As a Mormon Payton has led a very sheltered life, but when she spends time away from her family she feels free for the first time. That is until they start to pull her back….
Burned relies heavily on stereotypes and blanket terms. Religion is always a tricky topic to approach in teen fiction. It’s delicate and can easily offend a lot of people. In the case of Burned… well I was offended. First off. I am not a member of the LDS Church. You might be wondering, why was I offended? Because this was one of the most unresearched pieces of literature that I have ever come across. Hopkins uses Mormom as a BLANKET TERM through this novel. ALL MORMONS are Evil. ALL MORMONS are abusers etc etc. You could easily replace the word Mormon with “cocaine abuse” and the story would make the same amount of sense.
The main character is Pattyn. She wishes for a life away from her family, she wants to be free of her overbearing alcoholic father. She blames this need for freedom on her love of reading books. The thing is, the moment she leaves her father she falls directly into the arms of Ethan a farm hand on her Aunt Jay’s farm.
The one aspect of this book that I liked was the poetry. Understand that if this book had been written in straight prose is would have fallen flat on its face. The poetry takes an overused concept and breathes new life into it.
Would we recommend this book? No. There are a lot of things that are wrong with it, and are glaringly obvious, distracting the reader from the story.
As we see in the sequel to Burned, Smoke, Hopkins does attempt to unburn a few of the bridges that she torched in this novel.