Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Burning” as Want to Read:
The Burning
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Burning

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Fire is like a rumour. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames ...
New school.
New town.
New surname.
Social media profiles?
There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothi
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Simon & Schuster Children's UK
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Burning, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Burning

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  70 reviews

Sort order
Emily May
Because fire is sneaky. You might think you've extinguished it, but one creeping red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back to life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames.

So many mixed feelings right now.

The Burning is by the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and, as expected, it has a lot of important things to say about slut-shaming, double standards, bullying, and especially how social media contributes to these. It likens the vici
Ova - Excuse My Reading
A resolution for me this year was not to finish the books I didn't enjoy. I've only read 20% so it's not fair to give a star rating, just not the right book for me.
Britta Böhler
A bit disappointed about this, despite the important issues addressed in this book. The writing could have used some serious editing (a house with big 'wooden windows', like really?) and the plot was often unconvincing.

Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, review-copies
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

" my opinion it would have made a lot more sense if he had said that fire was like a rumour. Because fire is sneaky. You might think you've extinguished it, but one creeping red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back to life again."

Told from the perspective of Anna Clark, The Burning discussed some important issues of sexism, sexual harassment and online abuse. Anna and her mum had moved all the way to Scotland from Birmingham due to a traged
Liz Barnsley
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Burning is one of those books that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride, from sadness to anger to despair to redemption and Laura Bates, through her beautifully written character voice, shows you what it means to be a teenage girl in today's social media society.

Dealing with issues of victim blaming, casual sexism and the still very skewed way of "dealing" with things, The Burning shines a light right into the darkest corners of reality.

Hugely relevant for young women today and add
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free ebook version of this from Netgalley! Thankyou to both Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this. My review is still honest.

I'm very impressed by this underrated read! I was mostly attracted to this book because the author, Laura Bates, is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and is an all round inspirational woman. I can happily say that this book reflects those feminist values that I so love reading about and was well worth my time.
The Burning is a femini
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On the cover of this book Holly Bourne describes it as a book teen girls NEED to read and I fully agree. This book is spectacular, it deals with the unknowingly common abuse girls face in high school, the slut shaming, the cyber bullying, the ostracising of young women by society.
There are two time lines throughout this book, the present tense Anna who is attempting to start over in a new school for reasons unknown at the beginning of the story. And the tale of Maggie from 400 years ago, a young
Elvina Zafril
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book written by Laura Bates and not going to be the last. The Burning is an interesting book and it gives a lot of meaning. So many lessons I learned from this book.

This book was well-written and the research that Bates did was enough to support all the information and content about cyber bullying and sexual harassment. Bates did quite an amazing job on this.

The pace was moderate. I felt a little bit draggy at the beginning but it's getting interesting in the middle towards th
Megan  (YABookers)
Disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

‘It’s worth knowing that sometimes people see you as a symbol of something, instead of a person. And, when they do, it reflects on them, not on you’.

The Burning follows Anna, who has moved to Scotland following the death of her father and following her nude photos being leaked across social media. She is in a new school, in a new town, with a new last name and she still can’t escape the rampant bullying and slu
Chelsea Moreen
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-release
4.5 stars. Wow what a powerful book. Written by well known feminist author Laura Bates, this book combines many important feminist ideas with a story that is very relevant to our day and age. The genre crosses a boundary between Realistic fiction and Magical realism which I haven’t seen anyone really discussing, it was a nice element to the story which didn’t become overbearing. The main character has had some awful stuff done to her which is evident in her personality but she is a sweet girl wh ...more
Zoë ☆
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I quite liked this!! I picked it up on a whim and it didn’t disappoint :) Though I don’t really get why there was so much emphasis on that research project (though it was interesting!!), it felt a bit random. I definitely recommend this of you’re looking for a quick read that’s quite empowering!!
3.5 Stars.

I received this eProof for free from Simon & Schuster Children's Books via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: This book features rape, non-consensual  pornography, sex shaming, victim blaming, bullying, discussion of abuse due to abortion, and discussion of death from cancer.

When I first heard Laura Bates was writing a YA novel, I was so excited to read it. I loved her feminist non-fiction books, Everyday Sexism and Girl Up, and I was sure Th
Chloe Metzger
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Switching between a modern-day teenager hiding a secret and a young woman in the past accused of witchcraft as their stories collide, have we really changed over the centuries? Looking at the treatment of women, slut-shaming and more, welcome to The Burning.

I am a big fan of Laura Bates, her non-fiction work is not only incredibly intelligent but sparked a movement for young women. I have read all of her non-fiction and so it only made sense I would request her first YA novel. The story seemed
Gayle Noble
Following the death of her dad, Anna Clark moves to Scotland with her mum. At first it seems like the trouble from her previous school has been left behind, but it soon catches up with her. Whilst trying to cope with what is happening, Anna starts to research a previous resident who was branded a witch in the 17th century.

I just knew this book was going to be worth reading. The author cleverly links the misogyny and double standards which permeated both the witchcraft accusations of old and the
Michelle Harrison
Powerfully written, shocking and compelling, The Burning is a book that should be read by teens and adults alike. Drawing parallels between witch hunts of the past and treatment of girls and women today, it’s raw, and sad and unfair, but ultimately empowering and important. Young women who see themselves in this story will feel less alone and take courage and strength from it.
Alyce Hunt
New girl Anna Clark moved from Birmingham to Scotland to escape something terrible that happened in her past. But you can’t outrun your demons quite that easily, especially not when they’re plastered all over social media for the world to see.

