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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  872 Ratings  ·  183 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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Rating details
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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 crazie
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, meh, young-adult
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
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-own
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
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
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
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
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
May 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jill Sorenson
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Three Bookateers
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lina
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
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Once Upon a Twilight
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review
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
May 20, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Pamela (slytherpuff)
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Medeia Sharif
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Elana K. Arnold has done it again! For "Sacred" I thought it had too much religion. I felt that it was the main focus of the book. While I did enjoy the story, I feel that Arnold was able to captivate the Gypsy lifestyle but it didn't change the story. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of "Burning" weeks before the release. When I wasn't reading "Burning" I was thinking about it. The novel was captivating and very different from anything I have ever read. It stands alone from all other YA nov ...more
❤ Aly ❤
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I have been going between a 3 and a 4. I liked the story, but did not like the ending. Unique story!

(view spoiler)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: looks-awesome
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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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**
Clare Holman-Hobbs
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Lala's back story and learnt a lot about the Romani culture. I wasn't convinced wholly by the love story but I don't think I am exactly the books target audience. I would really recommend this to young adults as it is unique and a refreshing addition to the genre.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is a great coming of age/love story. What really made it for me however was the ending. I think it was beautifully done and not the typical end of summer romance route.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
The original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup.

Christina's Review:

**Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 2.5 stars! I'm not sure what I expected to read before opening this book, but I know with a c
My original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup.

**Disclaimer:** An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 2.5 stars! I'm not sure what I expected to read before opening this book, but I know with a certainty that it wasn't
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The elusive 5-star rating. It's been a long time since I've given a book 5 stars (3 months, actually, The Sea of Tranquility) and I was craving a 5-star book. A totally "me" book where I could just completely lose myself. Burning is not a either of those things, but still I loved it.

There are two things in those book that are usually major turn-offs for me. First, dialect. Lala speaks very formal version of English (I think at one point Ben says something like she learned English from reading ol
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Free Book Giveaway: Win an ARC of Burning by Elana K. Arnold! 1 6 Jun 03, 2013 03:49PM  
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ELANA K. ARNOLD writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. Her most recent YA novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A BOY CALLED BAT, is a Junior Library Guild Selection
More about Elana K. Arnold

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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.” 71 likes
“Maybe it was all right to let things be broken for awhile.” 11 likes
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