Sunday, August 10, 2014

Open Flame

The first thing I want to say is that Kat? Is totally Faith Lehane, only without relying on Eliza Dushku's hit-or-miss acting skills.  And I LOVE Faith Lehane, and I LOVE Kat, with all her bluster and vulnerability and competence and doubt and eyeshadow and motorcross boots.  Love.

Mary, in my mind, is played by the girl from Fifteen (God, do you remember that show?  I didn't even watch it but I can picture the locker room.  Also, super young Ryan Reynolds!), Laura Harris, who later went on to star in the FABULOUS and DEPRESSINGLY cancelled Defying Gravity, which seriously, go watch it on Netflix and wonder why they didn't make another season.

Then you've got Lillia, who is in my mind somehow modeled on a slightly older version of Tricia Joe, who played Claudia is the movie version of The Babysitters Club.  Of course, Lillia does NOT have Claudia's fashion sense--she dresses more like Lucy Liu in my mind--but this face plus about four years is my Lillia.

So there you have my casting if I was making Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian's Burn for Burn into a movie 15 years ago.

God I liked this book.  I liked Kat's character a lot.  I liked Mary's sketchiness, and the sense that there's something off about her.  I liked how all the voices were so different--three totally different characters, and you could pretty much tell from a random sentence which one is narrating each section.  I liked the secrets that were hidden--what Reeve did to Mary, what Nadia's up to, what's going on in Rennie's evil little brain.

I shouldn't have liked it.  I should have been turned off  by the utter high school of it all.  But there's a SENSE that this is bigger than that, and also a sense that some high school things matter more than others.  Especially in a small place like Jar Island.  Especially when class is an issue as much as it is here.

(There is a spoilery prediction in the last paragraph of this review--I warn you now so you can skip it if you choose.) 

I would like first to echo what Raych said about this book, because yes, all this. And then say that I love it when things go all the way off the damned rails.  And then also say that there's something uncanny going on?  And then also point out that I acquired Fire with Fire before I actually finished reading Burn for Burn, so yeah, this was a blast of well-executed, character-rich, emotionally affecting, slightly trashy YA crazy, and bring on some more!

(Spoilery prediction: do you think Mary's a ghost?)

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