Medina, Meg Burn Baby Burn 307 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2016. Language: R (58 swears, 10 f's, 20 deity) Mature Content: R (off page sex, making out, possession and selling of drugs) Violence: PG-13 (domestic abuse)
Nora is in her senior year in high school just waiting for graduation to get out. She works hard to make what money she can but things aren't going well in the neighborhood. It's New York City in 1977 and, as summer approaches, it is hot and miserable. Also, there is a serial killer on the loose that keeps tensions high. Nora is just trying to get through each day juggling work and family. It doesn't help that her younger brother, Hector, is getting into trouble. He is mean, abusive and out of control with both Nora and her mom. How much longer can Nora keep everything from falling apart?
I wasn’t aware of the incidents in New York the summer of 1977 so I learned a few things and really enjoyed the story. I thought the author did a great job weaving the incidents of that time into a believable story that kept my interest. There were several times I got a bit anxious, not sure where the author was going with the serial killer plot but she does a good job building the tension around that plotline while keeping the reader engaged with Nora's life as she tries to juggle work, a boy she likes, and her family and friends. While fans of historical fiction will like this, it might even satisfy those that like more contemporary realistic fiction because it doesn't feel so historical. There is quite a bit of language and content that keeps it at a high school level.
HS - ADVISABLE Reviewer: RB