Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Synopsis: A rumor is like fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it, but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back to life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames.
New school. Check.
New town. Check.
New last name. Check.
Social media profiles? Deleted.
Anna and her mother have moved hundreds of miles to put the past behind them. Anna hopes to make a fresh start and escape the harassment she’s been subjected to. But then rumors and whispers start, and Anna tries to ignore what is happening by immersing herself in a history project about Maggie, a local woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.
In her newfound friendships with Alisha, Cat, and Robin, as well as her connection with Maggie, Anna finds a voice to face her tormentors.
“We are the voices of the witches you could not burn. And we’re not putting up with it any more.”
From Laura Bates, internationally renowned feminist and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, comes a debut novel that is a harrowing look at misogyny through the centuries. It’s a powerful call to action, reminding all readers of the implications of sexism and the role we can each play in ending it.
The Burning earnestly attempts to tackle a plethora of social issues including: depression, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, abortion, homophobia, child abuse, bullying, cyber-bullying, body-shaming, and slut-shaming. Then it throws in some light romance, a historical mystery, and a pinch of the supernatural. And, therein lies the problem. While well-meaning, there are so many ingredients it can’t figure out what it wants to be, and instead becomes a bit of a mess. Adding to this is some awkward dialogue which made the characters unbelievable at times. The reason I’m giving this 3 stars is because the pacing was consistent, and there are some touching moments that made me connect to some of the characters, especially Anna.
The Burning is Laura Bates’ debut, and I sincerely hope to see more from her in the future, because I think her writing shows promise. This however, comes across more as a mishmash of after school specials that adds little to any of the issues it touches upon.