Read: January 2020
Publisher: Delcorte Press (2019)
Genre: Realistic, young adult
Everything changed the night Ava’s house caught fire. She lost her parents, she lost her cousin, she lost 60% of her body to burn scars. Now that she’s healing physically, her aunt and uncle want her to reintegrate into society by going back to high school. Afraid of the reaction people will have towards her, Ava promises only 10 days of regular school. That is, until she meets Piper, another burn victim. The two of them become fast friends, but Piper has her own struggles and Ava must decide whether to let her scars consume her or help her fly.
What I think:
“…I am more than my body. More than my scars.”
When I brought this book home from the library I didn’t think I would enjoy the book as much as I did. We all know that young adult (YA) novels focus on teens being outsiders and trying to find a way to fit in. Some are able to do so, others not so much. This one is definitely on the well written side.
Erin Stewart takes the idea of being the outsider and puts it in a physical form of burn scars. Ava used to have the charmed life, a theater groupie, someone who is close to her family. But now that she has burns on 60% of her body, she has to watch people being repulsed by her looks. I don’t know about anybody else, but high school was a rough time for me and I was never in the popular group and trying to fit in was hard. Stewart manifested this concept through Ava’s burns and how she rose above it to become someone much better. We are all struggling and as we see with her friend Piper, some of us hide the pain better until it’s (almost) too late.
In the end, I think Stewart showed how cruel people can be and even those who try to be helpful don’t always help in the way we want them to. I want to see more of these types of books.