Apr 18, 2017

Review--Burning by Danielle Rollins

After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she'll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

Danielle Rollins brings us a new story to have us jumping at the shadows, or in this case, the flames. Burning isn’t your ordinary girl-discovers-she-has-magical-powers kind of read. Oh no. This one is far more than that simple line. This one gets deep into the terrifying things that come from such a situation.

Angela has been spending the past few years in a juvenile detention center for breaking and entering, and basically stealing stuff. We learn more about how she came to that life, but the real story focuses on her interactions with little girl named Jessica who is also brought to juvie. Right away Angela, is scared of this strange little girl and how at times it looks like her eyes have turned pure black.

Angela and her cellmates start to notice certain changes being made to the prison. A group known as SciGirls comes to help get the girls involved in their program which basically gets girls involved in science and whatnot. The leader, Dr. Gruen has a special interest in Jessica and wants Angela’s help in getting Jessica to open up. Angela soon learns that Jessica is no ordinary girl.

I wouldn’t exactly call this book a horror novel like Danielle’s other books written under her pen name Danielle Vega. This one is more of a thriller with a twist of paranormal tied in. The book is pretty freaky too in some spots. It’s definitely one that keep you turning the pages. While the pacing isn’t overly fast, it’s not exactly slow either. It’s just the right amount to keep you invested and slowly show you its tantalizing secrets.

I think one of the most terrifying aspects of this book was its setting! We’re talking a prison…so to speak. Prison for teens at least, so yeah juvie but still the same atmosphere in some ways. Angela is a criminal, so are her friends, their young age kept them from being tried as adults. And based on their crimes, Angela and her friends are sort of the worse defenders. So I was actually a bit surprised when Jessica came to stay with them in their cell. Her supposed crime was pretty high up there I guess, but still, the age differences had me wondering if it was a smart move? Throwing a ten-year-old into a cell with sixteen-year-olds? Maybe it does work out that way. I don’t know. I would assume that Danielle did her research when it came to these things, so naturally, I just rolled with it.

This book was pretty weird. And I like weird. Yet I also like answers, we don’t get too many of those in this one. I’d like to think that what I inferred to have happened is the case. But there were just things that get left unsaid at the end that didn’t leave me 100% satisfied. I plan to read Breaking next, which is said to be a companion novel. So maybe those answers might be mentioned in there. We’ll have to see. It was little things really, like when it came to the SciGirls group. And some other things that I really cannot mention, but again, I have some theories about what happened there and think my guess is fairly good, but there is still some questions that I have at the end that I seriously have no clue to answering! Lol.

We have a few teases of romance in this one as well. Granted, it’s not really the kind of book where you should expect there to be love and kisses and all that. I wasn’t really expecting there to be anything really, so the little teases and tastes that we got were surprising yet well played. They weren’t there just to simply have kisses and teases, so that was kind of nice.

Overall, Burning was a most intriguing read. I feel like at the end of every novel of Danielle’s I’ve had questions. Ones that make me feel like the story is far from over. Though it seems one of them really was over at the end. I hope to learn more from the next book of this maybe kind of series? It’s unclear whether this one will be a part of a larger world series or not, but one can always hope for these things! If you’re looking for an eerie read that will keep you guessing and twist your head around a bit, I would totally recommend Burning!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


  1. I wondered about the same old same old. This sounds dark and intense, just the way I like my reads.

  2. I love the idea of reading a book set in a juvenile prison! I'm surprised that there is romance actually, sounds like it would be misplaced (and sounds liek you thought so too).

    I too like answers by the end of everything, thanks for your honest review though! I hope Breaking is a winner for you!


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