Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

Brooklyn, Burning

When you're sixteen and no one understands who you are, sometimes the only choice left is to run. If you're lucky, you find a place that accepts you, no questions asked. And if you're really lucky, that place has a drum set, a place to practice, and a place to sleep. For Kid, the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are that place. Over the course of two scorching summers, Kid falls hopelessly in love and then loses nearly everything and everyone wor...

Details Brooklyn, Burning

TitleBrooklyn, Burning
Release DateSep 1st, 2011
PublisherCarolrhoda Books
GenreYoung Adult, LGBT, GLBT, Queer, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Reviews Brooklyn, Burning

  • Wendy Darling
    There is a certain rough beauty which can be found in urban environments. Anyone who has stood on a rooftop at sundown or noticed a patch of wildflowers poking out of a concrete sidewalk will appreciate the strange duality of natural and manmade aesthetics, as well as the occasional difficulty of finding security and happiness in such surroundings.For Kid, who has been living on the streets for over a year, the city of Brooklyn offers both streng...
  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
    4.5 stars**Minor spoilers ahead.**If we only look at the surface, it’s pretty clear that Brooklyn, Burning is about gender identity and sexual orientation issues. But looking at the surface is not nearly enough. By concentrating too much on things like gender identity, we fail to see what’s underneath, and we miss everything that’s beautiful. Now, I know that sounds like a terrible cliché, but it’s a lesson that can’t be repeated enoug...
  • Tatiana
    Good writing and a story that didn't really affect me. A homeless teen narrator whose gender and sexuality are never defined, kicked out of home for being "undecided" - certainly a very interesting perspective from which to write a teen novel. The message is clear - labels mean nothing, only love matters.I wanted to like Brooklyn, Burning more. But it is hard to like a book which has romance at its core but whose characters you have no connection...
  • Catie
    This book came as quite a little surprise. I recently finished The Absolute Value of -1, which was gorgeous but also full of difficult characters and had a heartbreaking ending. So, I really did not expect this book to have:a) a sweet love story orb) a joyously happy ending.Let’s review what I thought this book was about: homeless teenage runaways, intolerant parents, and gender identity. You can see why I did not think this book was going to b...
  • Jo
    “I squeezed your hand and looked at your face. It was lit up, not from the rising sun, but from within, and I knew mine must have been too.”High points.Questions the restrictions and preconceptions of gender. Brooklyn. Music. Love with no limits. Sunsets. No inhibitions. The dark side of growing up. The complex relationship between kids and parents who could never/refuse to understand. Summer. Basements. Sex. Dealing with loss. Looking to the...
  • tonya.
    Brooklyn, Burning was quite a surprise for me. I think I expected something hard-edged and bitter, the way I imagine the streets of Brooklyn might be. What I got was something altogether different.Brooklyn, Burning is the story of Kid (as in Billy, the), a teenager living on the streets of Brooklyn. Kid is an unlabeled entity; we're never gives any indication of either Kid's gender or sexual orientation, simply because Kid doesn't know the answer...
  • Isamlq
    4.5Surface: it's about kids who are unsatisfied and (feel) unaccepted; they're lost and maybe confused about who they are and what they want. Closer: (and you don't really have to look that close with Kid telling the story,) you get one that's just of People; of being found, then lost, then found again. There's plenty appealing in this:It's real. With a narrator like Kid, I could feel his anger, sadness... I could feel as he did. He doesn't sugar...
  • Tara
    I've been thinking about this for awhile. What can I say that will do this book justice and won't sound like a bunch of gushing? Truth? All I can do is rave about it. This isn't a boy meets girl story. Or a boy meets boy. Or a girl meets girl. Or maybe it is... That's the beauty of it. This story is about two teenagers in a bad situation who fall in love. It's about two human beings connecting through music and shared experiences. And it's done b...
  • miri
    Fast read and the writing is really beautiful. Parts of it are written in a 2nd person pov and while I normally don't like that, I loved it in this. This book deals with important subjects but sadly in a very quick way and the warehouse plot didn't really pull me in. I liked it and I do recommend it, but I did hope that it would be a five star read so it was a bit disappointing :(EDIT: I've changed from a 3 star to a 4 star rating what feels like...
  • Chasia Lloyd
    What a good, queer book about music, love, grief, and homelessness. Such a unique format too.CWs: drugs, addiction, familial abuse
  • Annika
