Burning
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Burning

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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  484 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to l...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Delacorte Press
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Stacia (out of inspiration)
Aug 18, 2013 Stacia (out of inspiration) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who can overlook a slightly suffocating love story in order to enjoy the journey
Small-town boy. Gypsy girl. Desert Summer.

While I think that tag line on the cover of Burning is a great hook, it wasn't what got me interested. The lure wasn't from whispers of unconventional young love, but instead with the mention of Burning Man in the synopsis. I almost went one year, and now I have regrets that I didn't make it up there. :(


Burn baby burn. As if the desert wasn't hot enough already...

However, Burning was less about getting one's freak on in the middle of a bunch of crazies...more
Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
Goddamn it. Why is it so hard to write three star reviews? Seriously, I’d almost prefer reading a book that pisses me off to one that I feel ambivalent about because at least then I have plenty to say afterwards. So where to start? Um…I guess with a summary because, you know, it’s not like you can’t just read the frigging book blurb yourself or anything…

Ben is a small town boy from a gypsum mining community that collapsed when the bubble burst on the housing market. The company that owned the mi...more
Elana K.
Sep 17, 2012 Elana K. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
All right, so I gave my own book five stars. But... I really do love it! So... five stars it is. Kazzam!
Jennifer
This takes places during a pivotal time in both Ben and Lala's lives. It is the summer before Ben is moving to San Diego for college. He got a full scholarship and is leaving behind his friends, family and the town he grew up in. Not just moving away from the town but the whole town is shutting down. Ben is worried and feeling some regret leaving his brother and now jobless father. Lala is nearing the age of 18 and the time of her arranged marriage. She loves her family but doesn't want to marry...more
Jenni Arndt
Actual rating is 4.5.

There is something so great about a novel not going the way that you expect it to go. Having read my fair share of young adult literature, I find that I can often pinpoint where the story will go when I am about halfway through. Now, this isn’t a terrible thing, I usually enjoy the ride to the ending anyway but when a story like Burning comes along and throws me for a complete loop I relish in it and love the unknown path I travel.

Ben lives in the small town of Gypsum, but...more
Michelle Arrow
*4.5 star rating*

Burning is a true summer-love romance. From the moment I picked the book, I knew that it would be the perfect summer read. Just look at the cover!



I've never read a gypsy book before. Elana K. Arnold has definitely introduced something completely new to me. A gypsy girl. A small-town boy. Star-crossed lovers. A beautiful romance. An amazing, thrilling summer. That's basically what the plot is all about, summed up in 5 short statements.

Lala and her Gypsy family come to Ne...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Well, I feel sheepish.

 photo ifeelsheepish_zpsd75d0e39.gif

Black sheepish.

Pages Read: 107

I'm a third of the way into this book and, while I don't think it's truly horrid, I'm also really not enjoying it at all. The characters are flat, Ben's and Lala's narrations read the same to me, except that Lala thinks about gazho a lot, the romance is instalove, and the plot bores me.

My biggest issue here is Hog Boy, who is exactly what he sounds like. He's a homophobic, sexist asshole. And he's also one of Ben's best friends. Now, I get that...more
Teresa
Taken from my blog, Tapioca Reading.

When I first saw this book on Netgalley, I knew I wanted to read it. Look at that cover and tell me it's not beautiful.



And when I got an e-mail from Netgalley saying I had been accepted to read it, I was ecstatic, because it was my second or third book ever and after all those rejections in the beginning, I felt like I was finally getting somewhere in this weird book-reviewing business.



This book was not what I expected at all.



I was all prepared for it to becom...more
Henrietta
Could tarot cards predict an outcome of a situation with accuracy?

Lala knows the secrets to be a good fortune teller. When she gives readings, she knows exactly what to say and where to look for clues to lure her customers. With only weeks before her arranged marriage, Lala questions whether or not her fate is to be governed by the spiritual traditions of her people. Could she find her answer?

I like that Lala is inquisitive. Maybe some may see her as selfish and irresponsible, I personally find...more
Rachel
I received Burning from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my opinion of this book in any way.

