Wednesday, July 30, 2014

REVIEW: BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE BY ALLIE GAIL

Rob Kensington is just your typical high school senior. Athletic, intelligent, handsome. Sees a therapist once a week. Because his parents just died in a house fire of questionable origin. And he doesn't seem to care.

Maybe he isn't so typical.

Sara Marsh had no clue when she returned to live with her divorced father that the bedroom down the hall would be occupied by a stray with a major attitude problem. The last time she saw Rob, he was a brooding goth who could have passed as Marilyn Manson's love child. But at some point during her three years away, Creepy Kensington managed to evolve into a sizzling hot star running back with smoldering hazel eyes.

The attraction is undeniable. The temptation is irresistible. And soon they're sharing more than just an address. But with another life lost in a deliberately set blaze, Sara's trust is faltering. Has she lost her heart to a serial arsonist? He's already shown her the allure of playing with fire.

And someone's about to get burned.

* This book contains strong language and sexual content and is intended for ages 17+ *

Paperback, 298 pages
Published March 10th 2014 by Createspace
Purchased: Received from author in exchange for review
Purchase this book: Goodreads | Amazon 

| This book is available via Kindle Unlimited | 

OUR REVIEW:

This was a super quick YA-ish read. It's set during the senior year of Sara and Rob's senior year and though they start as less than friendly, they make up for that..eventually. The problem is that Sara and Rob are holding on to ideas about each other that are no longer true. He's no longer a goth boy and she's not some spoiled princess. Once they get that out of the way things heat up. Truly, it's the perfect teen scenario. No parents for most of the week, hot teen couple, sexual tension out tha wazoo...you see what's happening here? Because it did; it happened.

I am still somewhat shocked about that fact, because holy crap was that one naive Dad! Just, wow! Lol. After that though, it really worked for this story. I was attracted to this story by the parts that included them in a coming of age situation, a tragedy, misconceptions on one another based on appearance and actions...all set up for a great concept that I was very intrigued by. 

But in the midst of that happening...other shenanigans ensue. There's weirdness between a girl named Jordan and ..well..just about everyone else. This weirdness spills into Sara and Rob's relationship..but to their credit, they do tend to discuss the problems as they arise. There's also Riley...a boy who insists on creating drama between Rob and Sara too..high school drama....it never leaves us, does it?

That weirdness just set up a suspenseful tone for the story. I was like, "What on Earth is going to happen here." Wild events ensure. Cryptic messages are given. Mixed messages on what is going on had me pointing fingers at people I didn't want to point them at. My heart was racing because I had no idea what in the heck was going to happen! Riley. Asshat, extraordinaire. But...is he? Hhhmmm.

Anyway.
The two main threads of this story are the romance of Sara and Rob and the mystery behind an arson; as the story builds..so do the clues. Courtney warned me that I might be a little surprised at the end..she was right...the last 10% was not what I expected at all.

I am still quite surprised by what happened. The suspense about killed me. I was ready to throw things. I almost did...because well, teenage boys are unpredictable and can be total dicks. I was expecting dickish behavior from several boys, got it from just as many as I had anticipated...but enjoyed the laughs and shenanigans at lunch on the way. 

Overall this was a quick read. Lots of high school drama and fun. Lots of steamy scenes. There were a few places I found the pacing to be a little off..but overall, it was something I think a lot of readers would enjoy. Agreed. There are a few things that happened either a tad slow, or super fast, but that is the part that knocked off a bit of my rating. The story, the characters, the premise...I enjoyed very much. I say give this one a whirl if you're looking for some young adult with a bit of a twist.

Shelley: 3.5 stars
Courtney: 4.5 stars

About Allie Gail
I was born in a charming but microscopic town in Alabama with a book in each hand. Well, maybe not literally, but you get the idea. I don't think there's an author out there who didn't start out as an avid reader, and I'm no exception.

It was only fairly recently that I decided to resurrect an old high school interest and once again began writing. There's something cathartic about breathing life into the quirky characters struggling to escape my imagination.

These days I reside in the beautiful panhandle of Florida with my own blue-eyed Prince Charming and three fat, pampered cats who are just tolerant enough to permit us to share the same house with them. As long as they're fed on time, that is.

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