I'd Rather Burn Than Bloom (Hardcover)
Packed with voice, Shannon C.F. Rogers' I'd Rather Burn than Bloom is a powerful YA novel about a Filipina-American teen who tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother's death.
Some girls call their mother their best friend. Marisol Martin? She could never relate. She and her mom were forever locked in an argument with no beginning and no end. Clothes, church, boys, no matter the topic, Marisol always felt like there was an unbridgeable gap between them that they were perpetually shouting across, one that she longed to close.
But when her mother dies suddenly, Marisol is left with no one to fight against, haunted by all the things that she both said and didn’t say. Her dad seems completely lost, and worse, baffled by Marisol's attempts to connect with her mother's memory through her Filipino culture. Her brother Bernie is retreating further and further into himself. And when Marisol sleeps with her best friend's boyfriend - and then punches said best friend in the face - she's left alone, with nothing but a burning anger, and nowhere for it to go.
And Marisol is determined to stay angry, after all, there’s a lot to be angry about– her father, her mother, the world. But as a new friendship begins to develop with someone who just might understand, Marisol reluctantly starts to open up to her, and to the possibility there’s something else on the other side of that anger– something more to who she is, and who she could be.
"Readers who relish deep character development will appreciate Marisol’s messy evolution toward self-forgiveness...Heart-wrenching and heart-filled."
"Rogers crafts a fast-paced narrative through Marisol’s powerful and poignant voice. Insights into family dynamics, changing friendships, and biracial identity make for realistically messy and enjoyable character growth that one can’t help but empathize with."
-Publishers Weekly (starred)
"This poignant coming of age story, told in alternating "then" and "now" segments, takes readers on a complicated and isolated journey of loss, with welcome moments of humor."
-Horn Book Magazine
“A moving meditation on grief and the healing balm of forgiveness—especially self-forgiveness. I'd Rather Burn than Bloom is a light in all the dark places that healing requires we tread. A brilliant, bold debut!"
-Aminah Mae Safi, author of Tell Me How You Really Feel
"In her smart, poignant and tear-jerking debut, Rogers expertly navigates the light and the dark, ensuring a delicate balance of laughter and tears from her readers. An aching and urgent book about love, loss and finding one's place in the world."
-Aditi Khorana, author of Mirror in the Sky