Publisher: Tate Publishing
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Source: Traveling ARC Tours
Synopsis: Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.Arson has never felt like a normal boy his whole life; his grandmother, the only person who has the posibility of giving him even a hint of comfort makes him feel that he is truly alone and that no one could love him as he is. He feels hopeless...until the new family moves in next door and the . Emery, with her frightening mask and her sarcastic sense of humor gives Arson a spark of hope in what would otherwise be a bleak world. But both of their inner demons rise from the shadows and threaten to ruin their relationship: faced with the challenge, they find strength in each other and rise up against their fears.
Arson startled me with how good it was. Vega's writing style isn't heavy on imagery or dialogue; instead he uses the fewest words possible and manages to describe a multitude of things within just a few sentences. I was struck by how there was so much depth beneath the simplicity. Usually I'm a big fan of imagery and tons of dialogue but Vega managed to hook me into this story without being excessive. My favorite character would definetely have to be Emery-despite her misfortune she still managed to find humor in everyday life and I loved her for this. Her story was just as powerful as Arson's and her presence in Arson's life opened up a world of posibilities for him that he never would've dreamed of. Arson himself was an intriguing character-he lives with his grandmother who is just plain crazy and has so much emotional baggage but never did he come off whiny or pathetic. How someone who's been surrounded with darkness his whole life could still manage to have a bit of innocence in him is simply remarkable. (and a testament to how well Vega creates his characters.)
Although Arson is about a boy with the ability to create fire, this novel isn't about his supernatural ability: instead it deals with the emotional consequences of his powers and how he lets it dictate his life until Emery, with her own flaws, gives him the courage to see past the shadows. Arson is a curious story; it's strangely subtle but it's also a consuming, emotionally charged tale. It's something that everything should read.