Burning

Publication Date: June 11, 2013 by Random House/Delacorte

Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It’s good timing, since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky; he’s headed to San Diego, where he’s got a track scholarship at the University of California. His best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, aren’t as fortunate; they don’t have college to look forward to. So to make his friends happy during their last days in town, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Romani family make money the way her people have been earning it for centuries—by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash—especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala’s been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben’s cards is the day everything changes for her . . . and for him.

Told from alternating points of view, Burning brims with the passion of two young people, both at crossroads in their lives, and both forever altered by a moment in time.

Buy on Amazon Buy on IndieBound

Reviews

  • Selected as a Banks Street Book of the Year, 2013

  • Selected as a Los Angeles Public Library Book of the Year, 2013

  • “Lyrical and inspirational.” (Kirkus)

  • “…two teenagers from worlds as different as they are specific—Ben and Lala—fall in love surrounded by the fabulous and terrifying landscape of Burning Man. And like that famous festival in the desert, their story is wholly compelling and full of surprises. Ben, especially, won my heart.” (Pam Houston, author of Cowboys are My Weakness)

  • “Infused with magic and never afraid to face life’s deepest, most complicated questions, Burning is a story of forbidden love, great risk, and ultimately, transformation. Readers will find themselves moved beyond words by the perfect, blazing beauty found at the end.” (Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us)

  • Burning is seductive and uplifting, a real story filled with resonating characters who must choose between allowing the fortunes of the past to determine their paths as adults, or take a step toward freedom and define themselves. An absolutely perfect summer read.” (Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle)