ARSON GABLE FEELS LIKE A FREAK. HE CAN CREATE FIRE. HE NEVER ASKED FOR IT. HE NEVER WANTED IT. BUT HE CAN'T SHUT IT OFF.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Not what I expected. That is actually being quite gentle about it. A certain part of me felt like I had been blind sided but the start was nothing if not full. Full of what Arson's world was and is. You get things not just from him but his grandmother, Emery and her parents. This was almost overwhelming to start and a couple of times I had to find myself and who I was reading but that didn't last long. Estevan has a way with words and once you read a little from each person you get who is who and the importance of why they get their own moments.
Arson is unique but his uniqueness seems to have stripped everything from this poor boy. He has no confidence and lives feeling guilty because of his ability to start fire with only a thought or emotion. There were moments that I really loved Arson but many moments were I wanted to tell him to be a big boy and suck it up but then if he did that I guess he wouldn't be a different type of character. I am really hard on whiners and at first I thought that Arson fit that category but he doesn't. He has had a horrid and loveless past that has been filled with all kinds of venom but somehow he looks past that and still loves the one that hurt him. There is a certain strength in his weakness, I know that's confusing. Instead of lashing out and blaming everyone else, he hopes. He hopes for things that may never be attainable because the fire within him hinders him instead of freeing him.
Emery was a beautiful character. She really made the book for me and rescued Arson from himself. She has a horrid and tragic past and hides herself away from the world behind a mask. It is pain that she hides behind the sarcasm and snarky remarks but she is really just masking up more than she lets on. Despite all that she has been through she still wants to try and attempt to be normal because really under it all she is just a normal girl. A normal girl with a very strong will and messed up parents. For all I disliked Arson's grandmother, Emery's parents drove me to the brink of madness. There were times that I wondered how Emery didn't just break down and scream at them. Instead she blocks out her mother and continues to adore her father, protect him even. I don't know if this made her a stronger person to me or weaker. That is yet to be determined.
I think the biggest issue that this book and I had was the slow start. It felt like a long prequel in ways. The detail and background that you get is wonderful but almost too much as it slowed the real story down. We always say that we would have liked to see more background but I found the background in this book almost too much at times. Estevan Vega was however just doing what we always ask for so I can't really fault the entire book for it. The book despite its slow pace keeps you interested because you want to know what is going on. Need to know what lays just below the surface of what you see.
Overall I did enjoy this read. Will I read book #2? Yes. In fact I have a feeling that the second book will be awesome. This is because of how everything ended in this book and now you have all the info that you need to go on. Well not all but most and with that I think there is so much room for the action packed and wonderful writing of Estevan to shine and dazzle us all. Pick this one up if you have the patience to make it through the slow start to find the action and excitement that follows it!