Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago.
Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.
The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars.
If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions.
Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted.
The thing with this book is that it is very realistic and true. Francis has been left with horrific scars at the hands of his abusive father. Going through life with them and being called Burn Baby by the school bully does nothing to help his self-esteem. No one hates how he looks more than Francis, himself. He is immature for being 17, but that is understandable because of the life he has been dealt. But, with a best friend who is extremely protective, the best friend’s girlfriend who treats him like a regular friend and the new girl at school who sees past the scars to the boy inside, Francis is so much more than the scars.
The simplicity of the writing is what makes this book so good. The focus is not on the words, but on the feelings and life of Francis. He is a teenager, but not your typical 17 year old. His is immature, but acts out and tries to act older than he is whenever he can. He does not hide behind his best friend, Trig, but tries to talk Trig out of standing up to the school bully because he just wants things left alone. But, this book has a sadness inside that pulls at the reader’s heartstrings. All I can say is read it to find out, because it won’t be a disappointment.