C.G. Drews's Reviews > Burn

Burn by Patrick Ness
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really liked it
bookshelves: dragons, magical-fantasy, young-adult, read-2020

I finished this one a few days ago and had to just sit on it a while and collect all my feelings. I truly believe Ness books are always this exquisite mix of the unique, bizarre and heartfelt aching. This one is set in the 1950s and it's strange, so so strange. But honestly enthralling. The mid-point left me utterly breathless. It's one of those books you cannot predict and I actually enjoy being left to the whims of an author instead of guessing how it'll all turn out by the end (I read a lot, okay!!! I make a lot of accurate guesses!!)

The story looks like this: it's 1956, Sarah Dewhurst's father's farm is failing. She's biracial black and faces awful discrimination in her tiny backwards town of Frome (her best friend Jason is Japanese and treated even worse than she is) and she's missing her dead mum and she's worried this is it for her whole life. Farm. Pigs. Hiding that she loves Jason because it'll just give other people more to harass them about. Oh and also? There are dragons. And it's NORMAL. And there are jUST DRAGONS RANDOMLY. Also a teen assassin cultist who worships dragons?!? Also FBI people tracking down teen cultist because he's about to murder someone. Also he's headed for Frome. Also he's soft and gay and his name is Malcolm but is it. And Sarah's dragon is Russian and sarcastic and non threatening bUT IS IT.

ALSO WHAT IS GOING ON.

So it seems like a quiet book, and it IS, but it's just WILD.

I didn't even mention everything bizarre that goes on because you need the plot twists 😂 prepare ourselves to absorb.

I did really like this book. I think it took a bit of getting used to, and I'm not wholly sure what the message was apart from: war is bad, don't be a warmonger. I really loved Malcolm, our cultist boy assassin, because he's just such a dedicated dumbass and I loved seeing him stretching and challenging his own thinking. Sarah was so down-to-earth and sensible, I did like her a lot too! And the writing has this factual quality, but also it's just so powerful and has a lot to say.

My only thing is I didn't quite connect to it as much as I have other Ness books. The FBI people chapters were eh. And look, it was, overall, super weird. 😂

This is a story of war and change, of teens who have been lied to or mistreated and gone to search for their own truths. It's bizarre and enchanting and twisty, and incorporates high fantasy (prophecies! Dragons!) into a more modern setting in such an intriguing way. I've not read anything quite like this. And if you're sitting there like, "does this have REAL dragon content" omg YES IT DOES and Kasimir is a sassy little smart alek, I do adore his scaly unruffled self.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2019 – Shelved
October 10, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
April 3, 2020 – Started Reading
April 3, 2020 –
page 61
12.71% "my whole HEART is ready for dragon content"
April 18, 2020 –
page 200
41.67% "I feel like Nelson, random bystander, is having tHE WORST time in this book. Even worse than the person about to be assassinated??

(also Ness books are so weird 😂)"
April 23, 2020 – Shelved as: dragons
April 23, 2020 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
April 23, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 23, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
April 23, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn "Oh and also? There are dragons. And it's NORMAL. And there are jUST DRAGONS RANDOMLY."

sold. /adds book to TBR


message 2: by BookHugger (new)

BookHugger This might be an odd question, but do you think someone who doesn't usually like Ness's books would like this one? He's hit or miss for me but this just sounds so fun


C.G. Drews Drakeryn wrote: ""Oh and also? There are dragons. And it's NORMAL. And there are jUST DRAGONS RANDOMLY."

sold. /adds book to TBR"


excellent 😌


C.G. Drews BookHugger wrote: "This might be an odd question, but do you think someone who doesn't usually like Ness's books would like this one? He's hit or miss for me but this just sounds so fun"

honestly, I can't guess what someone would/wouldn't like 😂 i have authors where I'll love one book by them and not others, so! there's that! this is very very much a usual Ness book.


message 5: by BookHugger (new)

BookHugger C.G. wrote: "BookHugger wrote: "This might be an odd question, but do you think someone who doesn't usually like Ness's books would like this one? He's hit or miss for me but this just sounds so fun"

honestly,..."


ooh I see, thank you!


message 6: by Sydney (new) - added it

Sydney “war is bad, don’t be a warmonger” 😂

Honestly, your reviews are in my top five always. You make me laugh and you invite some weird, intriguing, or even out of my comfort zone books into my life. And I love you for it. 💜


C.G. Drews Sydney wrote: "“war is bad, don’t be a warmonger” 😂

Honestly, your reviews are in my top five always. You make me laugh and you invite some weird, intriguing, or even out of my comfort zone books into my life. A..."


That really really makes me happy!! Thank you 🤗


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