Title: Burn Before Reading
Author: Sara Wolf
Young Adult contemporary
A girl meets a wolf.
And a wolf meets his match.
Beatrix Cruz – Bee for short – has exactly one goal; kick her dad’s severe depression in the ass. She’s got a foolproof plan;
1. Get into the elite high school Lakecrest Preparatory on a scholarship
2. Study like crazy
3. Graduate into NYU and become a shrink
Nothing can stand in her way – not even Lakecrest’s rich, hot, and notorious Blackthorn brothers. Not Fitz Blackthorn, with his flirting and his elite computer hacking, not Burn Blackthorn, with his intimidating height and emotionless face, and certainly not sinfully handsome Wolf Blackthorn, who hands out ‘red cards’ to students who displease him, and expels the ones who keep doing it.
But when Bee stands up for a student, she pisses off Wolf, and he’s suddenly itching to pull her scholarship from underneath her. To keep it, Bee strikes a deal with the devil – father Blackthorn himself; spy on Mr. Blackthorn’s sons, become friends with them, and learn their secrets in exchange for staying at Lakecrest.
Betraying the Blackthorn brothers’ trust is supposed to be easy.
Becoming friends with the Blackthorn boys makes it hard.
And falling in love with Wolf makes it impossible.
This book surprised me, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I judge it by the cover and I know it’s a wrong thing to do but we all have done this a time or two (don’t lie, you have done it too) I was expecting fluffy hate to love kind of thing and instead I got something a bit more insightful than I thought it would be. I know it’s not perfect by any means, some things were a bit over the top and a little annoying but most of it was really good.
I really enjoy how it was narrated, we are reading Beatrix’ (our female protagonist) thought she’s putting on paper and the way she keeps interacting with us (the readers) was refreshing to me. I related to her a bit because of what she’s going through with her Dad and her deep need to help him get better (he has severe Depression), to keep her family together even when it’s all hanging by the thinnest of threads. What I didn’t like was how quick she was to judge everybody, she was supposed to be a bit more insightful (after reading and researching so much on behavioural issues, at least I think she should have been). But she got better, she learned from her mistakes.
The Brothers (Wolf, Fritz and Burn) were great, so very different from each other and so very well established personalities that I wish I had gotten more about them. What they went through and how they dealt with it. Their relationship with Beatrix was very good, how each grew to friendship and trust even under a misconception and manipulation. Wolf was a beautifully damaged character, who wanted to do good in his own twisted way, and the romance between him and Bee was heart breaking and sweet even with its “I want to slap some sense into you” moments (It had a few of those for sure). Their banter and butting of heads was hilarious.
Hope isn’t some grand and mysterious motivation like love; it’s just never giving up in the face of hopelessness. When everything is lost, when you can’t physically go on one step further, but you choose to keep moving forward anyway? That’s hope. Hope isn’t a thing. It’s something you do when you can’t do anything else.
This story has abuse, drugs, sexual identity struggles, depression, dealing with loss, quite a few hardcore themes that some were nicely develop others I found that needed a bit more depth to them (maybe).
Overall it was a good read, not the fluffy summer read I though it would be but very good nonetheless. If you decide to pick it up be aware that it might have some triggers and I don’t think it is for younger readers (16 or older I would suggest).