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Burning - Danielle  Rollins

I loved the way the author set this novel up.   I knew there was something sinister about Jessica the minute that she was introduced but I just had to wait as I let the author slowly and meticulously let the novel run its course. Jessica seemed like a typical teen on the outside. It was the way that she was handled by others and how they treated her that made me suspicious. She appeared to be small and fragile amongst the other prisoners in this correctional facility as she was brought in and for that, I felt that she was hiding a secret that others knew nothing about. A secret, which landed her amongst these offenders that, would soon bring about havoc.  Placed inside isolation the minute upon her arrival, the other inmates had no chance to lay their claims on her or the opportunity to speak with her so, when Davis returns from bringing down her food tray with burns on her hands, the rumors begin. How could she suffer burns from delivering a food tray? Davis only has three months left on her sentence and it’s her brother that she misses the most while locked away.  These three months and this attachment become obstacles for Davis as the correctional facility is challenged by science.


A new doctor and her assistance arrive at the facility, reaching out to the immates; these ladies are looking for volunteers for the SciGirls program. This opportunity excites the inmates, giving them hope for a better future but they all must take a test to join. SciGirl program, they came to the facility the same time that Jessica was brought in – this seems too much of a coincidence to me. Life inside the facility is still typical of a correctional center, some girls abusing others, some just surviving and others trying to stay on top. Davis is asked to mentor Jessica as she is the only girl Jessica has taken an interest in. People have been avoiding Jessica as too many strange circumstances have been occurring around her and Davis is not sure about this new request. If she doesn’t accept this responsibility, the opportunity to see her brother is going to be cast off farther into the further. I enjoyed the sci-fi twist on this novel, I could see things unraveling before my eyes even read the text. I imaged different avenues this novel could have taken to heighten the dramatics of it but all-in-all, I enjoyed it. Davis made a great character portraying a great friend and someone who would go the extra mile for you.   I enjoyed the mystery elements of the novel and the intense moments, the author did a terrific job releasing portions of the novel bit-by-bit and not informing the reader of all the facts at once. It kept me on my toes and the pages of the novel turning.


I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!