Today I am here with a review of The Burning which was a very intense book.
**A copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review**
Title: The Burning Author: Laura Bates Publisher: Simon & Schuster Published: 1st February 2019 Format: Physical Book Source:: Review Copy from Publisher Add It:Amazon UK. Goodreads. Summary: A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames …
New school. Tick. New town. Tick. New surname. Tick. Social media profiles? Erased.
There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.
At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…
The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up.
The Burning is a book that has been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a very long time. And thus the first thing I feel it is important to mention is that I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read the book. I really enjoyed this book and it ended up being my favourite read of January. I think that Laura Bates has done a very good job of creating a feminist novel that really highlights one of the large problems with social media today. It was a very intense and heart-breaking read that I found very hard to put down.
One of the main concepts of this novel is that Anna has done something which she regrets because she was pressured by a boy. Said boy then abuses her consent and shares the information around the internet. Bullied, harassed and betrayed, Anna picks up her life and moves from England to Scotland in the hopes to start fresh. It starts well for her as she finds some new friends and starts to settle in. Until everything once again starts to spread.
The novel looks at how damaging one action can be and how many consequences can stem from it. It talks about consent in a sensitive way, including a moment in the head teacher’s office that I absolutely loved reading. The book has many dimensions. On the back of this, Anna is also studying about a witch trial that happened in her new town centuries earlier. Here we see how oppressed women were in history and it was very interesting to see the parallels between then and now.
The only reason this book got four stars instead of five is also because of the way that the witchcraft stories end up entering the story. I don’t want to spoil the book but essentially, what starts as a very realistic contemporary novel changed just over the halfway mark into a magical realism novel and it was not what I expected. The moments relating to this felt jarring and out of place for me. I would have much preferred that this had been introduced to us and Anna in a different way.
But, the book was still a very good read and one that I would absolutely recommend. So if you’re looking for a powerful, important, and strong novel, that also features a lovely friendship, then make sure you give this book a read!