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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: Fire Burns by Trista Day

Fire Burns
By Trista Day
Publisher: self-published
Published: April 4, 2013
Length: 406 pages
Edition: print and ecopy
Source: Author gifted for an honest review

Synoposis: Callie Demasi just started her senior year at Crystalport High and her life couldn't be any more ordinary. Then the nightmares start, and a strange creature tries to attack her in her sleep. If that isn't bad enough, her body starts to do things she never imagined were possible; like hold fire in the palm of her hand. It seems that the only person who knows what's really happening to her is a ghost creature named Draven-if she can keep him from disappearing on her. It's not until after her best friend Zilla is kidnapped, and she meets the handsome and arrogant Cole, that Callie begins to put the pieces together. Will her newfound powers be strong enough to save the life of her Bff, or will they both be doomed to the same fate?

Review:  Disclosure -I was gifted a copy of this book by Trista Day, the author, in exchange for my honest review.  

This is the first book in what will be the Unforgiven series. Book Two is currently being written. 

Callie is cute, a typical teenaged girl for the most part. She has her little posse of friends, including her BFF Zilla, Alyssa, & Jett. Zilla is dating the captain of the football team, Locke, Jett is currently surfing the net for his potential boyfriend, and Alyssa is the quieter of them all. Callie has been having some incredibly vivid dreams, waking up with marks on her skin. For some reason, she doesn’t go to her parents. Maybe her parents wouldn’t believe her? There is a distance between Callie and her mom; Callie explains that her mom always seems cold and distant. 

When we first meet Callie’s “boyfriend”, Luke, I was rather appalled. Callie’s description of their relationship, the way she just accepts that he thinks they’re a couple and that she’s obligated to kiss him and go out on dates with him is truly disgusting. And yet the more I see/read things on the internet, the more this seems to be the acceptable norm. (Are you kidding me, girls? Listen…you are NOT bossy, you’re CEO material. You are WORTHY. You are SMART. You do NOT put up with this kind of crap because YOU DESERVE BETTER. When you accept you for you, accept that you are worthy of good things, then the right guy will come along and HE will be WORTHY of you. Until then, take losers like Luke and tell them to kiss off.)

Callie is attacked during home economics by some creature with purple eyes that attacks her legs and starts lapping at her blood. On her way to the nurse’s office, she catches Luke making out, hands everywhere, with Joanne, Callie’s school enemy. Luke tries to apologize…BY FORCING HIMSELF ON CALLIE, shoving her against a locker, trying to kiss her, etc. Dude…no. Callie slaps him and leaves a weird bright pink burn mark on his cheek. She tells him they are OVER and then is able to get to the nurse’s office. 

Fast forward to the coffee shop, Callie is rude to the new guy working there as she places her order for her and her friends. Then she uses him to show Luke that she’s done with him (Luke) by kissing the guy (Cole). It gets kinda heavy and is more intense than Callie is expecting, but ends with Luke dragging Joanne out of the coffee shop quickly in a fury. 

Fast forward again and Callie is at the beach for Winter Volleyball with her friends who are trying to cheer her up. Luke is there, Joanne is snickering and pointing, Zilla finds out that Luke has told everyone that Callie and he have had sex. Callie is livid at this lie and invites Luke back to her house so she can yell at him in private and tell him that they are through for the last time. Luke attacks her AGAIN, pinning her down, groping her, etc., it’s just not a good situation. Just as Callie starts to panic as she’s fighting him off and realizing that he is overpowering her, she discovers that her hand is on fire. She hits Luke with it and it burns him, she’s pushing him off and scorching him. What is going on? Why am I harping on this? It bothers me EXTREMELY to see these kinds of actions from guys and the sad acceptance from girls. I know that this is currently one of the main social problems, and Trista Day does a phenomenal job of writing it and making the reader gag with disgust. I hope that every teenage girl that reads this recognizes that it is WRONG and that they should follow what Callie does: dump that bastard. 

Oh, and then…they go to the beach again, Luke, of course is there. His burns are healing up. He keeps smiling at Callie. Obviously, he’s an idiot and doesn’t comprehend the word, NO. But, they manage to come to a truce and he gets it, FINALLY. They’re hanging around together on the beach, Luke asks if he can join them, she says yes, and then he proceeds to flirt with Alyssa, WHO IS FLIRTING BACK, in front of Callie. Callie puts the kibosh on it and says it’s not cool to do that to her FRIEND when they’ve been broken up for all of 10 minutes. Alyssa glares at her and pouts. Seriously? You call this person your friend? What happened to the golden rule of not dating your closest friend’s ex aka no poaching from the used bin? 

Ms. Day … you have a talent for capturing that crap that teenagers go through as they’re learning to set boundaries and getting older. Holy moly. I was scribbling furiously on my notepad for this review. All of the postings you see on the internet, all of the younger victims of rape, this whole rape culture the US seems to be dealing with at the moment is truly scary and that’s what these scenes brought to mind. Phew. Okay. Sorry end of my ranting. 

If you haven’t guessed already, Ms. Day’s descriptions are well written. Callie is this interesting mixture of “on the verge of freaking out” and “accepting new things calmly.” 

I loved her and Zilla’s relationship --- that is true friendship. They may argue/fight, but they apologize to one another and it’s accepted. They move on. They don’t hold grudges, they have each other’s backs. Callie & Zilla are lucky with one another. The story itself was a little slow to start as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen: moving from her dreams to some ghostly figure she sees to teenage daily ins and outs, etc. Once it picked up, it flew! 

Obviously this is not our world completely, despite having items such as Zilla’s awesome car, Cole’s 1970 Chevelle SS that Callie drools over, coffee shops, high school, etc. Callie & Zilla have this “family crest” tattoo that’s just accepted as part of the norm, something you’re tattooed with when born, but it’s not wholly explained. It seems like even those with the tattoo don’t quite understand it, whereas the supernatural creatures do (the witch makes a comment on it). I mean, Callie doesn’t tell her parents about the ghostly guy/Unforgiven Draven or the orb or the monster attacks fearing that they won’t believe her and think she’s crazy. She now lives in a world of vampires and monsters and has powers, but she doesn’t question the meaning of the tattoo more openly? 

I had this huge paragraph here talking about Callie & Cole, but decided it would ruin it. So….read the book instead! 

So! Good plot, good story, good laying of groundwork, interesting characters with stories yet to be explored fully, totally captures the average teenager mindset, and one I wanted to keep reading. There are some grammatical errors, but they are few and far between. (Wearily instead of warily, Were instead of We’re, disproval instead of disapproval). 

I will (im)patiently await Book Two and the rest of this series. I am so looking forward to seeing how Callie & Cole end up, if she can help Draven, if she learns more about these powers that she and Zilla have, especially after her mother’s comment. Thanatos is going to be a jerk and a major player, I’m sure as he’s plotting already. Lost cities, how to cure an Unforgiven, vampires and pologs, spells and magical abilities, I’m ready!

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