Thursday, May 28, 2015

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

I read about Brooklyn, Burning when I read Tiny Ladies In Shiny Pants. I hadn't heard about Brooklyn, Burning before that and I was intrigued, a book about homeless gay teens in Brooklyn. I enjoy reading about lives that do not resemble my own so I put it on hold. Brooklyn, Burning's narrator, Kid, was one character I won't soon forget.

The story starts with Kid, cruising up to his hangout spot, Fish's Bar. Kid hasn't slept all night, too amped up to lay his head down. But in front of Fish's, is another person, someone Kid hasn't met. Kid interrogates the newcomer, Scout, and offers Scout a place to rest in the cellar of the bar. From there the story jumps back and forth between now with Kid and Scout and to a previous time (maybe last summer) with Kid and Felix.

Brezenoff doesn't sugar coat these kid's lives. People constantly recommend that Kid go home but his dad threw him out. Should Kid change who he is to stay with his parents? Can you only express yourself when you have the freedom do so? How long should you wait for said freedom? Also these kids have no where to go besides an abandoned, unsafe building. They are extremely vulnerable and little help was given to any of them. I was glad that Kid had his cast of friends but sad that none of them had much.

Brooklyn, Burning is an experience. I definitely recommend it. Others who shared their thoughts on Brooklyn, Burning: Hey, Library Girl, The Nocturnal Library, and Paperback Treasures.

This book satisfies the city category for the What's In A Name Challenge.

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