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Burning Blue

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,838 ratings  ·  503 reviews
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 a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Dial (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  2,838 ratings  ·  503 reviews

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Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m enough of a cynic these days to greet reference to the theme of inner beauty with an eye roll. In my experience, much of the messaging around the nature of true beauty is either trite or saccharine and comes with generous helpings of condescension or overt moralising. I need another “lesson” on the superficiality of judging someone’s appearance like I need another makeover montage in a high school rom-com. So while the blurb of Burning Blue piqued my interest, the mention of “the notion of w ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.75(?) Stars

Where do I start when it comes to Burning Blue? It's different. In a genre of literature so popular, it's hard to find anything similar to it. It's part mystery, part romance, and part something else entirely. I can't quite wrap my head around it to be perfectly honest. On one hand, I loved it. It was intriguing, kept me flipping the pages, and startled me with its eventual revelation. On the other hand, I was expecting something a little different when I went into it. Alth
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
To sum the story up, Burning Blue is your typical love story, when the school outcast and the popular drama queen fall in love. Right? Right? That's what Burning Blue is about, but it's so much better than that.

When acid is thrown on her face, Nicole, the most popular, wealthy, pretty girl in the school, watches her life change right before her eyes. Jay, who suffered from a seizure during freshman year, knows what its like to be stared at like a freak.

I personally, really liked the story. The c
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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What horrors lurk in the hearts of teens?

Edgy teen suspense novels usually have me feeling pretty skeptical. There's a lot of suspension of disbelief required and at least once (but often more than once, often closer to 10+ times) I shake my head and think, "Shouldn't you leave that to the cops?" Nothing is more frustration than watching a teen obstruct justice and then be patted on the head at the end for their "good deeds."

Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Isamlq by: Keertana
Colour me impressed and more than slightly surprised. Why, this... Yes, this was the kind of reading experience I wanted out of Shift. And my disappointment over that one's turn out is something I still grumble over to this moment. I’m not grumbling over this one though, as most aspects of BURNING BLUE had me thoroughly engaged. I was asking things, questioning things, thinking that so and so was doing this and that then seeing this is why’s and that’s how come’s. I thought I had things pegged, ...more
Kira Simion
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beauty. Love? Friendship? Revenge.

•Nicole is beautiful, if you value beauty in looks. As a person, she seems to be a decent book human being so that's a larger plus.

•Nicole has just been splashed with acid and the culprit has not been seen or found. (I was a teeny bit iffy with that because of a reason.)

•One thing I would have liked to see more of is Nicole's trama and her reaction to it. She seems sad and all but, I honestly didn't feel her anger, her feeling the gravity of the incident, her h
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin is set in New Jersey. Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl at Brandywine Hollows High, is attacked one day at school. Someone throws acid on her face but she doesn’t see who. Six weeks later no one has been caught and after a chance meeting in the school’s psychologist’s reception, fellow classmate Jay Nazarro, decides to help Nicole figure out who it was.

Burning Blue is a thrilling and compulsive story. From the minute I picked it up, I knew I was in for a really
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I first heard of Burning Blue, I thought it was just a romantic story between a hacker and a popular girl. I assumed it would be something fairly predictable, like a girl got into an accident and then she met a guy, and this guy – probably handsome, strong and protective – would offer her a shoulder to cry on, and then they’d live happily ever after. But Burning Blue is a lot more than a romance. It has mystery, something that I wasn’t able to resolve (well, it’s more like I made a guess in ...more
Jenny Levine
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

What can I say? This book is a GEM! and Paul Griffin, you're a genius *hands down*

Everyone should read this.
Two thumbs up!
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the books I picked up at TLA. The publicist told me she was excited about the new Paul Griffin, "of course," and I admitted I'd never heard of him. She handed me an ARC of BURNING BLUE so that I could rectify my mistake. I am very happy she did, because BURNING BLUE is a terrific book.

Now, don't confuse BURNING BLUE with MY LIFE IN BLACK & WHITE. Both feature beautiful girls being disfigured, have color titles, and were published by one of Penguin's young adult imprints, but have
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-edition
booknook — Young Adult book reviews

Wow, I absolutely ADORED this book!

Burning Blue is told from two main points of view: Jay and entries from Nicole's diary. There are a few others as well (like notes from the therapists), but those two are the key ones. Jay was a fabulous narrator! I adored his quirky, sarcastic, nerdy kid personality. He was fun, engaging, and funny without trying to be! Even though he acted like a stupid boy sometimes, I loved being in his head.

This book kept me guessing
Where shall I start with this book , I picked it thinking it was a romantic novel with bit mystery , but it totally surprised me , with male narration , when the story was based on the female lead , only Paul Griffin could pull out such a stunt & gets success .

The best part of it was he built it around the realistic characters , keeping the romance to minimum , yet you fall in love with the chemistry.

Jay loner by choice , yet circumstances played role in his choices , smart & perceptive , & par
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was amazing. It tells the story from both sides, and Griffin captures the emotions of the characters well. The mystery adds the perfect, suspenseful note.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc
Originally posted at:

Paul Griffin's Burning Blue caught my eye with it's stunning cover and its premise. I've heard of the acid attacks against women in Pakistan and other developing countries... but never of one in an American high school. I was definitely intrigued.
I loved this book. I devoured it, literally flipping pages, insistent to figure out who the person behind the acid attack was before the story ended and found my attempts were a fail: the end
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is only my second book review so bear with me.

To start off, it was quite plain and I couldn't relate even a bit with the characters. In fact, I hated them most of the time.

