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Burning Blue


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* Widespread reviews in major newspapers such as the Herald Sun, West Australian, Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald and New Zealand Herald * Reviews in YA magazines such as Magpies, Viewpoint, Reading Time, Dolly and Girlfriend * Online reviews on blogs such as We Love YA, Alpha Reader and Hey! Teenager of the Year * Profile in YA magazines such as Magpies and Viewpoint magazine * Author video to teachers on Text Publishing's website * Teaching notes available at

About the Author

Paul Griffin is the author of Ten Mile River and Stay With Me.


The idea of finding beauty and value where most see ugliness and ruin runs through Griffin's novels, and he brings that theme into sharp focus in this chilling, of-the-moment mystery. After popular and gorgeous senior Nicole Castro is sprayed in the face with acid in the halls of her New Jersey high school, 16-year-old Jay Nazarro, a closeted hacker with epilepsy, is determined to uncover who is behind the attack. The brunt of the narrative follows Jay's investigation, as well as his developing relationship with Nicole, while interspersed entries from Nicole's diaries, her shrinks' notes, and e-mails from the perpetrator add depth (yes, there are red herrings, but as Jay discovers, nearly every potential suspect has a secret). Jay is an accomplished hacker-he's not infallible, but he could hold his own in a Cory Doctorow novel-and tech-obsessed readers will love seeing him adapt cellphones, computers, and Web sites to his advantage. As always, Griffin (Stay with Me) fills his story with fascinating, distinctive characters whose interior and exterior struggles are closely entwined. Ages 14-up. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 8 Up-Griffin has upped the ante with this engrossing page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. He retains his penchant for characters who are broken and battered by the vicissitudes of life and who struggle to find meaning and happiness. However, no matter how tragic the situation, he injects a poignant humanity and hopefulness into the most desperate of circumstances. Readers meet Nicole Castro, who is beautiful, brilliant, and popular. Her life completely changes the day that her perfect face is deliberately marred by acid. Classmate Jay Nazarro is determined to discover the perpetrator of this heinous and violent attack. A computer geek, Jay has become a recluse due to the humiliation he suffered when he had a seizure in front of the entire student body. The two form a tenuous alliance, searching for motives and possible suspects. Alternating narratives, email messages, journal entries, and therapist notes chronicle Jay's investigation and the shocking unraveling of the truth. Jay's snarky bravado, biting commentary, and personal anxiety provide an excellent counterpoint to Nicole's piercing, heartbreaking inner dialogue. These realistic portraits will resonate with readers, who will appreciate this story on many levels: as a psychological study, social commentary, a puzzling mystery, or tender romance. Allusions to Picasso's Girl in Front of a Mirror should send readers off to explore this contemporary art classic. Another stellar offering from this talented author.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

' A whip-smart who dunnit with engaging characters.' Weekend Herald 'Burning Blue masters the difficult sub-genre of the psychological thriller.' Weekend Australian 'An enthralling and sometimes moving read.' Magpies 'His lonely, vulnerable characters, including the parents are totally convincing and the mystery and excitement of the hacking kept me turning the pages.' -- Choices for English, AATE 'A funny, wrenching, often heartbreaking novel.' The New York Times on Stay With Me

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