Thursday, October 16, 2014

Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith Book Review

Our resident book and novel expert, Ashleigh Ray, received an advance copy of award-winning author, Victoria Griffith's latest book, Amazon Burning, which comes out later this month. After reading the book from cover to cover, find out the scoop on whether Ashleigh thinks this next book from Griffith's collection is worth the read.

Overall Assessment: Amazon Burning is a great book for an afternoon read. 3.5 out of 5 stars for an enjoyable, fun and easy read with definite strong moments.

Amazon Burning focuses on the main character, Emma Cohen, and her journey to redeem herself in the journalism world by writing a news-breaking story during a trip to the Amazon with her father, Mike. Throughout the story she attempts to juggle her relationship with Jimmy, an attractive photographer friend of her fathers and her desire to unlock the truth behind the death of Milton Silva, a environmentalist who was murdered in cold blood. 

Although this book is promoted under the young adult genre, I would give this book a rating of NC-17 (no preteens or young teens allowed) for the involvement of sexual content.

This book delivers in its intent to grasp the reader and throw them into an adventure in the Amazon. The interspersion of Spanish dialogue and the inclusion of different animal and foliage species definitely add to the overall immersion of the reader into this strange yet interesting world. The characters make the story interesting. Each character has their own individual voice and personality. To the reader, their interactions and their conversations are believable. Also, the chemistry between Emma and Jimmy seems very natura and not forced in anyway. They complement each other, and the author did a good job in drawing out their relationship.The characters bring the story to life by adding another dimension of reality to the piece. 
However, the story is more than the characters; it is also the mystery and detective journalism surrounding the corruption in the Amazon. 

After the first few chapters, you will find yourself already guessing and trying to figure out “who dun it.” 

There is a strong element of suspense in this piece despite the clich├ęs and the predictability of some of the events. The abrupt cliffhangers at the end of most chapters will throw you off a bit, but only because it felt as though the author was trying to force the suspense on the reader. It takes a few chapters to move past the initial reluctance, but overall you will be glad you did. Moreover, there are a couple of convenient scenes in the story that seem a bit too coincidental to be seen as a real situation, but not enough to completely take you out of the moment.
Victoria Griffith did a good job with this novel. It is enjoyable but probably for only a one time read. It’s good for a nice afternoon if you’re looking for something easy and entertaining, something that’ll hold your attention for the moment and keep you guessing until the very end. This book rates a 3.5 out of 5.