the night before the attack.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!

Nicole Castro has the perfect life: she’s beautiful, popular, talented, kind, and has the best boyfriend ever. Until one day, when an attacker sprays half her face with acid, burning away everything.

Jay Nazzaro has been homeschooled for the past couple of years, ever since an epileptic fit at school ruined his chances for a normal existence there. He’s back in school, as a junior, on meds (sometimes), and trying not to let his… talent as a hacker become public knowledge.

That is, until he and Nicole strike up a conversation. Sure, Jay’s been crushing on her for forever, but he realizes that there’s more to her than a beautiful face. And that with his talents, he’s probably the only one who can catch her attacker.

This one has a lot going for it (except for the cover, which will deter guys from reading this one, even though they would enjoy it): it’s an issue book, talking about beauty and identity, but it’s also a mystery. It’s not a brilliant one (I figured it out), but it is solid, and there’s a nice twist at the end. It’s not deep, or earth-shattering, but it is a solid piece of work, one that became more engrossing as the pages went on.

Which means, I’ll probably check out some more Paul Griffiths here soon.


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