Monday, July 7, 2014

{YA Review} Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

Going Down in Flames
If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have. (Blurb via Goodreads)
{Details} ebook, 407 pages. Expected publication: June 30th 2014 by Entangled Teen Ember. Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Chris Cannon and Entangled Teen Ember.

{Rating} 4/5 -- I really liked it!

"Bryn yanked down the school bus window." (page 1, line 1)
I really enjoyed Going Down in Flames. It's full of action, excitement, castes, romance, and dragons! There are dragons!

It lacks a bit in creativity, there are a lot of oft-used tropes: Bryn's ignorant of her nature, she's thrown into a new world, hindered by all the things she doesn't know - socially and academically, sent to a boarding school where she's surrounded by students that make her life miserable, and there's a mysterious guy who she wants to get closer to. But it's still so much fun. And there are dragons!

Bryn's a great heroine. She's strong and spunky and speaks her mind. I liked her sense of humor and perspective and how she wholeheartedly stands up for the people she loves. There are so many obstacles in Bryn's path, one of the biggest is the Directorate - who hates her very existence and controls everything, marriage, careers, relationships - and the structure of dragon society where the what type of dragon you are determines everything in your life.

Zavien the mysterious guy. The guy who infuriates Bryn, who seems to know all the answers but doesn't want to share them, whose emotions fluctuate like he has an on and off switch. But I want to know more about him, his past and how he's going to deal with the way his life just got more complicated.

There's also a whole host of secondary characters, Ferrin, Jaxon, Ivy, Clint and more whom I both loved and hated. I so hope that there is going to be at least a sequel, though a series would be preferable, the world Chris Cannon has created is one I definitely want to visit again.

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