Title: Nothing Left to Burn
Author: Patty Blount
Pubdate: August 4th, 2015
From the YALSA and RITA Award-nominated author of Some Boys, a smoldering new contemporary YA about love, loss and finding a place to belong.
I promised Matt I’d do this—become a Junior Cadet. That I wouldn’t let you break me down. I know you hate me. Blame me for everything you lost. But that day I lost my brother and my dad. You could never be proud of me, could you? I was too “different.” So, just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m saying goodbye. Maybe someday, you’ll miss me.
Reece’s words make her ache. Amanda understands wanting to belong. As a foster kid, the firehouse where she volunteers is the only place that feels like home. She wants to help Reece, but his dad is her boss. And she won’t risk her place as a Junior Cadet—it’s all that she has. But when a string of arsons suddenly point to Amanda, her whole world is about to go up in flames. And the only way to save themselves is to risk getting burned.
Patty Blount writes contemporary issues novels for teens. Her debut novel, SEND, was a 2012 Junior Library Guild fall pick and a short version of the story was a Writer’s Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition top ten finalist. Her latest release, SOME BOYS, was inspired by the Steubenville rape case. Patty lives on Long Island, NY. Visit her at pattyblount.com.
This August critically acclaimed author Patty Blount releases her latest smoldering YA, Nothing Left to Burn. To celebrate her new release, Patty has agreed to sit down with us for a quick Q&A!
There’s a LOT of firefighting terms in Nothing Left to Burn and I know there was extensive research done for the book. How did you go about gathering your research?
I started by asking friends if they knew any volunteer firefighters and then contacted those people (with permission of course). They were all happy to talk about the work they love so much, they do it for free. From there, I got the names of a few chiefs and fire marshals who invited me to tour faciltiies or email them whenever I had questions. I walked into the fire house and was immediately hit by the odor of smoke and dampness that clings to everything.
I also bought a textbook used in many of their classes but the best information came from listening to the stories these volunteers have collected.
It’a been a year since I wrote the book and believe me, I can’t hear the fire station alarm without saying a little prayer.
The loudest sound I had ever heard shattered the air before I could think about it anymore.
I leaped from the table and hurried to the apparatus floor, forgetting all about my jellied leg muscles. I’d never seen the trucks dispatched.
My heart pounded, and I caught up to Amanda, standing out of the way as the crews from Truck 3, Engine 21, and Rescue 17 donned turnouts and climbed aboard.
Engine 21, Truck 3, Rescue 17. Residential fire. Second alarm. 78 Juniper Court. Trapped occupants.
“Please, please let this not be another arson,” one of the men muttered as he swung onto the truck.
Goose bumps rose on my arms. Trapped occupants? Arson? God. The apparatus bay doors rolled up with a rumble I could feel in my stomach. Lights and sirens on, the trucks rolled out, Chief Duffy’s official car in the lead.
Every person on those trucks was a volunteer. A second alarm meant this fire was big and dangerous. People were trapped.
And nobody hesitated.
Dad was on Engine 21. Warmth slowly spread from the center of my chest to the rest of my body and it took me a few minutes to recognize it.
I watched the trucks disappear down the street, only then realizing Amanda was next to me. “I’m in, Amanda. All in.” I didn’t stop to analyze it. The words left my mouth, and I knew in my heart that I meant it. I wanted this. Not because of Dad or Matt, but because of me. Laughing, I grabbed her arms and planted a smacking kiss on her lips.
She went still.
Holy shit. What did I do? I was just about to let her go when she leaned in and kissed me back.
Really kissed me.
It didn’t last long. A whisper. A sip. A breath. But it damn near rocked my socks off. She jerked out of my arms like a rubber band snapping. I was still grinning like a moron. And Amanda?
She looked like she’d been gut-shot.