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. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Arson is struggling in life. He feels lonely, even though he has a crush on Mandy, the most popular girl in town. His grandmother beats him but he loves her. He lives with her since his parents are dead. It's something he can't forget either as his grandmother always beats him for it. His mother died while giving birth to him. Then there's his unique power. He can start fires with his mind.
Then Emery moves in next door. A girl who never takes off her mask. She was horribly burnt as a child and hides her scars behind the mask. She's also a loner, but when she meets Arson, at first they don't seem to like one another. But over time, the two of them seem to connect in some way. But with Arson trying to learn to control his power and Emory unsure if she can compete with popular girl Mandy for Arson's affections, things get a bit hairy.
There's great character development and it takes awhile to learn about some of the secrets in Arson and Emery's past - including their parents. Vega is a brilliant writer and although it was slow going at times, as the first book in the series, it's to be expected. The scene has to be set and the characters have to be presented. I felt sorry for Emery and Arson with their struggles but I have high hopes for the next book in the series, Ashes. A great young adult suspense with a splash of paranormal.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.