While the other students embark on a slut-shaming mission against her, Anna has a project of her own to focus upon. She’s investigating the possibility that there may have been witches living in the little village she’s moved to, and that she may have found
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I heard that Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism was writing a novel, I was really excited to read it. Her work is often discussed in the school in which I teach and the website and Twitter feed are used by pupils when looking at issues around sexism, social media, gender bias and peer pressure. I was keen to see whether a fictional approach would be able to tie in with the topics we’ve exp
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Burning is part social commentary, part historical and part witchy fantasy. It’s a good mix. The majority is definitely more contemporary than I expected, but I really liked the way that the author dealt with the topics of sending nudes, slur shaming and social media. And I loved how the story set in the now melded with the historical aspects, folded together with a little bit of witch-magic.

It is prett
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and loved Laura Bates' non-fiction, and loving Laura Bates in general, I was very excited to read this book.

After the first couple of chapters though, I did a small inner sigh of disappointment. The writing is patchy, with some seriously unrealistic, if not downright awkward, dialogue between characters, and some pop culture references that are already dating themselves.

I also thought there would be a bit more to the plot other than highlighting slut-shaming as the huge problem it
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review can also be found at Snow White Hates Apples.

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

Thank you so much Pansing for sending me the a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Laura Bates’ The Burning is available at all good bookstores.

The Burning by Laura Bates touches on a lot of matters that remain relevant to many of us today, ranging from bullying and slut-shaming, to double standards and sexuality. There is a parallel drawn between witch hunts and the modern-day alienation of oth
Karen Whittard
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Laura Bates book but it certainly will not be my last. This book is raw and gritty and tackles many subjects that a lot of authors shy away from in a way that made you feel like you knew the girls in the story and your heart couldn’t help but go out to them as the horrific events played out. It is a book that I would highly highly recommend to all.

The Burning lights a fire in you - one that makes you want to fight for change and ignite sparks in others so the fire spreads and s
Vikki Patis
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very poignant, enthralling tale that's a little different to others in this genre. Alongside Anna's storyline of revenge porn and horrific bullying, we have the tale of Maggie Morgan, a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft in the 1600s. I've noticed a spike in novels that address the witch trials, in Scotland, England, or the US, with a critical, feminist eye, and The Burning does it very well indeed. Maggie, just like Anna, is a victim of her sex, and the rules by which society expects women ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars isn't enough for this book. It's a book that should be read in high schools around the world. Anna's story will resonate with most young women, which is both appalling but at the same time incredibly useful. As someone who suffered through the same thing as Anna, I completely understood her and reading this book helped heal parts of me that I didn't realise were still hurting.

Thank you, Laura, for writing this novel. I, and many others, needed it.

A full review will be up on my blog soo
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a thriller/young adult themed around a girl called Anna who leaves her old school due to unspoken issues. It had a brilliant plot that was both thrilling and could be relatable to many young teens. It tended to be quite graphic in some places, but was written sensitively and about an issue that affects many teens around the globe. Entwined within a historical story about a witch-burning, this take on an important issue was inspiring and beautiful.
Megan Staunton
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laura Bates’ debut YA does not disappoint, and in fact I’m hesitant to even call this young adult as it unpacks a plethora of integral themes that affect everyone, no matter your age. Just as we’ve come to love Laura for shining a light on society’s unjust discriminations in her previous non-fiction titles, Laura turns her hand to creating a cast of characters in The Burning that are real, tangible and flawed, harnessing the power of social media to give her characters a voice, both online and I ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pansing-books
It’s really hard to talk about this book without spoiling anything — I mean, even the synopsis itself is kept pretty vague. Holly Bourne calls this a book that every teen girl needs to read, and I can’t agree more. You can read my full review here

Thank you Pansing for sending me an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for this honest review. The Burning will be available in all good bookstores in February — be sure to keep a lookout for it!
Daniele Haynes
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really powerfully written, I couldn't put this down!
I really enjoyed this novel for a variety of reasons. I loved the contemporary story within the novel following Anna after her transfer to a new life to escape a mistake from her past. Seeing her settle in and then deal with situations as her past starts to haunt her was fascinating. The look at the everyday sexism young girls can face was really eye opening.

I also got quite geeky about the historical element of the story which Anna researches across the story. It was really fascinating looking
Emma Shaw
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster UK Childrens and Laura Bates for the chance to read and review this novel.

“Girls are like marshmallows”....

I did not expect to love this book so much or to be so consumed by it. It truly was like it had lit a fire in me and I just had to keep reading. This young adult debut is an important story about life for both teenagers and their parents in the age of social media.

15-year-old Anna and her mother have moved from Birmingham to the tiny fishing villa
I was very kindly given an e-arc of this book through Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK.

'We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn. And we're not putting up with it anymore'

I've added a star just for the sheer necessity of this book and for the last, maybe, ten or so pages. With such powerful words, this book suddenly became so much more intimate and intensive, and so warranted an extra push. For a debut novel, this book is incredibly accomplished. Laura Bates, the founder
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dumb History: The Stupidest Mistakes Ever Made
  • Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada's Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984
  • The Real Deadwood
  • Aristocrats: Power, Grace, and Decadence: Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present
  • Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles
  • Books That Changed The World
  • Or I'll Dress You in Mourning: The Story of El Cordobes and the New Spain He Stands For
  • The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York
  • A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Greatest Hoaxes, Fakes, and Frauds
  • A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York
  • Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society That Shocked Depression-Era Detroit
  • Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds
  • Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach
  • The Furies
  • Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers
  • The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me
  • Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain: Life in the Age of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and The Great Fire of London
Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 25,000 women's experiences of gender imbalance. She has written for The Guardian, The Independent, Red Magazine, Grazia, the Women's Media Center, and the New Statesman. She was named one of the Huffington Post's Most Inspirational Women of 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Shorty Award in activism.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »