Meg Medina: Burn Baby Burn

Readth away Medina could have worked some real magic here mixing nonfiction with fiction putting Nora at the scene of one of the crimes and making Son of Sam of a character but alas this is no young adult combined with a generous ash of crime thriller This is The Gate of Bones (The Magickers, decidedly young adult and what s given the most attention is the narrator s sweet romantic relationship and her struggles at home with her mom and brother Hector Burn Baby Burnoes go eep by touching on the issue of race but that s very much only touched upon an opportunity suandered when the narrator is Hispanic The book oes a much better job portraying the hardship of life in a poor and Crime dysfunctional family The mother character is wellrawn as a scared helpless figure who expects her Unbroken daughter to act as mother to combative Hector who s also very wellrawn The hopelessness and fear in this little family is palpable It s odd then that Burn Baby Burn ends the way it oes For a story rife with so much worry pain fear and sadness how Medina wrapped it up is ludicrous Here she wrote something that s very much grounded in hardcore ugly reality but ended it all on a happily ever after note The result is a story that s not nearly as powerful as Medina was aiming for If read for its characters and not for any thrills this is an engaging story The situations and real world conflicts feel real and honest The characters have chemistry and are enjoyable to read about It s particularly heartwarming to see a lifelong friendship portrayed as with Nora and her childhood friend The romance is functional and realistic The Son of Sam storyline has nothing at all to o with any of this That s a separate story that Medina tried to mesh with Nora s to give Nora s edge to educate her readers to bring 1977 to life The real star of this book is Nora and it should be read to know her NOTE I received this as an Advanced Reader Copy from LibraryThing in January 2016 The air is hot and even heavier than it should be in the summer of 1977 Heat seems to emanate from the streets of New York City The collective tension of the people is palpable The threat of the serial killer known as Son of Sam hangs over everyone s head Nora Lopez tries to ignore the utter madness of the outside world She wants only to stick to the routine that s yielded the best results for the latter part of her seventeen years Working at Salerno s Unnatural Exposure (Kay Scarpetta, deli hanging with her best bud Kathleen and keeping her headown Occasionally hoping that things at home haven t gotten worse Hope may spring eternal but it s not nearly enough to change her younger brother Hector Mami fully expects for Nora to keep her Superbugs demon spawn sibling out of trouble Without being tough on him His senseless vandalism and pyromania tendencies are just symptoms of growing pains after allNora knew that Hector was into than mischief but even she was stunned toiscover how The Black Dahlia devious andiabolical he really is Misplaced responsibility moves everything in Nora s life to the back burner at first but soon balloons out of control and becomes wholly consumingIn a situation where there are options but none of them are good and others are I Am, I Am, I Am downrightangerous Nora refuses to choose Instead she goes her own way with an entirely unexpected brilliantly brave action Maybe that is one small fire extinguished Or perhaps she s only fanned the flames and is about to be engulfed in an inferno I read Ms Medina s Burn Baby Burn a few years ago and I absolutely loved it I Atlas of Science didn t review it then because I was too affected to articulate all of the reasons I wanted everyone else to read it too In spite of how much time has passed and how many other books I ve read parts of Nora s story continue to pop into my head I recently re read it and realized that I would be remiss if Iid not finally take the time to properly recommend this historical fiction phenomenon This review was written for Buried Under Books by jv poore. Ith her at the eli but is ating even worth the risk when the killer especially likes picking off couples who stay out too lateAward winning author Meg Medina transports readers to a time when New York seemed about to explode with temperatures and tempers running high to بیگانه در زمین discover how one young woman faces her fears as everything selfestructs around

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Going into this I wasn t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised The thriller element wasn t as stone as I hoped it would be but that ended up not to matter It was the characters their relationships their private lives and uncertainty of it all that had me totally hooked I really enjoy each character and thought the Jens og flammernes verden different levels of relationships portrayed throughout were so interesting to follow and to be a part of I loved the scope ofifferent topics this book Science and the Enlightenment discussed From race to love to family murder to friendships to poverty it had it all and and neither subject was neglected or smoothed over Overall this was an enjoyable reading exper Read for the second time Enjoyed it even this go around While I found the historical setting interesting what I enjoyed most were the characters complex and honest When I heard of this book I was very eager to read it Hey I was arounduring this time 1977 and living in Philadelphia and remember the news and the terrifying environment created by the Son of Sam murders I wanted to read how author Meg Medina covered that time periodAs I started this book I was caught realizing the main character Nora Lopez was a teenage girl of seventeen almost eighteen and Nora was realizing some very hard truths My first reaction was oh great a young adult book I The Legends of the Jews - Volume 2 don t hate YA but Ion t read very many YA books This book is Paradise Reconsidered in Gnostic Mythmaking described as historical fiction and in the end that was very true Author Meg Medinaid capture the times very well A time where young couples became afraid to be out after Vortex (Insignia, dark A time when young women with longark hair wanted to hide their hair And yes there was a stray Complejidad dog in the neighborhood Again an excellent capturing of that summerI originally gave this book 4 stars because Iidn t want to like it but after pondering this story for awhile the truth is I really enjoyed it And a nod to the author who at the end in the author s note states she was not out to exploit the victims and their families with this novel congratulations to you Highly recommend I loved this book I m not usually a fan of New York novels I think for the most part they reach a really niche market Medina though takes this in a place that made me really invested as it s about the historical summer of 1977 when the city was burning and a serial killer named Son of Sam is on the loose Nora our narrator is Latina and her best friend is a white girl Both of them are The Bad Penny deeply invested in feminism but what Medinaoes is offer a look at the ways feminism isn t necessarily inclusive either in the late 70s or now It s smart in the approachBut the thing that kept me reading was Nora s family Her younger brother Hector is getting himself in trouble and their mother The Awakening (Graveyard Queen doesn t seem to care She soting on him rather than looking at the problems he s facing But when he becomes criminal in a way that she can t Chemistry deny any things fall even harder on Nora for not speaking up when she had the chance It s nuanced and thought provoking with a side of aeadbeat father that resonated in a hard way for me There aren t many YA books set in this time period and Medina adds a really great one here I try not to read books too ahead of their publishing ate because then I m shouting at people that they have to read a book that they have to wait to read BUT this book had too many boxes checked off for me that I couldn t wait I tried and failed especially after oing the just one page because I ended up not being able to stop turning the pages I was hooked from the beginning with Nora a high school senior about to graduate living in New York Reading Capital during the summer of Sam 1977 And while there s a serial killer on the loose outside killing girls with long brown hair like Nora s at home Nora isealing with her younger brother s violentpyromaniac behavior and her mother s refusal to accept how bad things have gotten which leaves her no place to feel safe Thi. Nora Lopez is seventeen The Hothouse by the East River during the infamous year 1977 in New YorkAfter a freezing winter a boiling hot summer explodes with arson a blackout and a serial killer named Son of Sam who is shooting young people on the streets seemingly at randomNot only is the city aisaster but Nora has troubles of her own her brother Hector is growing uncontrollable by

