Burning Blue

Burning Blue

4.3 8
by Paul Griffin
     
 

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A soulful mystery for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Paper Towns

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 world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that—he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how itSee more details below

Overview

A soulful mystery for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Paper Towns

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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The idea of finding beauty and value where most see ugliness and ruin runs through Griffin’s novels, and he brings that theme into sharp focus in this chilling, of-the-moment mystery. After popular and gorgeous senior Nicole Castro is sprayed in the face with acid in the halls of her New Jersey high school, 16-year-old Jay Nazarro, a closeted hacker with epilepsy, is determined to uncover who is behind the attack. The brunt of the narrative follows Jay’s investigation, as well as his developing relationship with Nicole, while interspersed entries from Nicole’s diaries, her shrinks’ notes, and e-mails from the perpetrator add depth (yes, there are red herrings, but as Jay discovers, nearly every potential suspect has a secret). Jay is an accomplished hacker—he’s not infallible, but he could hold his own in a Cory Doctorow novel—and tech-obsessed readers will love seeing him adapt cellphones, computers, and Web sites to his advantage. As always, Griffin (Stay with Me) fills his story with fascinating, distinctive characters whose interior and exterior struggles are closely entwined. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)
review feed
Praise for Burning Blue:

• "As always, Griffin (Stay with Me) fills his story with fascinating, distinctive characters whose interior and exterior struggles are closely entwined." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

• “This poignant, romantic mystery, told through Jay’s no-nonsense point of view, is a suspenseful, memorable exploration of love, identity, and beauty.” –Library Media Connection, starred review

"A taut thriller explores the evolving relationship between two outsider teens, at first defined by their shared defectiveness but later superseding it." -Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Burning Blue:

* "As always, Griffin (Stay with Me) fills his story with fascinating, distinctive characters whose interior and exterior struggles are closely entwined." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “This poignant, romantic mystery, told through Jay’s no-nonsense point of view, is a suspenseful, memorable exploration of love, identity, and beauty.” –Library Media Connection, starred review

"A taut thriller explores the evolving relationship between two outsider teens, at first defined by their shared defectiveness but later superseding it." -Kirkus Reviewsreview feed

Children's Literature - Allison Fetters
Jay Nazzarro understands the word "outsider" on many levels as he tries to move through the painful struggles of adolescence. When Nicole Castro, one of the beautiful, popular girls in school, is injured in a serious, disfiguring accident, Jay begins to form a friendship with Nicole and tries to help her adjust to the new life that is now hers. Although Nicole is unaware of his research, Jay is determined to identify the person who harmed her. Jay uses every resource at his disposal to try to get to the bottom of the incident. Jay is there for Nicole every step of the way, but she is also there for him as he tries to pick through the pieces of his own dysfunctional relationship with his father. This book is an enjoyable read that keeps the reader engaged throughout the entire text. As the reader moves through the mystery with Jay, it is easy to become a silent part of the crime-solving team that cheers the characters on as discoveries are made. Reviewer: Allison Fetters
VOYA - Dianna Geers
Nicole Castro had beauty, a rich family, and popularity. That was until acid was thrown onto her face and she was permanently disfigured. As Nicole tries to recover and adjust to her life with half of her face bandaged and scarred, she is plagued by news crews trying to follow her story, her fear of being seen, and constant pain. She also fears that her attacker will strike again. But who was cruel enough to do such a thing to Nicole? Even though Jay is not friends with Nicole before the accident, as he decides to search for the perpetrator, he finds himself growing closer to her. Burning Blue has all of the elements of classic mystery writing: a criminal act, numerous suspects with motive, and red herrings. The modern setting and situations will make this mystery a hit with young adults. The characters are believable, well-developed, and flawed. Jay, the computer-hacking outsider, throws himself into a unique mystery-solving journey and discovers startling evidence that makes one wonder how far a person will go to get what they want. A dull moment does not exist in this fast-paced, modern mystery. This book will be a great addition to any fiction collection for adolescents. Reviewer: Dianna Geers
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Griffin has upped the ante with this engrossing page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. He retains his penchant for characters who are broken and battered by the vicissitudes of life and who struggle to find meaning and happiness. However, no matter how tragic the situation, he injects a poignant humanity and hopefulness into the most desperate of circumstances. Readers meet Nicole Castro, who is beautiful, brilliant, and popular. Her life completely changes the day that her perfect face is deliberately marred by acid. Classmate Jay Nazarro is determined to discover the perpetrator of this heinous and violent attack. A computer geek, Jay has become a recluse due to the humiliation he suffered when he had a seizure in front of the entire student body. The two form a tenuous alliance, searching for motives and possible suspects. Alternating narratives, email messages, journal entries, and therapist notes chronicle Jay's investigation and the shocking unraveling of the truth. Jay's snarky bravado, biting commentary, and personal anxiety provide an excellent counterpoint to Nicole's piercing, heartbreaking inner dialogue. These realistic portraits will resonate with readers, who will appreciate this story on many levels: as a psychological study, social commentary, a puzzling mystery, or tender romance. Allusions to Picasso's Girl in Front of a Mirror should send readers off to explore this contemporary art classic. Another stellar offering from this talented author.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Griffin fleshes out a gripping whodunit with a host of believable teen characters. Nicole is wealthy, popular and beautiful right up until someone throws acid in her face in the corridor of her high school and just as quickly disappears. Classmate Jay, a talented hacker and perennial social outcast with partially controlled epilepsy, surprises himself by resolving to discover the perpetrator. Could it have been her boyfriend, Dave, who is hiding something and was the last person to be seen with her that day? Or did fellow outsider Angela, who joins forces with Jay, have an axe to grind? How about the school janitor, who keeps a big jug of acid in his office? Or even Nicole herself? Jay's slightly edgy, self-deprecating voice matches perfectly with his determined and cleverly inquisitive investigative efforts. Readily mocked and dismissed by classmates because of his seizures, he makes a perfect sleuth. Observing others keenly, he remains apart from the drama right up until he falls for Nicole. His hacking activities are both amusing and also surprisingly gratifying. While readers will probably already have judged--and found wanting--the eventually exposed perpetrator, they will still be astonished by the person's identity. A taut thriller explores the evolving relationship between two outsider teens, at first defined by their shared defectiveness but later superseding it. (Mystery. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101591086
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/25/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
192,395
Lexile:
HL660L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Paul Griffin (www.paulgriffinstories.com) lives, trains dogs, and writes in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

I didn’t even know Nicole at the time. Well, I knew of her. Everybody did…but we hadn’t talked. Not yet. Still, that afternoon—that moment, when that first molecule pierced her skin—was the beginning of our connection, one that led me into a darkness that was and is as twisted as it is sublime.

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