tonya.'s Reviews > Brooklyn, Burning

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
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's review
Jul 10, 11

bookshelves: 2011, arcs, music-centric, ya, lgbtq, contemporary
Read in July, 2011

Brooklyn, Burning was quite a surprise for me. I think I expected something hard-edged and bitter, the way I imagine the streets of Brooklyn might be. What I got was something altogether different.

Brooklyn, Burning is the story of Kid (as in Billy, the), a teenager living on the streets of Brooklyn. Kid is an unlabeled entity; we're never gives any indication of either Kid's gender or sexual orientation, simply because Kid doesn't know the answer to either question. I found myself trying to read between the lines to find some indication of what Kid was, waiting for the moment it would be revealed. It never was. And I realized that this was not a story about finding what Kid was--or even who, as s/he seemed pretty comfortable in his/her own skin--rather, it was a story about Kid finding his/her place in the world.

Kid's simultaneous self-awareness and refusal of conventional identity was refreshing and added an intriguing under layer to the storyline.

Though the story itself was engaging, the real winner was Brezenoff's style. The nearly stream-of-consciousness style prose was mostly matter-of-fact, but would sometimes swell until it bordered on the poetic when talking about the way music made Kid feel.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure I know what story this book tried to tell, only that I enjoyed the telling of it. And that's worth at least four stars in my book.
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Wendy Darling Such a surprise, right? I really liked that it just didn't do anything that I expected it to do. Just plain good writing.

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