When you're sixteen and no one understands who you are, sometimes the only choice left is to run. If you're lucky, you'll find a place that accepts you, no questions asked. And if you're really lucky, that place has a drum set, a place to practice, and a place to sleep. For Kid, the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are that place. Over the course of two scorching summers, Kid falls hopelessly in love and then loses nearly everything and everyone worth caring about. But as summer draws to a close, Kid finally finds someone who can last beyond the sunset.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.
Title: Brooklyn, Burning
Author: Steve Brezenoff
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2011
Source: Received from Netgalley, courtesy of the Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Netgalley and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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My rating: 4/5
It is the middle of summer in Brooklyn, and Kid is exploring old hangouts, relaxing to music, and is hoping to play a set or two in Fish's bar. No one in Kid's family seems to understand what life is like for Kid. Having lost someone the summer prior, Kid is determined to become immersed in Brooklyn, and when someone new comes into Kid's life, this might just be the turning point to everything.
I can't help but draw parallels to R.E.N.T. when I read Brooklyn, Burning. Love, and an extended family of friends drawn to each other, make this read a beautiful ode to the power of love and friendship. Blood family are inconsequential as they don't understand their offspring, so said offspring find family elsewhere and bond together. They live in the moment, and savour their time together. For Kid, travelling across Brooklyn, and checking out old haunts works as Kid mulls over the events of last summer, and Felix.
There is no he or she involved in this book. It is only you. With no sexual identities, the main characters could be anyone, but does it matter? No, I don't think so. They are who they are, and that should not detract from them as people. Though said language could be jarring at times it works for Brooklyn, Burning. I couldn't help but fall in love with this story. The song Just Be by Tiesto was running through my head as I read it and I think it would be an apropos song for the Brooklyn, Burning playlist. Who hasn't struggled with their identity and tried to find themselves?
This read is powerful as we follow Kid around Brooklyn, discovering and mulling over the past, present, and the future.
The characters themselves are all very likeable, and I couldn't help but fall in love with them as their stories came to light. They all had integral roles, and were part of Kid's family. I found that I loved Brooklyn, Burning more than The Absolute Value of [-1]. I think the different style of the writing, and the bonds that were formed with Kid's extended family really worked and felt real. It just resonated with me.
All in all, a ridiculously fantastic exploration of love and loss amid the hazy days of music and summer. This is a phenomenal tribute to Brooklyn, and I hope more readers will fall in love with Kid and Kid's story. Having a family that understands you, and being accepted for who you are, is something we all want in our lives; and for Kid, that becomes a reality. I'd definitely recommend this read.