Review: Burn Baby, Burn Baby

Burn Baby

Burn Baby, Burn Baby by Kevin Craig is a raw look at abuse and disfigurement from a victim's perspective. Teenager Francis Fripp bears the scars, mental and physical, inflicted by a brutal father. He arms himself against a hostile world with sarcasm, cynicism, and profanity. The only truly bright spot in that world is his best friend from before his disfigurement, "Trig", who has stuck with him all the way and who always has his back. Trig is also everything Francis isn't: a popular, athletic A-student, dating one of the hottest girls in the school. Francis is envious, but not enough to ruin his friendship. In the meanwhile, school is hell for him, as a violent bully who has christened him "Burn Baby" sees to it that he gets regular verbal and physical abuse, which he amps up any time somebody tries to help.

And one person who tries to help is the new girl, Rachel. She has to be persistent, because her greatest roadblock is Francis himself, who cannot conceive of the notion that any girl could actually like him. Kevin Craig was himself a victim of abuse, so he comes at this subject with a deep understanding of what that kind of pain can do to a child. Francis has to fight with both himself and his environment to come to terms with his disfiguring scars, the ones on his body and the ones on his soul. It's not an easy read on any level, but I think a valuable one for anyone who has had an easier ride through life. Fortunately Craig allows some light to shine in the deep darkness here, or it would be an unbearable read.

It is not unbearable, but it is brutal. Prepare yourself for profanity, anger, violence, and a very unhappy teen culture. Prepare yourself also for hope.

Kevin Craig's website

Cover reveal for Burn Baby, Burn Baby

Kevin Craig's fourth novel, Burn Baby, Burn Baby, will be released December 11, 2014. I've never had the privilege of meeting Kevin in the flesh, but we've been running into each other online for years. Although not always specifically aimed at teens, his novels feature young people dealing with heart-wrenching issues, and this latest one is no exception. Read the description of the novel below to get an idea of what I mean.

Burn Baby Burn 1000.jpg

To pre-order a Kindle copy, click here.

Kevin's website

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. 
Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby. 
The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. 
If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. 
Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. 
Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.