Have you ever dreamed of spontaneously combusting? If you have, Arson, by Estevan Vegas, is the book for you. Arson is a boy in his late teens who hides the terrible power of creating fire with his mind. His gift, or curse, killed his mother, and his grandmother, whom Arson is living with, hates him for it. The story begins when Emery, a girl that will not appear in public without her mask, moves in next door, and changes Arson's view of life.
I would recommend this book to readers that like to go against the grain, as the book is not written in a straightforward manner, nor is it written with the same style as most other authors. Almost everything that happened was a surprise, and while some events were more logical than others, this helped keep the book interesting. Without the shockers every few pages, however, this book would have been quite boring. By not telling the story in its entirety, and leaving ends not tied up, I felt like a heavy fog had been placed in my head,rendering me unable to fully comprehend the plot and make connections to the text. The information Vegas gave was often not complete and out of order- which is an interesting style, but one that prevented my total enjoyment of the book.
Having said my piece on Vegas' style, I want to congratulate him on excellent character development. Arson's grandmother was especially real to me, as was Emery, because they had such real feelings of loss and shame.
Another admirable part of "Arson" was the setting development. By the time the book ended, I felt like I had lived in Arson's town my whole life. Arson and Emery, along with the other characters, visit so many important parts of the town and these places are described with a poetic detail that makes visualizing the scenes incredibly easy.
I gave Arson a content rating of 2 because there was some inappropriate "stuff" that should be looked at by an adult before allowing young children/ teens to read the book.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lederach, PA USA