June 5, 2013 - I am in SO in love with this book and the way it was written. I wish there could be another with these two in it! I need to collect my thoughts overnight and I will be writing a review in the morning.

June 7, 2013 - Okay so it's been 2 days and I have collected my thoughts as much as I possibly can about this book. Still, this review will probably...more
Once Upon
Ben- a leader, a protector. The small town, populated by 489 people, where he grew up in was now kicking him out. There was nothing left there for anyone. The town was soon to be deserted. Ben was going off to college in San Diego and his family and his two best friends were moving to Reno. Even though he has such a great opportunity ahead of him, he feels guilty because of it. It pained him to have to leave behind his best friends, and his little brother whom he protected. Enter Lala- a fortune...more
Isamlq
It’s been how long since I last posted? BURNING is different but not quite. But first, to the positive: it had me asking if people still lived still live like that because I confess the idea of gypsy family roaming from place to place was almost unreal to me. The way it’s set up here though makes it almost “possible” to be imagined.

It’s not just an us and them (though there is that). It’s not just girl with a role (though there’s tons of that, too) Here, there’s possibility… both in the guy but...more
Amanda
Burning is about story of Ben, a boy from Gypsum, Nevada and Lala, a gypsy girl. Defining traits for both of them, they come together at a time when they reflect what what exactly it means and what choosing your own path can mean.

As a coming-of-age story, I adored it. Both Ben and Lala are at turning points in their lives. Ben didn't want to be stuck in the small town of Gypsum, but now that the town is shutting down he must come to terms with moving on being more than just him leaving--everyone...more
Angela
4.5 stars.

Young Adult, as a genre, has been falling out of favor with me. To be fair, I never really loved it and only dabbled in it to find those occasionally great stories. Burning is probably a book that I would have passed by nearly any other time, but something about the blurb caught my eye. Maybe it was the idea of two totally different people from two completely different worlds coming together for a time and changing each other's lives. Maybe it was the gypsy aspect, which I'm willing to...more
Jill Sorenson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
Wow--I really liked this one--it's an unusual YA read-- a coming of age story told from the perspective of an all American boy, dealing with all American problems and a Gypsy girl-- living a very traditional Gypsy upbringing--two people who couldn't be more different yet still alike in so many ways. The romance kept me reading but I also really liked the ending. And I liked how though it seemed to start out more as Ben's story, by the end it was more Lala's journey that impressed me. Thank you,...more
Katie Gryson
Burning is a very unique story about a boy who just graduated from high school name Ben, and a gypsy girl named Lala. Lala's family does fortune telling and one day Ben's friends drag him along to a reading. Ben immediately falls in love with Lala, the only problem is that she is engaged to be married. In gypsy families, the parents pick who their children are to marry and if the child refuses, this causes the family much embarrassment. Ben asks Lala out and she refuses, then another time and sh...more
Pamela (slytherpuff)
May 28, 2013 Pamela (slytherpuff) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pamela (slytherpuff) by: NetGalley
See more of my reviews at Bettering Me Up.

I freely admit that my main reason for requesting this NetGalley was the cover. It completely captivated me and is the kind of artwork I would put on the walls. (Not that I ever could, since The Husband and I have completely different tastes in art and it's nearly impossible for us to agree on anything. Hmph.)

I also freely admit that I know a girl named Lala. And I can't stand her. So I had a big ol' frowny face when I started reading. It's unfair to the...more
Medeia Sharif
Ben Stanley has some big changes ahead of him. His entire family is moving out of a mining community since the mine is closing down. Even the neighbors are leaving; the place is becoming a ghost town. Ben not only is part of this move, but soon he’s going to a college out of state on a scholarship. He’s going to be away from family and friends for the first time. The novel opens when the Burning Man festival is occurring. The festival brings in all types of people. One of them is Gypsies.

Lala Wh...more
Jill
This is a coming-of-age romance between recent high school graduate Ben Stanley from the dying company town of Gypsum, Nevada, and a Romani (“Gypsy”) girl Lala White whose family has set up a campsite just outside Ben’s town. [Although Gypsum is fictional, it is very much like the actual town of Empire, Nevada, a former company town centered on gypsum mining about 100 miles northeast of Reno in the Black Rock Desert that closed down in 2011.]

