Monday, September 19, 2011


Photo property of Lerner Publishing Group

When you’re sixteen and no one understands who you are, sometimes the only choice left is to run. If you’re lucky, you find a place that accepts you, no questions asked. And if you’re really lucky, that place has a drum set, a place to practice, and a place to sleep. For Kid, the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are that place. Over the course of two scorching summers, Kid falls hopelessly in love and then loses nearly everything and everyone worth caring about. But as summer draws to a close, Kid finally finds someone who can last beyond the sunset.

Description:  I am not from Brooklyn, but I've been there once.  That said, Steve Brezonff did an amazing job of putting me right in the heart of the borough without boring me.  I loved his use of description all throughout Brooklyn Burning.  It feels weird to say, but his description was conversational. What I mean: is I felt spoken to, part of the story, drawn in.  Often description makes me stop and think to figure out what I'm supposed to know.  But not in this book.  I felt in the story right from the start. (Score 8.5/10) 

Narrative:  Brooklyn Burning was written from first person Point of View (POV).  There's quite a large amount of narrative, which works really well for this story.  Yet, my very favorite and most amazing aspect of the story is when the main character, Kid, has inner thoughts in SECOND person POV.  At first, it's startling, but not in a bad way-it's attention grabbing.  And it held me.  But not only that, I felt hugged by it-meaning it gave the book a VERY intimate feeling.  In ALL I've learned about writing, second person is difficult to use and generally frowned upon.  BUT, Steve Brezenoff makes it work beautifully. If you are considering writing using second person POV, I recommend you take at look at this book for direction.  (Score: 9/10)

Dialogue:  When I think about conversation in Brooklyn Burning I realize I barely noticed it.  The characters speaking to each other flowed in a natural and easy way.  Steve Brezenoff's writing style is very conversational so the dialogue matched it well.  I didn't feel as if I were an outsider looking in-I felt involved. I really think the use of second person POV added to that feeling. It also added to the mystery/tension of the story. Sorry, no spoilers here.  You'll have to read it to see what I mean.  (Score: 9/10) 

Characterization:  Brooklin Burning contains a cast of diverse characters.  The main character, Kid, felt very real, down to earth and not at all stereotyped. Actually, I felt very free, as the reader, to apply my own interpretation of the characters and THAT is hard to find in literature. Kid clearly had issues but the story wasn't overtly "dark" or"sexual" and I loved the themes it enveloped.  There was one point where I found myself confused, but that was close to the beginning.  There are two characters: Jonny and Konny.  The similarities in their names led me to believe, at first, this was a typo (it happens sometimes in Advanced Reader Copies/ARCs), but over time, I saw realized they were different people.  It worked, but I really wished for a little more variety in name choices.  Personalities, however, were a very different story.  Each character was unique, multi-dimensional and real feeling. By the end, I felt I knew everyone and cared enough to be sad the book was ending. (Score: 8/10)

Resolution:  I really liked the way Steve Brezenoff told Kid's story of Brooklyn Burning.  The back story unfolded alongside the current events which led to a build up of tension and release as the resolution.  And to be honest, I most definitely prefer reading this type of novel.  It feels more real to life and less contrived.  I also believe this time of resolution is the hardest to achieve because the writer only has reality on his side...and we ALL know, reality never really ends or resolves.  S0-YES!  I loved the resolution. (Score: 9/10)

One of the last things I'd ever want to do is spoil this book for the readers.  I despise telling people what to think or how to feel.  So, I'm going to make this section short and vague.  Brooklyn Burning is a coming of age story about a teen on the streets of NYC.  To be honest, I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading the ARC I received via  But once I got started, I was pleasantly surprised.  I read the book in one day.  Brooklyn Burning, for me, was a little about self-discovery, love, friendship, trust, and finally self-acceptance.  It has a component of romance, but I wouldn't call it a love story. It's so much more.  And to categorize it as anything other than a very readable Young Adult Novel would go against, what I believe, the author would want.  I'd rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment