Nothing Left to Burn – Patty Blount – Sourcebooks Fire – Published 4 August 2015
Reece’s father hasn’t spoken to him since the car wreck that killed Reece’s brother. Desperate for forgiveness, Reece joins the Junior Cadet program at his dad’s firehouse. But the program is grueling, and Reece isn’t sure he can make it through. Then he meets Amanda.
Amanda understands wanting to belong. As a foster kid, the firehouse is the only place that feels like home. She agrees to help Reece, but falling for him wasn’t part of the deal. And when a string of arsons suddenly point to Amanda, their relationship could go up in flames.
Nothing Left To Burn is a very interesting book. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but far more challenging and thought provoking.
Firefighting was always the special thing that bonded Reece’s father and brother. So when Reece’s brother is killed in a car accident that was Reece’s fault, the distance between Reece and his father widens even more. Determined to make his father pay attention to him once and for all, Reece joins the junior fire squad. But once there he comes to love the thrill and unexpected comraderary of the squad far more than he expected.
Nothing Left To Burn is written in a very intriguing way. It felt jumpy and there were a whole lot of unknown undercurrents. I wasn’t really sure, as I read, what the underlying theme was. What was really going on? This, I believe, was done on purpose and was cleverly executed. The reader is kept guessing and, despite the book being written in two points of view, I felt like you only gradually come to have a clearer picture of the characters. This is especially true of Reece. We are in Reece’s head but are left guessing about his intentions and even some of his past. As such, I was kept engaged the whole time as clues where given and sections of the past were slowly revealed. I was reading thinking, what really happened? what aren’t we being told? is Reece going to ‘that’? does he actually mean ‘that’? (can’t tell you what ‘that’ means, because that would be spoiling it), but I was never really sure. As a result the book is much less about investigating who is behind the recent arson fires and more about Reece’s relationship with his father, his joining the fire squad and how he copes with the death of his brother.
In Nothing Left To Burn we also get the story of Amanda, foster child and captain of the junior fire squad. I loved reading her story and would have liked more of it, but again her point of view seemed predominately to support Reece’s story. This added to the overall style of the book, but also provided great balance and perspective to the story.
I really enjoyed Patty Blount’s Some Boys. I didn’t find Nothing Left To Burn as engaging, but it certainly made me think and Patty shows she is very good at writing about touching and hard issues. Another stimulating teen contemporary read.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult Fiction
Themes: Romance. Family. Brothers. Firefighters. Grief.
Age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Mature themes regarding death. Coarse language, f***, sh**
Published: 4 August 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire.
Format: Paperback. 336 pages.