Review: Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell

Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: eARC provided by publisher via First to Read in exchange for an honest review
Add to Goodreads!
Amazon | BN | Kobo | Indiebound
The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she's been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it's time to evacuate.

Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey--and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks's dark past come to light, Audrey can't help but wonder if there's danger in the pull she feels--both toward this boy, and toward the fire burning in the distance.

Nothing Left to Burn has been high on my wish list ever since I first heard about it, and as the buzz continued to build over these last few months my excitement did as well. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy! 

Now that I've read it I can definitely say it was well worth the wait. Nothing Left to Burn is fiery and enthralling...the kind of book that calls to be read in one sitting. It's about the secrets a person keeps and the lies they tell themselves to protect the ones they love. It's about falling in love - so hopelessly in love - that they begin to loose parts of themselves along the way. It's about growing up and taking responsibility, finding strength at the most unexpected times. Basically, it's the kind of YA contemporary that reminds me just how much I love YA contemporary. 

Nothing Left to Burn is set over a twenty-four hour period. At first I was worried about this characteristic. I wondered if the book would feel complete, if the story lines as well as the characters would be fleshed out. As per usual, however, my worrying was for nothing. Heather does an excellent job of using the twenty-four period to her advantage. I loved the quick nature of the book. The chapters were fast paced and to the point; however, they never felt incomplete. I was always satisfied with what I received. I also loved that she included flashbacks. It helped to drum up intrigue as well as suspense, especially when the hinted at event was broken up into several parts. 

Nothing Left to Burn is told through Audrey's perspective. I found Audrey to be an interesting main character. I can't say I always loved her or fully stood behind her choices, but there was something about her that made her story so completely compelling. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know why she loved Brooks, why she seemed to be keeping her friends and family at such a distance, why she felt so guilty, and what exactly happened between her and her best friend's brother. I also loved how real she felt. She wasn't perfect. She was actually far from it, but over the course of the book, she aims to become a better person, to tell the truth, to take responsibility, and I admired that about her. I could even see parts of my high school self in her, and I feel that many others will be able to relate to her as well, especially when it comes to her toxic relationship with Brooks. 

Talking about Brooks, he definitely wasn't the most likable love interest. There wasn't anything swoony about him, and I could  never quite see the appeal to him even in his and Audrey's happy days. He was brooding and dark, and the more I got to know him, the more I wanted Audrey to run. Like with Audrey, however, I was curious to learn more about him, and I will say I appreciated the overall role he played. It offered up a lot of interesting twists as well as introspections. 

Nothing Left to Burn is a slow-burn read. It takes a while to get to the action, or the meat of the novel, but it was so worth it in my opinion. I loved getting to know the characters first, of really getting a feel for the California setting...Heather just did such a great job of building everything up. I also appreciated the focus on wildfires. As someone who doesn't live in an area impacted by them, I don't think too much about them. Therefore, it was eye-opening to see one through Audrey's eyes. It broke my heart to see what Audrey and her friends went through, and it's nutty to think about how much can change with just one fire. 

Overall, Nothing Left to Burn is a unique, carefully crafted contemporary. Even though I finished it days ago, I'm still thinking about it, especially the ending. Gosh, it was twisty and ambiguous, but I don't think it could've been more perfect. I can't wait to read more by Heather! 

4.5 stars!!


  1. Oh this does sound unique. I hadn't heard of it, but I'm curious about it for sure!
    Great review!

  2. This is a new one to me, it really does sound like a uniques story. And one I would certainly like too. Great review.

  3. I have this one to read soon. I am thrilled to see that you enjoyed it so much. It does sound like a great read!


I love comments so never be afraid to leave one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Imagination Designs
Artwork by www.CreateTheCut.com