Jan 12, 2012

Book Review: Arson by Estevan Vega

Arson by Estevan Vega
(Arson, #1)
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Tate Publishing; 318 pages

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. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

ARSON was a nice surprise, wasn’t anything like what I was expecting it to be. I always love when I’m surprised by a book, it’s refreshing.

Arson Gable, who is a seventeen year old boy with no friends and no parents; he’s been raised by his grandmother, Kay and grandfather, Henry. His grandmother constantly refers to him as a little demon and it’s almost like she has two personalities. One minute she’s a kind, loving grandmother and then the next she’s beating Arson for merely existing and killing her only daughter. (Arson’s mother died when she was giving birth to him and he never met his father) He works in an ice cream parlor where he’s constantly giving the popular girl, Mandy, free ice cream because he’s got a major crush on her. He would do anything for a chance with her but then he gets new neighbors. A family of three. Joel, a minister, Aimee, a nurse and Emery, a damaged teenager. Emery wears a mask to cover her appalling face, one that was damaged when she was younger.

Emery and Arson connect right away and we almost forget about Mandy but of course, she comes back around to be catty popular girl that she is. She may come to regret that by the end of the book…

I will admit, the book was a bit slow in the beginning. Or maybe slow isn’t the word I want to use, I had trouble getting reeled in completely until about a quarter of the way through. Especially when it changed from different characters perspectives. I absolutely love Arson and Emery, two damaged souls trying to cope with their situations and how they do, is completely different. Emery has the most amazing personality for someone hiding behind a mask whereas Arson, is very down on himself most of the time. Grandma Kay…what to say about her. I despise her and I don’t feel bad for doing so. Her being the way she is makes you sympathize with Arson so much more. Someone as innocent as Arson had to grow up with someone as awful as her. He can’t help how he was born and he especially can’t help the fact that he killed his mother by simply existing. Her blame should be thrown at the father who disappeared after Arson was born, not Arson. He’s innocent. He’s a kid. *highlight to view spoiler* I'm not sure if its wrong of me to not feel bad for what happened to her at the end or not, but I don't. I almost feel like it was rightfully deserved. I'm an awful person, aren't I? lol *spoiler*

Joel and Aimee – Emery’s parents. I’m not sure who to side with here but I always was leaning more toward Joel. Aimee is a selfish bitch, to simply put it. Joel tries and tries with his wife but she is practically appalled by him. Sure, Joel’s not perfect and he’s made mistakes but he does seem like he’s trying. At least he’s dedicated to his wife and his marriage unlike her. They’re both rotten parents, when you look at it and it’s a wonder Emery has turned out as great as she has but you still find yourself finding sides.

The ending leaves you wanting more. Needing more. It also leaves you with a new respect for Arson. Or maybe I’ve got such a twisted mind that I see it as respect? Regardless, this book delivers. I definitely recommend picking up a copy and giving it a go. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.

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