Monday, 10 December 2012

Burning Bright by Sophie McKenzie

Published on the 5th January 2013 by Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Pages -265
Emma banged on the door of my changing cubicle.
'River,'she yelled. 'Come on.'
I gritted my teeth and opened the door. Emmi stood in front of me, her hands on her hips. Tall, dark and impatient, the strings of her dark blue designer bikini were looped in artfully casual bows over her slim hips and tanned shoulders. Grace hovered beside her- all fragile and blonde - in a pretty, pink one-piece.
Goodreads Summary
Four months have passed and River and Flynn are still going strong. But things are not perfect. Flynn continues to fly into unprovoked rages, and when River tells her mum, she is banned from seeing him. Fighting to stay together, they end up being torn apart. Is it all over for River and Flynn?
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This is the second book in Sophie McKenzie's four part romance series and I have to say that with each book this series just get better and better. Seriously, I was left feeling desperate for the third book, Casting Shadows. An unputdownable read. 
The emotional intensity of the relationship between River and Flynn is at times dazzling, as well as stifling. Flynn reminded me of a younger version of Travis from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. Only Flynn is on the verge of complete melt down; his temper is finally taking its toll on all of his relationships, putting his romance with River on the edge of finishing. All around Flynn, life grows intolerable as rumours are spread. Yet River never stops loving him; her loyalty to him would win an award.
River changes in this book though. Her emotional arc leads her towards the first steps of maturity, as she realises she can no longer live with Flynn's volatile temper. It's like her eyes have been cleared and she sees sense for the first time. 
This book deals very heavily with teenage anger and the different ways to deal with it. Teenager's emotions are so complex and abundant that the least little thing can cause a major melt down. It is very rare for them to look at the situation from another person's angle, especially an adult, and I think the author captures that extremely well. This book shows that anger management isn't just for adults; I wonder sometimes whether it should be taught as an extra curricular activity in schools. 
The author has an uncanny knack of hitting on past events and situations that arose within my own teenage years. I find myself nodding at the story unfolds, remembering similar things happening. We were an angry bunch of teens who thought we knew better than the adults. It's quite funny when you reflect and look back.
This book is a very real look at love - nothing is made pretty and held back. Just a true relationship that occurs among the teenagers of today. The author has captured the intensity of teenager relationships as they cross the boundaries into adult territory. Sophie McKenzie knows how to write about real teenage lives. 

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