Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette

BurnBrightTitle: Burn Bright

Author: Bethany Frenette (Dark Star)

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 352

Rating: 4/5

Audrey Whitticomb saved her entire city.

Well, kind of. The superhero Morning Star (who just happens to be Audrey’s mom) might have played a small part, and her sidekick, Leon—Audrey’s sort-of boyfriend, who is gorgeous… and frustrating—maybe helped, too.

But after two peaceful months, there is a vicious new threat in Minneapolis. Her name is Susannah, and she’s a Harrower, a demon hell-bent on destroying people like Morning Star, Leon, and Audrey—the Kin. Like others before her, she seeks the Remnant, a Kin girl who has the power to unleash the inhabitants of the Beneath. But to what end?

Audrey already has a ton on her plate: dealing with her best friend Tink’s boy drama, helping her other best friend Gideon figure out his nightmares, and exploring the highs and lows of “dating” Leon. But when she develops a powerful new ability, Audrey seizes on the chance to fight, despite her mother’s protests and Leon’s pleas.

As Audrey gets closer to figuring out Susannah’s motives and tracking down the Remnant, she’ll uncover more than she bargained for. The terrible truth is staring Audrey in the face. But knowing the truth and accepting it are very different things.

Last year, Dark Star was a surprisely fun debut, so when I started hearing some good things about the sequel, I was both excited and a little worried that hype would get me in the end. Luckily, this book wasn’t overhyped – it was a perfectly fun and entertaining sequel, and I’m definitely excited for the third and final book now.

Also, I’m going to try a slightly new format for this review. I’m not changing things completely, I’m just going to try splitting things up into clearly defined categories – that way, if characters or the beginning or something are your favorite/most decisive part of a book, then you can quickly check out what I had to say about that! I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a permanent change or not, so let me know what you think!

The Beginning

If I’m going to focus on so many individual elements, I’m going to have to start reviewing sooner so that I don’t forget anything! Hmm, what did I think of the beginning…

Well, I know that I was interested in the story from the very beginning. The little sentences and paragraphs of recap were definitely helpful – I did not realize how much I had forgotten from the first book – but I feel like there could have been even more, because I was sometimes confused and didn’t remember. But the beginning definitely caught my attention and the rest of the story managed to keep it, which is a good thing in my book!

The Plot

Like I already said, the book kept my attention throughout the whole thing. I read this book in roughly a day, so I think that’s a very good sign. I thought there was a good amount of twists and turns and interesting scenes and such. The plot seemed strong and interesting and while there was definitely set up for the third and final book in the series, I don’t remember ever feeling like this was simply a bridge between the setup and the finale – so, no Second Book Syndrome here!

The Characters

I remember being kind of surprised by how much I liked Audrey in the first book because I felt like she wasn’t too different from the typical YA Paranormal Protagonist – and, luckily, my fondness of her continued in this book. I loved her friendship with Gideon and most of the other characters as well (although I found myself sometimes getting annoyed by her female best friend, Tink, so that was a bit of a downfall for me, but nothing too big). The characters seem to be growing but still seem like the same characters I was introduced to in the first book (at least, from what I remember of them – there really was a lot more that I forgot than I realized).

The World Building

It was interesting learning more about the demons in this world, but I don’t remember learning much more than what was established in the first book. I think the world building is quite adequate, but nothing too spectacular. It’s enough to enjoy and move on without too much afterthought.

The Adult Situation

This category is going to focus on a bit of a problem in YA books: are the parents present and fairly competent. Audrey only really has her mother (although her father isn’t dead – you’ll see when you read this or have read the first book), but I feel like her mother did play a large role in this story despite being the only parent. In fact, there were certain parts where the plot depended on her mother, where the bad guys were fighting her and she was the one who would save them, which is a lot more realistic than a teenage girl who doesn’t have too many powers at this point. So, I’d say this is a pretty good book when it comes to the role that adults play, especially her mother.

The Romance

The romance is just adorable. There was some drama that I don’t feel like I needed because I get more and more sick of needless drama, but I mostly didn’t care because I really thought that Audrey and Leon were cute together. Despite my annoyance with the drama, there were definitely times when it felt real and added an interesting aspect to their relationship.

The Ending

Wow. Just wow – it was a bit of an emotional wrap-up in places, and it certainly set up some interesting things for the next and final book. I think it wrapped up this book’s plot well, and even though I am a bit anxious to get my hands on the next book, I didn’t get mad at the cliffhanger or anything – in fact, I don’t remember there being a cliffhanger necessarily, just some interesting plotlines that were set up by the ending.

In Conclusion…

So, I really, really enjoyed this book! I felt that any issues were really quite minimal and didn’t really prevent me from enjoying it. I do think the recap throughout the first few chapters could have been a little more extensive since I had apparently forgotten more than I realized from the first book, but I know that I would have just been annoyed if I had just read or reread the first book before this, so I’m not too frustrated with that or anything. All in all, an enjoyable book to a perfectly enjoyable and entertaining series. I’m properly excited for the final book!

4stars

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