Posted:  March 3, 2015

Burn Baby, Burn BabySeventeen-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.

     How do you survive the worst moment of your life and still live?  Francis Fripp has been trying to figure that out.  So far all he has seemed to have managed is the surviving part with the help of his best friend Trig.  You see Trig has been there from the beginning back before Francis’ dad committed the worst of his crimes against his own son by burning his whole right side of his body.
     The ultimate in meanest parents to the point where he has all these scars and has no right ear to speak of.  His father went away to prison but only served 6 years for this terrible act.  France (nickname) hasn’t even finished high school and his is out but there is a restraining order against being around him or his mom.
     Francis can never forget though.  As much as Trig tries to protect him there are still bullies like Brandon Hayley who don’t use his name but call him “Burn Baby!”  He does things like shoving him in his own locker and banging his head against the back of it.  Since he is a football star most teachers are either afraid of him or don’t want to rock the football team.  One day in math Brandon takes his teasing way too far and the new girl stands up and makes a stand.
     Rachel Higgins being new doesn’t understand the way things are that just because she was able to stop Brandon this time doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be gunning for Francis extra hard to get revenge not that a girl up ended his attempt to embarrass and be mean to him.  So, after class he was waiting for his beat down from Brandon, instead he was faced with an “in your face” greeting from Rachel wanting to be his friend.
     Although she’s cute he’s very leery of her due to past experiences.  So, now he is waiting for the punch line that he is being “Punked” or for Brandon to pop out from somewhere. Not the case as he sees it now.  She’s a pushy little spitfire that invites herself to his house.  It happens…She kisses him!  Just that fast. 
     You will have to read to see what goes on from here.  I just love the interaction between Francis and his twin brothers, “Paul Simon” Now his mom gets mad that he refers to them as one name but he loves messing with her.  Really though one is Paul the other is Simon.  Those boys steal this story in the cutest department especially Simon.  This being a funny at times kind of youthful book yet at the same time it was ungodly painful to read at certain parts.  Yet, so real and terribly truthful.  This is so worth the read for teens and parents alike.  I would recommend for 13+ as a parent.  It is something that will have to be discussed with your teens for sure.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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