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Burn

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  503 ratings  ·  118 reviews
"Are our schools safe?" It's hard to turn on the news without hearing this question, and the answer is typically "no." This novel explores what happens when bullying escalates to violence, and it challenges our definition of victimization.

With thought-provoking prose, Suzanne Phillips explores the psyche of Cameron, a bullied freshman who ultimately does the unthinkable:...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,104)
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Emily Cassady
Dec 08, 2008 Emily Cassady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA
This book was very compelling.
The main character is 14 and he is constantly being bullied. One day, he breaks...this is the story of that event.
The tense changes were weird, but great story overall!
Kristy
My number one problem with this is the main character is not likeable enough.... I know we are not supposed to love him, but I pretty much borderline hate him. Maybe if we knew (a lot) more about his past and what was going on in his head it would have been more enjoyable. Also, I'm getting tired of these books trying to put the "Bad Guy" as the victim! I know, in some cases it's true... but we all have crap to deal with. It does not excuse behavior such as burning down a forest, killing someone...more
Hirsch
An important read for every high school student, and parent. Although I didn't like the way the ending simplified the crime. The complexity of the situation, and the emotional strain that bullying takes on an individual imprints heavy on the reader throughout the book, yet the end results are left flat.
I felt my self sympathizing with the character; however I fear that young readers will also sympathize along with the actions the character takes for repercussion. This book should be read along...more
Suzanne
I didn't like this one quite well enough to give it four stars, but I think it will definitely resonate with some teen readers, particularly boys who can relate to being bullied by peers at school.

Fast moving with lots of dialogue and the horror of the inhumanity that can all too often be high school. Cameron is small, not a jock, and catches the negative attention of Rich Patterson, captain of the cruelty team. I would like to think that there is much less of this kind of physical and emotional...more
Isabel
If the purpose of Burn is to show how a target/victim can snap and become an aggressor when there is no adult intervention in a repeated bullying situation, then Burn is successful. I like that it wasn't quite AS predictable as I thought it would be when I first picked it up. I wanted to give this 3.5 stars. Students (and parents and teachers) might really benefit from reading this, but I couldn't bring myself to add the fourth star ("really liked it") simply because it was depressing all the wa...more
Zach H
This book is about Cameron Grady, a high school freshman. Right when he started high school, he is wrongly pegged as a homosexual and tormented by a group of vicious bullies. Slowly, Cameron's mental state spirals downward along with his grades. His mother, who has escaped an abusive marriage, is unable to comprehend the depth of her son's problem in time to intervene.
Cameron's anger burns within him, to the point where he cant stand it. Then, after suffering a vicious and humiliating assault, h...more
bjneary
Ouch, this book was so tough to read because you could really see what Cameron was going through and how the bullying really changed him. I can't really say I liked Cameron at the beginning of the book, especially with how mean he was to his brother, Robbie. But I understand why the author did this with her main character who was being bullied mercilessly, day in and day out. Cameron was a normal kid until he hit high school and a bully and his thugs decide to single out Cameron and 1 or 2 other...more
Anne
Wow, I really liked this book, but reading it was disturbing. It is just so hard to believe that kids are actually bullied like this in school. How can teachers and administrators be so oblivious to what is going on? I work in a private school and I know that kids can be mean, but I don't think anything this bad ever happens. (Maybe I'm just part of the clueless faculty!)

I thought that this book was really well written and Phillips did a great job getting into the head of a 14 year old boy. She...more
Riyanna Williams
I did a book report over this book, and I have to say, this book was amazing. It showed how bullying is not just picking on someone, or cyberbulling. It can be something more dangerous and violent, where someone like Cameron chooses to act out of rage, and do something he regrets at the end. This just shows, that people should stand up for themselves, and get help even if they feel that know one is going to listen, because there's someone out there that will.
Jesus V
My Book is amazing , I really like the story because it talks about a high school guy that gets bullied by some older guys. He has no friends and the only one he had doesn’t want to be his friend anymore. The reason he doesn’t want to be his friend is because one day some guys write on the restrooms wall that this two friends were in love and they were going out. So that’s the reason why he doesn’t want to be his friend anymore and now his trying to find a way to get rid of those mean guys and g...more
Rachel Sanchez
Mar 05, 2014 Rachel Sanchez rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: my sister
This month in February, I read the book Burn. It was a realistic book about a teenage boys life in high school. He did not start off his high school year very good. He always got teased by the way he dressed and who he was. He always got bullied after school and always got pushed around in the hallways. He was really emotionally getting tired of it and his parents weren't there to support him. Finally getting fed up with all the bulling he took his anger upon himself. Suffering from his choices,...more
Kelly Schreiner
Burn
By: Suzanne Phillips

