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Book Review: BURN by Monica Hesse

Published by Hot Key Books, 6th February 2014. You can read my review of the first book, STRAY, here!

18682748Goodreads Synopsis: Lona Sixteen Always is about to become Lona Seventeen Always, but she isn’t feeling much older or wiser. Unlike Fenn and the rest of the Path strays, she is struggling to move on with her life. How can she look to the future when she knows almost nothing about her past? Lona feels like everyone’s pressuring her to become ‘normal’ – even her beloved Fenn – and on top of this, she’s been having strange, violent dreams. It almost feels like someone’s trying to send her a message…

Lona’s dreams turn out to be memories – clues hidden inside Lona by her mother, who Lona always assumed was lost to her forever. But she isn’t lost at all: she’s being held captive by Harm – emotionless, psychotic, murderous Harm – and she’s desperate for Lona to find her. But can Lona work it all out in time? And why does Harm need Lona’s mother? In the bid to find out who she really is, Lona will fall headlong into a trap far more dangerous and cunning than she could ever have imagined. The Path was just the beginning.

My Review: Contains small spoilers only in the first paragraph if you haven’t yet read Stray! Whoa. I’ve been really eager to read this since I finished Stray a year ago: If you’re on Twitter you might have seen multiple fangirly tweets. As soon as I received it, I re-read book one so I had everything fresh in my head! This sequel definitely lived up to my expectations. Wow.

Burn focuses largely on Lona’s hunt for any possible family. After the events of Stray, Lona is trying to adjust to life outside of Path, the virtual reality experiment that lets foster children live a ‘perfect’ life. Turning seventeen, she realises there must be a mother still alive, and she’s desperate to find her, but Harm makes an appearance in the story and everything turns really dark and sinister. I was completely blown away, on the edge of my seat for every page. The plot was really thrilling! It captures the broken bond between a mother and a long lost daughter so, so well. I felt tears welling up. A lot.

I fell in love with the story all over again, but there was one thing I couldn’t quite get on with: There’s a death in the first book, right at the ending, and I thought that would really shake all of the other protagonists up. They seemed fine, though… It bugged me for some reason.

Lona was still a kick-butt, loveable character. She develops a lot throughout this book, and I really felt for her as she begins to adjust to a life with no more danger (Or, so she thought…). With a lot of books I’ve read recently, I haven’t been able to connect with characters when the book’s in third person, but Lona’s a character I can instantly connect with and follow easily. Fenn, of course, totally beats Jace Wayland any day ;D Forget Jace and Clary or Tobias and Tris. It’s LONA AND FENN:3. One character I was truly terrified of was Harm… He seriously scared me in the first book, and this one was no different!

Overall, Burn was a brilliant sequel, and it was definitely worth the wait. The plot was pacy and exciting, and much more than what I was expecting. Monica Hesse’s writing is amazing, and more people need to read these books! Strong sequel? Yep. Awesome main protagonist? Yep. Clever and imaginative Sci-Fi themes? Yep. It ticks all the boxes! I can’t recommend this more; It’s definitely worth starting if you’ve read the first book, and if you haven’t, well… Read the first book!! (: I’m super sad now. There will be no more from the world of Stray, according to the author. But, I’m hoping there will be more books from her soon!

My Rating: 

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I received a copy of Burn from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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