Contemporary, YA Fiction

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

This book has been making its rounds in the reading circles, and I’ve been seeing it on every shelf in bookstores and in libraries. It’s been in high demand, and I just really wanted to give it a chance, to see what it was all about. Now that I’ve read it … well … here is my review:

Julia and Cassie have been friends since they were little. They have been a part of each other’s lives and shared every experience together. They’ve talked about their secret desires, including leaving their stifling town Royston. But as the two girls begin their journey into adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger.

Initially, I thought the story would be told from alternating perspectives. But no. It is told from Julia’s perspective only. This really bothered me because the story is really about Cassie. It’s about how Cassie’s life changes as the girls enter grade 7. Julia is really just an onlooker who only receives information about Cassie after the fact. I would much rather have read this story from Cassie’s perspective and seen her struggles through her eyes. I thought this would be a short read but it ended up dragging on for ages. Every time I thought that something important was going to happen, it didn’t. I kept reading and reading, waiting for that closure, for that monumental moment in the novel … but I got nothing. At the end, I wondered what was the point of this novel. Nothing really happens and we don’t even get the true story from the main character! Yes, it is a story that shows how friendships evolve, change, and break apart through various forces but it was nothing new, nothing that blew me away. To be brutally honest, it just felt like a waste of my time. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to give this a 1/5 stars.

Leave a Reply