Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous year 1977 in New York.
After a freezing winter, a boiling hot summer explodes with arson, a blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, who is shooting young people on the streets seemingly at random.
Not only is the city a disaster, but Nora has troubles of her own: her brother, Hector, is growing more uncontrollable by the day, her mother is helpless to stop him, and her father is so busy with his new family that he only calls on holidays.
And it doesn’t stop there. The super’s after her mother to pay their overdue rent, and her teachers are pushing her to apply for college, but all Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. There is a cute guy who started working with her at the deli, but is dating even worth the risk when the killer especially likes picking off couples who stay out too late?
Award-winning author Meg Medina transports readers to a time when New York seemed about to explode, with temperatures and tempers running high, to discover how one young woman faces her fears as everything self-destructs around her.
Title: Burn Baby Burn
Author: Meg Medina
Publisher: Walker Books
Date released: March 8th 2016
Thank you Walker Books who sent me a copy of Burn Baby Burn to review!
“That’s how I’ll always want to remember them. Beautiful in the face of fear.”
I was really excited when I got this book in the mail. Its synopsis sounded really interesting and creepy. But when I finished it I found myself highly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong it had its good moments. The characters where quite interesting and mysterious which was one of the reasons I kept reading, I had to know more about them and their backstory. Nora was a complex character and had quite a lot of problems stacked on her shoulders. She was basically the only thing keeping her family afloat with her job and they would constantly take her hard worked money. Her brother was constantly horrible to her, lying, stealing her stuff as well as abusing her mother and her. And then there is the serial killer ‘Son of Sam’ that is stalking couples where she lives. Pablo was the sweet loveable character. When Nora and Pablo got together I was constantly waiting for the serial killer to pop up and try to kill them. But I was sadly disappointed when I got to the end of the book and we didn’t even get one encounter with him.
The real Dangers are often closer than we’d like to admit.
I felt like it had this massive lead up and then it just fizzled at the end. We didn’t get to see the killer, he didn’t target any of the main characters and I just feel like there was a lot left unsaid. The author created so much fear and worry in the characters, but then suddenly BAM its ended. I feel like Medina wrapped it up way to fast. Suddenly and randomly the serial killer was taken into custody and they tracked him through a parking ticket? Really?? There is literally one page explaining he got caught and thats it. Everyone forgets about it all. They don’t even say why he was killing everyone.
I really liked the historical side of the book. I find books set in the olden days really fascinating to read about. I love seeing how it was back then and how it matches what its like now. I think the book portrays the hardship of life very well as well as domestic problems. It also vaguely touches upon other issues such as race. I love the cover, it matches the story well, especially the last page of the book.
I would recommend this book to people who like historical books, but don’t expect it to be a thriller as it is listed as.
About the Author
Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction.
She is the 2016 recipient of the Pura Belpré honor medal for her picture book, Mango, Abuela and Me, and the 2014 Pura Belpré Award winner for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass , which was also the winner of the 2013 CYBILS Fiction award and the International Latino Book Award. She is also the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers medal winner for her picture book Tía Isa Wants a Car.
Meg’s other books are The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind , a 2012 Bank Street Best Book and CBI Recommended Read in the UK; and Milagros: Girl from Away.
Meg’s work examines how cultures intersect, as seen through the eyes of young people. She brings to audiences stories that speak to both what is unique in Latino culture and to the qualities that are universal. Her favorite protagonists are strong girls.