From the YALSA and RITA Award-nominated author of Some Boys, a smoldering new contemporary YA about love, loss and finding a place to belong.
I promised Matt I'd do this-become a Junior Cadet. That I wouldn't let you break me down. I know you hate me. Blame me for everything you lost. But that day I lost my brother and my dad. You could never be proud of me, could you? I was too "different." So, just in case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm saying goodbye. Maybe someday, you'll miss me.
Reece's words make her ache. Amanda understands wanting to belong. As a foster kid, the firehouse where she volunteers is the only place that feels like home. She wants to help Reece, but his dad is her boss. And she won't risk her place as a Junior Cadet-it's all that she has. But when a string of arsons suddenly point to Amanda, her whole world is about to go up in flames. And the only way to save themselves is to risk getting burned.
Praise for Some Boys:
"A gut-wrenching story."-Library Media Connection
"A bold and necessary look at an important, and very real, topic. Everyone should read this book."-Jennifer Brown, author of Thousand Words and Hate List
About the Author
PATTY BLOUNT works as a software technical writer by day and novelist by night. Dared by her 13-year-old son to try fiction, Patty wrote her first manuscript in an ice rink. A short version of her debut novel, Send, finished in the top ten of the Writer's Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nothing Left To Burn is a very interesting book. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but far more challenging and thought provoking. Firefighting was always the special thing that bonded Reece's father and brother. So when Reece's brother is killed in a car accident that was Reece's fault, the distance between Reece and his father widens even more. Determined to make his father pay attention to him once and for all, Reece joins the junior fire squad. But once there he comes to love the thrill and unexpected comraderary of the squad far more than he expected. Nothing Left To Burn is written in a very intriguing way. It felt jumpy and there were a whole lot of unknown undercurrents. I wasn't really sure, as I read, what the underlying theme was. What was really going on? This, I believe, was done on purpose and was cleverly executed. The reader is kept guessing and, despite the book being written in two points of view, I felt like you only gradually come to have a clearer picture of the characters. This is especially true of Reece. We are in Reece's head but are left guessing about his intentions and even some of his past. As such, I was kept engaged the whole time as clues where given and sections of the past were slowly revealed. I was reading thinking, what really happened? what aren't we being told? is Reece going to 'that'? does he actually mean 'that'? (can't tell you what 'that' means, because that would be spoiling it), but I was never really sure. As a result the book is much less about investigating who is behind the recent arson fires and more about Reece's relationship with his father, his joining the fire squad and how he copes with the death of his brother. In Nothing Left To Burn we also get the story of Amanda, foster child and captain of the junior fire squad. I loved reading her story and would have liked more of it, but again her point of view seemed predominately to support Reece's story. This added to the overall style of the book, but also provided great balance and perspective to the story. I really enjoyed Patty Blount's Some Boys. I didn't find Nothing Left To Burn as engaging, but it certainly made me think and Patty shows she is very good at writing about touching and hard issues. Another stimulating teen contemporary read. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Nothing Left to Burn by Patty Blount Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Publication Date: August 4, 2015 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): Reece’s father hasn’t spoken to him since the car wreck that killed Reece’s brother. Desperate for forgiveness, Reece joins the Junior Cadet program at his dad’s firehouse. But the program is grueling, and Reece isn’t sure he can make it through. Then he meets Amanda. Amanda understands wanting to belong. As a foster kid, the firehouse is the only place that feels like home. She agrees to help Reece, but falling for him wasn’t part of the deal. And when a string of arsons suddenly point to Amanda, their relationship could go up in flames. What I Liked: I have a hard time with YA tough-issue contemporary novels. YA contemporary romance novels are usually fine, but the tough-issues ones? I always have problems with those. But Patty Blount's YA books - all tough-issue contemporary - seem to work for me. I liked TMI a lot, and LOVED Some Boys, and now it appears that I really liked Nothing Left to Burn! Something about her tough-issue contemporary novels make the tough issues real but readable, not too heavy or weighing the book down. Reece Logan's brother Matt died in a car accident - and Reece was the one driving. Months later, Reece's father hasn't forgiven Reece, and Reece's mother hasn't stopped crying. Reece decides to join the junior fire fighting squad (his father is a lieutenant, and his brother used to be on the junior squad), after his brother made him promise as he was dying. Amanda is a member of the junior squad, and used to have a crush on Matt. Seeing Reece is like seeing Matt, and Amanda can't help but feel anger towards Reece. But Amanda slowly realizes that Reece might be just as "messed up" as she is. Junior squad is what is keeping them going, and when a series of arsons are connected in an eerie, Amanda and Reece will put everything on the line - even their relationship. This book is written in dual, first-person perspectives, switching off between Reece and Amanda. Sometimes this works for me, sometimes it doesn't, but usually it does, especially with a couple (as opposed to best friends or siblings or worst enemies or something). I enjoyed reading from Reece's perspective especially - Blount does an excellent job of writing in the male and female perspectives, creating unique voices for each character. But I especially like Reece's voice. Reece is an interesting guy, from the start. His brother is the more athletic one, the more likable/outgoing/charismatic one, the one that their father loves more. Reece is very intelligent, with photographic memory. He likes chess, isn't on the junior squad, isn't a bulky/ripped guy, doesn't have all the ladies after him. Reece is quiet and doesn't stand up to his father. He takes the blame for his brother's death and carries the burden and pain of losing a brother - and indirectly, a father - with him all the time. And when he joins the junior squad, the juniors see the pain and loss. Lieutenant John Logan treats his son terribly, calling him a nickname he hates, picking on him when Reece wouldn't know, expecting him to be perfect, after only just joining. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! :)
He was never good enough, even at a young age and now, instead of just walking away, he needs to prove something, he needs to make a point and then he can walk away. When is enough, enough though? With his brother gone, his father moved out and his mother devastated, Reece decides he needs to get in his father’s face. Yeah, that always works. I just didn’t understand how this was going to play out and as the book progressed, this situation escalated. His father treated him horribly and I was getting agitated over the whole relationship. It began when Reece decided to join the fire junior squad where his father is the boss. Amanda, another junior squad member, walks into the picture and things started to change with Reece but the father-son clash does not let up. Reece should be taking lessons from Amanda as this girl has some gusto and she is not afraid to unleash her words when she sees unjust behavior and remarks being made to other squad members as his father constantly batters Reece. Reece wants to confront his father but he hesitates for there’s something that he’s hiding and I’m dying to know what this is. I’m getting tired of this relentless behavior coming from Reece’s father. Amanda and Reece take it slow and Reece tells us about his brother, the guilt and remorse weighing heavily on him. As Reece tells us about his father, I was annoyed at his father’s behavior and the excuses that he supplied for Reece. The beginning of the book gives the reader a lot of educational information about firefighting and Reece’s family relationships. The action in the book takes place in the second half as the junior squad becomes more than just Reece’s teammates as Reece reaches out to them. It got my emotions stirred up. 3.5 stars I received a copy of the novel from NetGalley and Sourcebook Fire in exchange for an honest opinion.