Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff
Fiction (Young Adult)
With hopeful warmer weather months and outdoor rock concerts approaching, I was immediately intrigued by the content of this book. It is a story about two Brooklyn summers filled with fires, music, loss, and eventually love. This novel was not the type of story that could be labeled quickly or easily, but it turned out to be both charming and enigmatic.
Kid is a teenage runaway who spends most nights sleeping in the basement of a bar in Hipster Central, a.k.a. Greepoint, Brooklyn. It is unclear whether Kid is a boy or a girl, gay or straight, but one thing is for sure: Kid is no longer welcome at home. Instead, Kid finds a kindred spirit in Scout, a fellow runaway who shows up one morning at the bar ready to form a band.
As Kid and Scout’s friendship blossoms, Kid flashes back to Felix, a former love that lived in an abandoned warehouse which mysteriously burned down. Nursing a broken heart, Kid searches for healing through Scout, family, and finally revealing the truth about the warehouse fire.
This book is a fascinating look at life on the outskirts of society and it makes you feel like you’re really “there.” Brezenoff writes in a straight-up style with extremely believable dialogue and stabs of emotion. The development of Kid’s past through his flashbacks is both complex and identifiable. Based partially on the true events surrounding the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse fire of 2006, Brooklyn Burning is ultimately a lyrical love song.