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The Burning Reviews

The Burning by Laura Bates

The Burning

Laura Bates

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publication date: 21 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781471170201

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, bestselling author of Girl Up and leading voice for women's rights

4 stars out of 5
Abigail Bergstrom
9 Jun 2019

"a defiant and essential love letter to young girls"

The Everyday Sexism… author and activist turns her hand to fiction in this YA sensation that’s a defiant and essential love letter to young girls. Read it, then hand it down to the next generation of women in your family.


4 stars out of 5

"This is a hard and challenging read, but its power and necessity are impossible to deny."

In her debut YA novel, Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism project, interweaves a thoroughly 21st-century phenomenon – the “slut-shaming” of a teenage girl after her boyfriend broadcasts an intimate photo of her online – with its 17th-century equivalent: a young rape victim, shamed for bearing a child out of wedlock, is condemned and executed as a witch. These may be familiar stories, but in Bates’s assured hands they feel newly forged.... The Burning is filled with a sense of girls’ age-old shame and suffering, their suppressed, self-devouring anguish and their rage. Like Louise O’Neill’s novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It, it forces the reader to confront what feels unbearable – vulnerable female flesh, exposed to unceasing scrutiny, manipulation and mockery. Moments of excruciating contemporary vindictiveness – as when as a false Facebook profile is constructed for Anna’s dead father, giving his location as “in hell” – are interwoven skilfully with analysis of historical horrors such as the ducking stool and the scold’s bridle.