Author: Hope Bolinger
Genre: Young Adult
Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn't expect his school to burn down on the first day.
To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he -- and his three best friends -- receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King's Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town's prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King's Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich "in crowd."
From day one at King's, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the "popular and pretty" table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness--all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.
Reviewer: Jane Mouttet
I love books that retell Bible stories with a modern day twist. I’ll admit I was several chapters into the book before I realized that that is what Blaze was doing. Hope Bolinger has taken the book of Daniel and repurposed it for today’s teens. Blaze includes modern-day retelling of the stories in Daniel 1, 2 and 3. Hope Bolinger is very creative in how she chose to tell the story in such a believable, realistic way.
Danny, Hannah, Michelle, and Rayah are likeable characters who strive to live by Biblical standards in the midst of a very non-Christian environment. School principal Edgar Rezzen (nicknamed Ned) is the guy to dislike in this book. His behavior is deceptive at best and criminal at its worst.
Readers will at times think, things like this couldn’t really happen; and yet, I think they could. I think the story could be an eye-opener that could generate some deep thought or great discussions. Or, it could make the book of Daniel seem more real to today’s teens.
Hope Bolinger ended the book with a very big cliffhanger. I hope book two is coming out soon. I can’t wait to read it.
One area that librarians need to be aware of is the repeated use of the word “crap” followed by “He didn’t really say crap.” The word is considered offensive by some so I need to make note of it, in case it would influence purchase decisions.
Blaze is a great book for a k-12 Christian school library. I think it is appropriate for middle school and up.
I received a complimentary e-copy of Blaze from the author, through Interviews & Reviews. This is my honest review.
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