Alright y’all, time for another review. Today it’s Vincent Tirado’s Burn Down, Rise Up. Billed as Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele and I feel like that’s a pretty accurate description.
Our main character Raquel lives with her mom who is a nurse in a local hospital. Her best friend Aaron is a quiet guy, to the point of it being annoying to her, and they’re highschoolers who have been given a history assignment. All pretty standard stuff.
At least until it comes out that Charlize, the girl she used to be really close with, has lost her cousin Cisco. He’s gone missing. And he’s not the first.
The first were white kids and they couldn’t find them. Now when the Black and Brown kids go missing, people don’t lump them together, don’t want to say it’s all related.
Raquel is just trying to go through life until she finds out her mother is ill and in a coma. She ends up living with her father, her parents are split, and that’s when things kick off.
This story is fast paced. And for the most part, that doesn’t hinder it. It handles the pacing pretty well with character development and the story itself.
I liked it, it was believable, fun, dark, tense. And relatable. There were passages that had me cracking up because of the difference between how Black people handle spooky hauntings, monsters, etc., versus how white people handle it. Rarely does a book actually make me laugh out loud.
What I think faltered was the development of the romance. When it came to that, I don’t know anyone who could be so obtuse when dealing with someone who likes them. It wasn’t the greatest handled in my opinion and I was a little thrown off by it.
That and an argument between Raquel and Aaron. It was…contrived almost? He’s got no ability to tell she’s not interested in, who she is interested in, makes all kinds of assumptions. It was annoying and I rolled my eyes at it.
I think the ending also sort of suffered from the pacing. Because it was so fast, some things were a little tricky to follow and so it got a little convoluted. And with that, things happened in ways that didn’t make sense. It felt like the characters were stunted at that point. There was also something that happened at the end of the book that was out of nowhere. It was literally in the last few pages and threw me because it came out of nowhere and I don’t think it added anything.
I think for me, it was a three (3) out of five (5) stars. I enjoyed it.
I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to them and the publisher.