ARC (Advance Reading Copy). To be published October 25, 2012. Dial Books (Penguin). 297 pp. (Includes Author Note).
Nicole was the most beautiful girl in her high school, and a beauty pageant contestant, until someone threw acid in her face. Within the span of seconds, Nicole’s life changed forever. She refused to look in a mirror and hid out at home, depending more and more on her mother for everything. Jay had been in love with Nicole for years, and had an opportunity to finally speak with her when they both showed up in the waiting room of the school psychologist at the same time. He’d always shied away from any involvement with girls, due to embarrassing and debilitating seizures he often suffered.
With the commonality of being unable to face society, and feeling rejected, Jay and Nicole formed a fast friendship. The more he got to know Nicole, the more Jay was determined to find out who had maimed her. Using his impressive hacker skills, Jay began to delve into mysterious emails sent before the incident, hoping to find clues to the attacker’s identity. As he uncovered details of the event, more layers and questions presented themselves making him suspect everyone – including Nicole. Unfortunately, the attacker was not happy to have Jay digging for the truth.
“Burning Blue” is a great read for students ages 14 and older. The ideas behind what constitutes beauty, and how far someone will go to have it, are quite intriguing.