S was such a great coming of age story perfectly set Unthinkable during one of the scariest times in New York city history Jamie Canavesfrom The Best Books We Read In November 35 starsLatina main character troubled family romance feminist movementisco 70s New York a serial killer a blackout fires This is a perfectly fine YA novel that hits all the right buttons and checks all the right boxes and teaches all the right lessons hence I guess 4 starred reviews in major publications The family p HELLO FROM THE CRACKS IN THE SIDE WALKS OF NYC AND FROM THE ANTS THAT DWELL IN THESE CRACKS ANDFEED IN THE DRIED BLOOD OF THE DEAD THAT HAS SETTLED INTO THE CRACKS Poem sent to the New York Daily News by Son of SamI was close to Nora L pez s age in 1977 though tucked away as I was in a Pennsylvania suburb the Son of Sam murders seemed a world away For 17 year old ueens resident Nora the shootings might easily be happening on the very street where she lives And considering the killer has a penchant for girls with long United States History dark hair Nora is terrified to go out at night What if he s out there Kathleen says suddenly which surprises me Where s her safety in numbers theory Eddie puffs himself up I ll protect you He puts his arm around Kathleen s shoulder but she hardly looks comforted Your chesteflects bullets I ask himNora Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, doesn t seem to realize that the real threat to her well being lies within her own household her violent and increasingly volatile younger brother Though the story looms large in the background this isn t really a book about the Son of Sam killings for that look to Jimmy Breslin s44 Instead we have the story of an unforgettable senior year in the life of one urban teenage girl and I liked it way than I thought I would With no money saved up for college the future is looking bleak for Nora after graduation Her father is out of the picture spending all his time with his second family Her mother holdsown a manufacturing job that could Booties and the Beast disappear at any moment And her unstable brother looks to be headed for prison Luckily her best friend lives nearby several of her teachers believe in her and then there s a budding romance with a new guy at theeli where she works part time If only there wasn t the constant worry over the murders As Sam played his games with the NYPD summer roared in and the temperatures begin to rise Things came to a head in mid July when a blackout hit the city resulting in widespread looting and arsonMedina made a bold choice by placing her character in the midst of the panic that occurred that night and it paid off in a well written compelling scene that moves the story to an inevitable conclusion The book wraps up rather uickly after this We all know that David Berkowitz is caught I like that Nora is Nomad disappointed when the monster is unmasked just a paunchy mail clerk with frizzy hair and girlish lips Still in a wise beyond her years statement she manages to correlate the Sam story with her own life Maybe the things that scare us seem powerful that they truly are when we keep them secretThis was an interesting read for me an old lady revisiting some of her formative years The book will be going on our young adult shelf at the local library and NO SPOILERS Burn Baby Burn promises to be not just any young adult tale No this one is set against New York s worst summer 1977 when Son of Sam was on a killing spree It s an exciting angle except it takes a back seat to other big issuesMedina s goal was to bring this terrifying time to vivid life byepicting likable teen narrator Nora Lopez living amidst this chaos with some notable adjustments to her normal routine to ensure her safety It s unfortunate therefore that the Son of Sam angle is weak never feeling terribly threatening Nora finds herself in unsafe situations plenty of times Clearly Medina was going for the highest level of suspense but at no time Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes On Board, Pippi in the South Seas does Son of Sam feel like he s just a hair s Heay her mother is helpless to stop him and her father is so busy with his new family that he only calls on holidaysAnd it oesn’t stop there The super’s after her mother to pay their overdue rent and her teachers are pushing her to apply for college but all Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own There is a cute guy who started working

I'm Meg Medina Newbery award winning author of the New York Times bestselling novel Merci Suárez Changes Gears I am a Latina author of libros for kids of all ages I'm about strong girls tough circumstances and the connecting power of culture I am the author of several picture books middle grade books and young adult novels including Burn Baby Burn which was long listed for the 2016 Nation