Review Blog

Jan 23 2012

Melody burning by Whitley Strieber

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742379135.
(Age 13+) Thriller. In the crawl spaces and niches of a large Los Angeles building lives a boy named Beresford. When very young he witnessed a horrible death and has hidden ever since, making the chutes his home. When rock star Melody comes to live in the hotel he falls in love in her, even though he is not sure what love is. Melody has been too busy to fall in love, with her mother pushing her to become famous. In the hotel also lives a dangerous pyromaniac, who urged on by an evil man, is making plans that will affect the futures of Beresford and Melody.
This is a very fast paced thriller that held my attention for the whole book, which I finished in one sitting. The suspense of what would happen with the pyromaniac and also what would happen with the growing relationship between Melody and Beresford, kept me glued to my seat.
I was intrigued with the idea of a feral boy who never went out into the sun and who watched over the occupants of the building. Beresford's story is told in the third person and a strong, intelligent but emotionally and educationally deprived teen emerges as events unfold. Equally fascinating are the descriptions of life as an emerging pop star, told by Melody in the first person. The angst over song writing, the fans, her pushy mother and the paparazzi are brought to life and the reader gains a sympathetic view of her feelings through the songs that she writes.
This is recommended as a light, exciting read for teens. Whitley Shrieber is a horror writer who has previously written for adults.
Pat Pledger

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