Cameron is bullied. Everyday he does anything he can to avoid Patterson and his gang. Runs from class to class, waits to go into the locker room until everyone else is gone, but one day he made the mistake of going in to early and being caught by Patterson. It wasn't the normal punching in the stomach until Cameron throws up, but pictures, and bruises, and things that can't be erased. And there was even a witness hiding in the showers to afraid to move as all of this happ...more
Cora
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in psychology. Suzanne Phillips did an excellent job on educating readers about brain disorders. In this book in particular, Cameron - A freshman that is being bullied every day at his high school is eventually diagnosed with a stress disorder after a traumatic situation he finds himself in. Many events and life experiences have brought this disorder on Cameron. One of the biggest problems in the world is abuse. Verbal, physical, and sexual. I bel...more
Alicia Westrick
"Burn" by Suzanne Marie Phillips is about a boy who is extremely bullied in school. Cameron is bullied by Patterson and his group of friends; he is punched and made fun of every day by the same group of boys. Cameron does everything he can to avoid them until one day when he goes into the locker room early. They find him and take pictures of him. Soon the whole school has seen these photos and that last incident pushes Cameron over the edge. He goes into the woods, starts a match, and watches th...more
Amccall
"Burn" by Suzanne Phillips is an interesting read. The main character is a fourteen year old boy in ninth grade who is bullied. For high school freshman, Cameron Grady everyday is a horrid day. He seems to be in a bad place at a bad time all the time.
Cameron had grown his hair out during the summer. At sports orientation Cameron's coach saw him from behind and tried to direct him to the girls locker room. The next day captain of the football team, Rich Patterson, and his group of friends, "The...more
Cornmaven
This a very intense book about the realities of school bullying at the upper grade levels. Set in a high school, but could apply to middle school as well.

It was extremely painful to watch the downward spiral of main character Cameron as he tries to handle the emotional and physical abuse doled out by the top jock, who indeed runs the school. I think Phillips got a lot of the intricacies of the situation exactly right - seeking administrator/counselor help only worsens the situation, seeking pare...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com

"You're ours Grady.....This is just the beginning."

The horrors of high school are real; just ask Cameron Grady.

Freshman year at Madison High School has been the most miserable experience of Cameron's life. The bullying begins the first day of class. Rich Patterson and the rest of his jock friends zero in their radar and Cameron becomes #1 on their hit list.

The "Red Coats" taunt Cameron, calling him Cameron Diaz and stalking him in the hallways. High sch...more
Jodi
This was interesting, sad and scary. Cameron Grady, a high school freshman, is regularly bullied by an upper classman and his friends. His home life isn't bad now that his mother split from his abusive father. But when the bullies go one step too far, it sets into motion the singular event that will change Cameron's life forever. With all the current news stories on bullying this 2 year old book strikes home. It's sad because even well meaning parents can miss what's in front of them. It's sad b...more
Kelly Thielen
This was a disturbing novel. The story is one that I wasn't sure that it could really happen, and yet, I thought maybe it could. Domestic abuse and bullying victims certainly are sometimes overlooked by the school system and don't get the help they need. I think this book does a good job of making that point.

Booktalk Notes: Cameron Grady has had a tough life. His mother finally left her abusive husband, Cameron's father, a couple of years ago. Life should have gotten better for Cameron then, but...more
Abigail
A spectacular way of showing how a young shy boy can turn into a murderer in a matter of a few months. When the story starts you really feel for Cameron Grady. His mom is too busy to notice that he is being tortured at school and even if she did notice, she'd be too tired to care all that much. When she finally starts caring it's after Cameron has been pushed too far and there is no going back. Although his actions are not justified you do understand why he does what he does. The book is definit...more
Jewel
Burn
Firstly I'm not a YA, I'm 30. That may make my review slightly different to others.

