I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Nothing Left to Burn
Author: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 was not really my cup of tea. I had the wrong impression of this book before starting it and couldn’t really relate to it. The cover of this book is misleading and I found the characters unrelatable. That being said, this book is quite diverse and could be enjoyable for others who like learning about firefighters.
The cover of Nothing Left to Burn makes the book seem a little bit like Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley, where a girl joins the military and has to prove that she is as good as the boys are, but this book is mostly about a boy named Reece and how he wants to make his dad angry by showing up at the firehouse and joining the squad he is in charge of. Honestly, I couldn’t really relate to this book, not only because most of the book is told in Reece’s perspective, but because I don’t really know anything about firefighting. Yes, a few firefighting terms are explained in the book, but I found it a bit hard to follow.
Reece and Amanda are the main characters in Nothing Left to Burn. Amanda is the captain of the fire squad and is a well-behaved girl. Reece is the son of the Lieutenant and he doesn’t really get along with his father. When his dad tries to get Reece to mess up, or asks him impossible questions during lessons, Reece doesn’t stick up for himself, despite Amanda’s prompts. He sits quietly and lets his friends tell his dad to stop. After he is asked so many times to defend himself, he doesn’t, which I didn’t really like. The book was really slow for me because of this.
I did, however, really appreciate and enjoy the diversity in Nothing Left to Burn. One of the main characters, Amanda is a foster child and explains throughout the book how well-behaved she has to be in order to stay in her foster home. Reece’s dad also moves out at the beginning of the book, after his brother dies, leaving him with only his mother. These kinds of books really show readers are different perspective and a lifestyle that they might not be aware of.
Personally, I would not recommend this book due to its inability to engage readers and the slow pace of the storyline. However, if you are interested in books about firefighting, or are looking for something a little different, you might enjoy Nothing Left to Burn. I definitely had high hopes for this one.