Published by Curiosity Quills Press on December 11th 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Kindle Edition
Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago.
Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.
The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars.
If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.
Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted.
Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.
This is my first novel by Kevin Craig and I have to say I loved it. I knew from the moment I read the dedication in Burn baby, burn baby this novel was going to be great and possibly one of my favorite books.
Francis is anything but your typical seventeen year old boy. Francis has gone through physical, emotional, and mental abuse at the hand of his father who left him with scars not just emotionally but physical scars as well. Not only must he live with the scars his father left him after the abuse but he has also face being bullied at school.
Francis has zero self-esteem. He actually believes he deserves to be bullied and doesn’t believe he should have anything good in his life and when things get too good he gains self-destructing habits. He has one friend Trig who is an amazing friend, he defends him against bullies, doesn’t allow anyone to make Francis feel inferior and attempts to help Francis put together the pieces of himself to be the loving person he should be.
Then, along comes Rachel the new girl. She sees beyond the burns left on his body, she sees Frances for who he really is just like Trig does. But Frances automatically assumes that Rachel is tricking him because how could a girl like that find him attractive?
This is a turning point for Frances because he begins to realize he does deserve to be happy and deserves to be treated with respect. For me, the most important thing he learned is that his scars don’t define him. He begins to stand up for himself at times to the wrong people but he finally stands up to the bully.
The ending of the novel was something I was not expecting but I felt it was realistic. So many teenagers are bullied and do not think they deserve respect or to be treated right. This book just isn’t for the people who are being bullied and feel like no one understands what they are going through but also for the bullies. It is also for the bullies, because it gives you the perspective of the person whose being bullied and how they feel.
It teaches the important lesson of speaking up because one may never know just how far another person may go.
I plan to be a teacher someday and I definitely see myself using this book in my lessons to teach about bullying, acceptance, and compassion.