Burning Blue

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Overview

How 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 ...

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2012-10-25 Hardcover First Edition New 0803738153 Ships Within 24 Hours. Tracking Number available for all USA orders. Excellent Customer Service. Upto 15 Days 100% Money Back ... Gurantee. Try Our Fast! ! ! ! Shipping With Tracking Number. Read more Show Less

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Burning Blue

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Overview

How 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.

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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: 9780803738157
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Griffin lives, trains dogs, and writes in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 10, 2012

    I saw this book on my library's New Releases shelf and based on

    I saw this book on my library's New Releases shelf and based on the summary and cover, decided to give it a try. I'd never heard of it, or read anything by Paul Griffin before, but was really intrigued by the summary. I'm so glad I read this book: it was a great, powerful, emotional read!

    Several years ago, I read and fell in love with Justina Chen Headley's North of Beautiful (read my review here). I think I've been looking for a book to rival North of Beautiful ever since then, and Paul Griffin definitely has a contender in Burning Blue.

    Nicole is the most popular and beautiful girl in school. She is loved by many, but also a target of jealousy. The girl is practically perfect: who wouldn't be jealous? One day at school, an unknown attacker squirts her in the face with acid. Nicole's plight and subsequent disfigurement becomes her defining characteristic, as the story of her attack becomes public. The police have very little information and have not found the attacker. The entire town is speculating as to who did it, and Nicole is followed by photographers trying to get a look at her burn.

    Jay and Nicole meet by chance outside the school counselor's office. Nicole is in mandatory counseling to facilitate an easy return to school after her recovery, and Jay is in counseling since he had an epileptic seizure in front of the entire student body at a pep rally freshman year. He's been homeschooled since then, but the counselor and his father decide it's time for him to return to school. Nicole and Jay become friends, as they both are struggling with huge issues and a change in the way the world sees them. Jay decides to try and figure out who was responsible for the attack on Nicole, and the closer he gets to an answer, the more complicated and dangerous things become. All the while, he's falling for Nicole, but doesn't know if she feels the same.

    I loved a lot of things about Burning Blue. The characterization, the fact that Jay and Nicole don't just magically bounce back from their respective traumatic events, the suprise twist at the end, and the writing itself were all outstanding. It's rare I like a first person male narrative as much as I did in Burning Blue. Griffin tackles powerful hot-button issues, and does so with aplomb and tact. I loved that his characters are in therapy and don't just return to normalcy as soon as they fall in love, like in so many other YA novels. The love story progressed at a slow, appropriate pace, considering what the main characters were dealing with. I loved that!

    The focus on art, as well as Jay's computer hacking, really added some depth and interest to the story. I'm no computer geek, but I loved reading about Jay's hacker skills. I just found it really interesting. Griffin's pacing had me reading into the night: I kept telling myself, "just one more chapter," until I looked up and I had finished the book. I sped through this book in a day, it was just that good. I could not rest until I knew who had burned Nicole. There was almost a thriller-type element to Burning Blue beyond the contemporary romance element.

    I loved this book. I would recommend it to fans of contemporary YA. I'll definitely be reading more from Paul Griffin!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    This book was amazing! I have been following this author becaus

    This book was amazing! I have been following this author because I love his realism and voice(s) but I have held back from recommending his prior books to my daughters and friends, ages 12 n 14, because of the grittiness, but THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ALL TEENS AND TWEENS! I read it, gave it to my daughter, who gave it to her friend, who read it in a day and was texting her disbelief at the ending at 11:30 pm she was so excited! Truly the twists and turns and characters and drama are top shelf! I'm so glad the younger groups can read PAUL GRIFFIN! Hope to see many more like this!



    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Love behind the mask

    A story of what true beauty is and how far well some help the one they love

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Disappointing

    I saw this book at my library and was immediatly intrigued by the blurb. I eagerly brought it home to start reading. I was disappointed. It was really hard to get into, and I had to force my way through the book. I stopped at page 46 and skipped to the end. This was a disappointing and boring read. Not worth your money. Get it from the library first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15  Nicole Castro is ¿that¿ girl in hig

    Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15 
    Nicole Castro is “that” girl in high school who has it all; beauty, wealth, and notoriety. What else could a girl like Nicole want and to what extent would she be willing to go to get it? Precious Nicole gets acid sprayed in her flawless face, leaving her severely scarred, and nobody is fessing up. Jay is the school loner, keeping to himself, prior home school student, and techie genius with a knack for hacking. With the trail drying up, Jay takes it into his own hands to try and find the culprit, winding his way into a dangerous turn of events and finding his feelings for Nicole getting deeper.

    Could it be one of the girls from school? One of the teachers? Maybe even Nicole herself for attention? Who could do such an awful thing?

    “Maybe I just didn’t want to believe it. That she could, that she would. That she did.”
    This was a phenomenal read that right up to the end; I never would have guessed the culprit. Griffin has his own unique spin when writing young adult fiction, making his work stand apart from the rest. The constant suspense kept me on the edge of my seat page after page.
    *You can view the original review at City Book Review

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2015

    One of the best!

    This book really captured my attention and was intresting all the way through. Through every twist and turn, a new assumption came to me only to be contradicted untill i hit the plot twist. A very realatable cast of characters especially helped make this book a great read. The boy is dealing with many emotional issues that we ourselves may go through. Living in poor conditions with a father who is drunk half the time is very challenging. The character himself is a complet computer genius and all around very smart but is trying to live down an epilecric siezure that made him the laughing stock of the school. The girl is a loving and kind model whos life is shaken by a horrible incedent that ruined her reputation. With help from her new friend she ends up falling for, she battles the everyday depression that sinks in. The boy plays detective and seeks out the girls attacker, making himself a target in the process. A very capturing book with so much emotion you can feel it. Definitly woth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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