Somehow I found myself picking this one up from the library, not sure what drew me to it.
I felt for the main character, didn't want him to chose the paths he did. I felt my motherly instinct to protect him, and I felt helpless for his mother too, whatever inklings she had just weren't enough.

This book genuinely highlights part of school life, its shocking, but awfully true.
Teachers, parents and teens should...more
Brandi
I really struggled with how to rate this novel. Part of me didn't like Cameron. Part of me understood him too well. Part of my hurt for the mother, because I have a tween daughter and I am terrified I'll make mistakes in my parenting. We don't have the abuse situation but it still terrifies me as a parent. So the basic overall viewpoint: It made me hurt, it made me think, and those are hallmarks of a good read for me.
Raina
I really appreciated how Phillips gets into the boy's head. Before high school, Cameron thrived - he was involved in boy scouts, he was an amazing runner, he was good at math. Now, because of a gender-misunderstanding at the first meeting of the sports teams his freshman year, Cameron is called "Cameron Diaz," and has been picked out as the special victim of one of the jocks on the football team. He lives in fear and has picked up the habit of playing with matches.
This kid's life really sucks....more
Cindy
Jan 26, 2010 Cindy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: teens
I’ve never been more compelled to review a book as I have for this one. Not only because it’s a great read, but because the story it tells is an important one. This book is not a “should read,” it’s a must read!

For all teens, the first day of high school can be a scary one, but for freshman Cameron Grady, school is more than a bit scary – it’s a war zone. From the moment he steps into the halls he has become #1 on Rich Patterson’s and the “jocks” hit list. From emasculating name calling to physi...more
Sarah
Whoa. This YA book tackles bullying like Gail Giles. Hard-hitting and nail-biting, the action careens out of control for Cameron Grady. He's bullied at high school after a coach mistakes him for a girl at the first athletic meeting of the year. From then on, lead football jock and his buddies torment the heck out of Cameron. Fire holds some solace for Cameron, but eventually his anger takes over and he does something terrible. Horrible. I couldn't stop reading. I know several PCHS high school bo...more
Heather Colacurcio
"Burn" is a novel that's on a moving path to destruction from it's first pages. The torture and humiliation forced upon Cameron Grady unleashes a series of violent, devastating acts to which he is to blame. However, who is at fault for creating such behaviors in Cameron? Suzanne Phillips provokes many difficult questions in "Burn", questions which, after years of school violence in our world, may still have no concrete answers. "Burn" is extremely fast passed and hard to put down. This, unlike s...more
Carl Sivels
I thought overall it was a pretty good book. the main idea was the character is one that his heavilly bullied through high school from the jocks, then one day they take it to far which pushes him over the edge to commit a series of murder. the characters in this book i feel dont have much life to them as characters i have read about in other books
Peeta
Well, it was extremely violent. Burn was abusive and depressing. Filled with death, assault, and wrong turns Burn really was a book showing how it easy to go from boy scout to murderer. The truthful bullying from the school was so sad because I know that's how it would really happen. I havn't had the expierience to feel what the bullied feel but this book really shows the extremes that people can be driven to. It really was a sob story for me, I had to stop multiple times to wipe away the blurri...more
Barb
This book had me holding my breath through major chunks of it. What a powerful story of the result of bullying. A freshman boy, abused by his father when he was younger, is singled out by the football guys who start with some simple name calling but move to more blatant bullying and then escalate to something horrible. As the reader, I kept confronting myself with the question, "What would I have done in his situation? What was there to do???" And to think it all started with the simple mistake...more
Charli
Nov 14, 2008 Charli rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
This book is a sucker punch to the gut. Cameron is a bullied freshman in high school. When he's finally pushed into fighting back, his target is surprising. I won't say anything more because the book is exceedingly well-written and speaks quite eloquently for itself. Go read it.

I was talking with someone about this book yesterday and she said she believed bullying like that depicted in the book didn't happen any more, not since the kids and the teachers have to have assemblies and seminars and...more
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Burn 1 1 Nov 29, 2011 03:24PM  
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Suzanne Marie Phillips is the author of 3 critically-acclaimed novels for young adults, as well as the adult thriller, I Will Come for You.
More about Suzanne Marie Phillips...
Chloe Doe Lindsey Lost I Will Come For You After Dead

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