Lala’s family is trying to capitalize on the nearby B...more
Margo Berendsen
This one came really, really close to 4.5 but definitely with caveats. It's a gritty YA contemporary with both the beautiful/thoughtful and ugly/uncomfortable parts of literary writing.

Primarily, Burning is a tense, powerfully written story of the difficult choices tied to freedom; but secondarily, it is also a fascinating look into Gypsy lives in America. I didn’t even realize they were such a separate culture inside of America. Lala is one of the traditional Roma, as they call themselves, whe...more
Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
Burning is such a cute story! From the blurb I thought it would be a bit paranormal, but it's definitely contemporary.

Burning is about two teens who are trying to discover themselves. They have no clue what’s next for them, and what's out in the real world aside from what they've learned growing up. One meeting and they both realize they want more out of life. They also have this chemistry and pull to one another that take them both by surprise.

Lala and her family camp out right outside of Ben...more
Sarah
Probably a 3.5-star or so for me. There's a ton to like about this book and the ending in particular is fabulous and perfect for these characters. (It's quite abrupt, which will likely bother some folks.) This also is one of the better dual POV, first-person narratives I've read. Both Ben and Lala sound authentic and the voices are very distinct. The whole notion of breaking free is woven nicely through this story (including in the side-stories with each main character's relationship with their...more
The Three Bookateers
Taken from our book blog: The Three Bookateers


Let's start by saying how much I love the cover. I love the composition of the girl, the font and the background - I just love the whole cover. There is not one thing that I would change. This cover drew me in and when they say not to judge a book by its cover, I totally do. Yeah, I know I shouldn't.

But anyway back to the story.

Burning is a story of forbidden love. A gypsy girl and a small town guy. She's engaged to be married and he's about to move...more
Stacee
This was quite an interesting story. I loved how it spanned just a few days. I would have liked a bit more of an ending, but I think it fit perfectly with what the story was actually about.

The alternating POVs were written so differently, it was perfection. Elana captured two entirely different characters, I always wanted more of the chapter I was finishing.

**Thank you to NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
John Clark
This is one of those books that burrows into your head and refuses to leave you alone. Ben is a typical teen, living in a small Nevada town with nothing much happening in his life. Lala is a Gypsy girl, an adept fortune teller, whose family has come down from the Pacific Northwest and has set up camp outside town so the clan can make money reading fortunes of people heading to the Burning Man Festival (something that's on my bucket list). When she reads Ben's fortune, she sees something in his c...more
Allison (Crazy. Something. Maybe.)
Burning is told from the dual POVs of Lala and Ben. Ben is 18, has just graduated high school, and on his way to college on a full scholarship. His hometown of Gypsum is in the process of being completely vacated by its residents due to the closing of the mine that was the backbone of the small town's economy. Lala is a Romany gypsy girl who has come to the desert with her family to tell the fortunes of the people coming and going from the Burning Man Festival taking place nearby. Lala and Ben m...more
Cherie
May 12, 2014 Cherie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dreamers
Shelves: fiction, burningman
B I like to read anything about Burning Man. This book was mostly a coming of age book, from two POVs, but it takes place in nearby Empire at the time of Burning Man, and at the end, at Burning Man. A high school boy watches as his town, a company town, is closing up after the local gypsum mine is closing, and his entire town will become a ghost town...he ends up having a chance encounter with a beautiful Gypsy girl (the term the author uses) who is resisting an upcoming arranged marriage to a m...more
Liz (Consumed by Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte (Gypsy Reviews)
Originally posted at Gypsy Reviews

Burning was a wonderful contemporary read about self-discovery and growing up and I quite enjoyed it. It was definitely a refreshing read and with an unexpected ending that left me feeling happy yet just a smidge bit disappointed.

So here you have the POVs of the two main characters – Ben who just graduated from high school and is ready to head to college and Gypsum, the town where he lives is going to be closed down. He might be heading out but his two friends a...more
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“Perhaps that is where our choice lies -- in determining how we will meet the inevitable end of things, and how we will greet each new beginning.” 26 likes
“Maybe it was all right to let things be broken for awhile.” 4 likes
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