Posted in Young Adult Nonfiction

The Burn Journals, by Brent Runyon

216196The Burn Journals
Brent Runyon
2005 Vintage
ISBN – 9781400096428
Genre – Nonfiction, Memoir
Age – High School
4.2 Stars

When Brent gets in trouble at his middle school for setting a fire in the locker room, he decides that killing himself would be the easiest route to take. When he gets home from school he undresses, douses his robe in gasoline, puts it on, and lights himself on fire. He immediately realizes his mistake, but by the time paramedics come he has third-degree burns on over 85% of his body. This book tells the true story of his intensive recovery over the next year.

Burn Journals is a very intense read. The descriptions of the events and recovery, of pain and fear made me cringe and brought me to tears all at the same time. Brent Runyon is able to capture his feelings of helplessness and thoughts that no one will ever love him again. I like that he does realize that life is worth living, no matter how bad it seems. He does, however, get a slight bit preachy in the end. That’s really just me nitpicking. I listened to this on audiobook, and I must say kudos to the reader. He was fantastic. I thought he captured the emotion or lack there of at times in different situations. I also appreciated that he actually sang when Brent was supposed to be singing. That is pretty rare. Overall, I thought this was an intimate and valuable look into the mind of someone who had little to no hope for life, that was able to learn and grow from their actions.

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