Saturday, June 21, 2014

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

Brooklyn, Burning is the type of book that only comes along once in awhile and burns its beautiful story into your heart.

Kid is a teen runaway and so is Scout.  They meet outside of Fish's bar in Brooklyn and develop a relationship while they try and survive on the streets.  Both play instruments and make beautiful music together that is raw and creative.

Kid used to sleep in the old warehouse down by the river but it burned.  The authorities suspect arson and Kid is their prime suspect.  Kid is reeling from the loss of first love and is trying to find the strength to move on and is thinking maybe jail would be the right punishment.  Yet Scout is always there when needed and maybe the truth will actually set you free.

The story is narrated by Kid whose gender is undefined, in fact for both Kid and Scout, you don't know whether they are boy or girl, gay or straight.  Brooklyn, Burning is written without pronouns for the main characters.  It is an interesting way to read a novel and I loved it.  I love how Brezenoff experiments with gender and makes a statement about love and transcendance.  At its heart Brooklyn, Burning is a love story.  Yet this love story makes you think about gender stereotypes and how teens and people define themselves.

Brezenoff's writing is poetic and original.  I like a writer that takes risks and gets creative.  The characters of Kid and Scout are endearing and you will fall in love with them as they throw off societal labels.

I loved this story of non-conformity.