Book Review,  Reviews

Burning Bright – Sophie McKenzie

“Emmi banged on the door of my changing cubicle. 
‘River,’ she yelled. ‘Come on.’
I gritted my teeth and opened the door. Emmi stood in front of me, her hands on her hips. Tall, dark and impatient, the string of her dark blue designer bikini were looped in artfully casual bows over her slim hips and tanned shoulder. Grace hovered beside her – all fragile and blonde – in a pretty, pink one-piece.”

Its four months since River and Flynn got together, and its been amazing for River. However Flynn’s temper is not getting any better and when River finds out he has been getting into fights and people are accusing him of stealing she is more worried than ever. Her friends don’t understand, her parents are concerned and when things really come to head at a family get-together and Flynn flies into an unprovoked rage, the consequences are heart-breaking for all involved. 

I enjoyed Falling Fast which is the first book in the Flynn series, but I had my problems with the book and unfortunately Burning Bright had those very same problems. I did enjoy this book and it does tell a beautiful story about love and trust, but there are a few things that concern me about the series. 
The story as I’ve mentioned is really, really sweet. As a young adult romance it takes turns that you expect but at the same time there is a lot of passion, and a love of strong feelings flying about. At the beginning of the book the two characters, River and Flynn have only been together for four months and are meant to be in love, unstoppable, undeniable love. I understand that that will be what it feels like at the time but in this story its quite scary because of the way Flynn is. River is put through a lot more serious pressure than she should be at her age and I kinda sided with her mother a lot during this book. 
Flynns temper is awful and he needs help, serious help. It almost felt like emotional abuse the pressure he was putting on River, saying that she was the only one who could help and things like that. The rage he flies into at the flat when he meets Gary is awful and I hated him at that point. However I couldn’t hate him, I actually really loved him as a character because I understood the reason he was how he was… but that didn’t make it right. 
The other characters were great. Sophie McKenzie really put across the feeling of how unfair River thought her parents were being and the idea of them being out to get her… which is how it would feel to any 16 year old girl if it were happening to them, but as an adult (and one who is responsible for a teenager even if he is a boy) I totally saw where they were coming from. I think they should have given him more chances and heard his side of things but its difficult when your child is the one who you are trying to protect. Grace and Emmi were brilliantly developed characters again but I didn’t like Emmi as much in this book as the last one – Grace and James on the other hand I loved and think they are awesome to River. River herself was still a little naive, like she was in the last book but I still liked her and I think she came to her senses very well in this book. 
I will be continuing with the series because I want to know what happens next and where Spring takes the characters, despite my problems with it. I do love that the books seem to take place during specific seasons and that this one is Winter and seems to deal with quite dark topics. I am hoping Spring brings a kind of rebirth to the characters and the story so fingers crossed. 
Burning Bright was published on 5th January 2013 by Simon & Schuster. My copy was won via a giveaway on The Overflowing Library

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