Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell
Published by Razorbill on March 13, 2018 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 320
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The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she’s been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it’s time to evacuate.
Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey–and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks’s dark past come to light, Audrey can’t help but wonder if there’s danger in the pull she feels–both toward this boy, and toward the fire burning in the distance.
A compelling coming of age story, Nothing Left to Burn is Heather Ezell’s debut novel – and a fairly impressive one, at that.
“…I don’t know how to say what I don’t yet understand.”
This book is told in two timelines: one in the present that follows the twenty four hours after Audrey is woken to the firemen evacuating her community due to an oncoming wildfire; and another in the several months prior leading up to the night before the evacuation. The two timelines are woven together nicely as they alternated and fed off one another. The characters are well thought out with believable relationships, and Ezell perfectly captures that crazy first love feeling.
Nothing Left to Burn touches on some complex, tough issues including mental health and toxic relationships but is nicely balanced with healthy relationships and lighter topics, making for a gripping read. I look forward to see what this author does next. Recommended.
*Many thanks to Penguin Random House’s First to Read program for providing an arc of this edition in exchange for an honest review.