I hated the shallowness of Jay Nazarro(main character), I mean honestly, how much did he really have to go on as motivation for Nichole other than the fact that he found Nichole "soo beautiful" just as every other guy in his school had? Even after the incident, Jay just couldn't get enough even while knowing next to not
Paula  Phillips
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Normally, I am pretty onto it when we get new books in the library but the day we got this book I must have been away. I saw this come through the returns slot at work and as soon as I saw the cover I knew I just had to read it. At first glance, I thought this book was going to be a dystopian sort of novel similar to Robin Wasserman's Lia Series with Frozen, Torn etc but it turned out to be a mystery novel as the main character Nicole Castro - the most prettiest girl is attacked and half her fac ...more
Kassy Nicholson
This was a book club pick, not picked by me, and I wouldn't have read it otherwise. That being said, it ended up being pretty good. It's about a high school beauty queen who is burned in an acid attack and a boy who is obsessed with finding out who did it. The mystery was good and had me guessing until the very end. But the whole story was just too sad. It's not the type of thing I like to read.
A fantastic mystery with interesting characters and more interesting plot twists. Definitely an author I'll be reading more of. Could barely put this one down!
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing. Hard hitting and emotional.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The cover intrigued me so I started reading. Nicole is the school's acknowledged queen until an unknown assailant throws acid in her face. Jay is the school pariah because of an accident caused by his epilepsy freshman year. These two make contact in the office of the school psychologist. Jay's kindness lures Nicole to trust him. In turn, he want more than anything to find the Recluse who assaulted Nicole. I was surprised that I liked this as much as I did because it didn't have any of the topic ...more
♥ Sarah
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♥ Sarah by: Rachmi Febrianty
Shelves: fiction
Burning Blue materialized into an intoxicating blend of romance, mystery, thriller, and the not-so-typical throes of "high school" drama. I soaked it all in and more; but what really gripped me was the powerful and impressive message behind the story. And that's why I really appreciated and enjoyed the narration from the male (Jay's) POV.

I never really bought into the whole beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, don't judge a book by its' cover, age old, clichéd proverbs when I was in high schoo
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I went into Burning Blue with only the barest idea of what the story was about. It was the best way possible for me to experience this thrilling novel, as I was glued to the pages and could not stop reading. It’s not just the fact that there’s a dangerous edge to Jay’s attempt to solve the mystery. It’s also the fact that, even when I felt like I’d figured things out, the author constantly managed to shock me, confuse me and keep me running after all the answers. I haven’t ever encountered the l ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of Burning Blue was a little rough for me. I really liked Jay as a narrator – he was interesting and I loved his voice - but the way he told the first events as if he were there was distracting. He starts off by saying "From what I heard..." then goes on to say students were drenching Nicole in water after the incident, what the exact words she said were etc. I'm glad we got a clear picture of that huge moment considering acid being thrown in Nicole's face is the jumpstart to Burni ...more
Nicole Wang
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The one thing that jumped out at me almost immediately was the writing. It was beautiful, lyrical, just stunning writing. But the thing about the writing is that while it had that poetic feel to it, it didn’t have much dialogue in the first half of the story and that honestly bored me. Without dialogue, the story just loses its interest and tension. I ended up reading 10 or so pages per day instead of the 150+ I usually read. When the action did start to pick up, I found it harder and harder to ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
In 'Burning Blue', Nicole's beauty used to make heads turn wherever she went but after half of her face is severely disfigured in an acid attack, she gets attention for all the wrong reasons. However, loner Jay relates to her as he is constantly bullied for his seizures. His curiosity about who had thrown the acid at Nicole gradually deepens and soon he begins to fall for her. Is the worst over? And more importantly, who had committed such a terrible crime?

From the very beginning, I found the st
MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov
It did not take long for me to read this book, that is how much I enjoyed this! Awesome love story about a popular girl and a not so popular boy that fall in love. This story was moving and brilliant that I could not put it down.

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Nicole Castro is the popular girl in school, tall, beautiful blonde that is captain of pretty much everything in school. Nicole's life is great, she is graduating soon and nothing was going to get in her way, Or so she thought. Until one day Nico
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved Paul Griffin's Stay with Me. One of the best teen novels I've read for a long time, heart breaking and authentic. Burning Blue is quite different - a teen whodunit.

Beautiful, popular teen Nicole is in the high school corridor when someone sprays her face with acid. Another student, Jay, uses his hacking skills to try and find out who could do this. Jay is nick-named Spaceman, a result of his epilepsy. The loner hacker and the school beauty queen form a friendship, supporting each other t
Chloe Holmes
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is a result of walking into a library with your eyes shut and pulling a book off the shelf. I was pleasantly suprised. At first I was
"This is okaay."
Then "why am I reading about a typical school day where nothing much is ACTUALLY happening."
It got better with "Hmm this character is interesting."
I was then hooked: "I really love Jay!" <- main character (he's probably on my top 10 of favourite book personalities) I preferred Nicole's part over Jays for the first quarter of the book b
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Nicole was a beautiful girl, the prettiest in the school. But that all changed when someone threw acid in her face at school. Nicole didn’t know who did it, because she didn’t see anything other than the bottle aimed at her face. Her boyfriend was nearby, the janitor seemed to know not to touch her, and a teacher was around too. Quiet loner, Jay decides to figure out who did this. He sees beyond her wounds, realizing that there is a lot more to Nicole than her lost beauty. Jay is a hacker, able ...more
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
As soon as I read the synopsis for Burning Blue I knew I had to check it out— seriously how awesome does it sound?!

So, I’m glad to say that the story did not disappoint! It was suspenseful and funny and a little bit frightening and I couldn’t put it down! I HAD to find out who was responsible for splashing Nicole with the acid. HAD TO!

I adored the way this story was written. It's told from Jay’s point of view but there are also glimpses into Nicole’s thoughts through her journal entries and I th
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Paul Griffin lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City. His previous novel, The Orange Houses, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award winner.

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