    When I started reading Brooklyn, Burning I was really excited for it, because of the wonderful reviews it has received but at the same time I tried to keep my expectations low. With hype you always have to expect something not to live up to it.Brooklyn, Burning didn't live up to my expectations. It is not a bad book. The writing is alright and I can appreciate how the Brezenoff never slipped in not revealing the gender of the main character. At t...
  • Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
    3.5 stars. I am really stuck between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Overall I really enjoyed it and think it is most definitely worth the read. My only hesitancy/issue is with the overall character development. I feel like I merely got a glimpse of Kid's world when I wanted an entire view. In defense of the author this is most likely a defect on my part as I am not usually one of those readers who can be thrown into a time and place and just go with ...
  • Fred Slusher
    LGBT YA often leaves out those who are non-binary or genderqueer so it was nice to read a young adult story with a character who isn't gendered either in reference to themselves or by others in the book. Also, it's just a darn good book. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Heather Chi
    A soulful ballad to young love, lost queer lives, musical awakening, and Brooklyn. This is a classic work that reveals, subtly at first, then all at once, how gentrification and its attendant forces (exploitation, exclusion, eviction) impact the lives of immigrants and the homeless.
  • Katya
    Also found here:'s summer again, which means a lot of things for Kid. In the last year he was kicked out of home, lost a loved one and had his roof burn down (both literally and figuratively). He's hounded by the police, and isn't too thrilled when he discovers he's falling in love again, with a guitarist who answers a long-forgotten add. That's not really what this book is about, though. It's just what ...
  • Naitasia
    My true rating for this book is 3.5 stars. It falls short of 4 because I feel as though the story is written with a building momentum that is never fulfilled. I kept waiting for something, what I'm not sure, but whatever it was, it never came. Or maybe it was the transient nature of the gender neutral-no last name characters that didn't fully ground me. Now that I'm finished, I don't feel sated. However, it tasted good as I went through each chap...
  • Harry Brake
    Catcher in the Rye packed, I felt so many times as if I was going to lose my very apartment as I felt I was inside the body of Kid as he wondered from place to place trying to find a place to sleep each night. Steve Brezenoff is able to bring the wandering and restlessness of Kid outside of each page into the inner core of your very being if you let it. Was it ironic that Alicia Keys' "New York" ( came on ...
  • Gilbert&Gomez
    I feel so ashamed. When I got this book I was like, "Wow, this guy is a genius. The whole idea of not knowing the gender of the main characters will be sooo cool." But, then I started reading it and realized that I was so upset. I couldn't get into the book because I DIDN'T KNOW THE GENDER! So upsetting to find that out about myself. But, on the bright side, I did read enough that I can tell you that the writing is phenomenal! Steve Brezenoff's w...
  • Jodi
    I cried when I finished reading Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff. While I’m generally a crybaby, I wouldn’t need to use my toes to count how many times a novel has made me cry.But there I was, snuggled into bed turning the last page of this brilliant, profound young adult novel my face wet. They weren’t tears of sadness or regret, it was joy and happiness.My joy, at first, was for the tender love story between Kid and Scout, two sixteen...
  • Petty Lisbon
    It's closer to a 1.5. I'll get this out of the way first. I think it's lazy, and dare I say gimmicky, to use the genderless card without developing any of the struggles. It just feels like you want a "hey, look at me!" card but outside of one line by Kid's dad, that's just kind of glossed over. I know straight love stories get treated normally, so LGBT love stories should be treated the same, but if you're writing about LGBT homeless youth, then ...
  • Chris
    I have it on good authority that this is an excellent book. Friends, authors, reviewers that I trust and more often than not agree with have all said so. And I know I wasn't in the best mental space as I read this one. So if I was less than impressed, I tend to believe the fault lies in me as a reader and not the book; I don't trust my own opinion on this one. I could see it was a good book, after all, I just never felt emotionally engaged by it,...
  • Joelle Anthony
    This is really good...tight plot, interesting weaving of the present and the past, and very strong writing. The reality of these kids' situation is never sugar coated, but it's a good read for someone kind of wimpy and squeamish like me. It is gritty in its subject matter, but lyrical in the writing, so quite beautiful. Highly recommended.
  • Aylin
    I would actually give it a 4.5 but that might be because I'm too emotional about all this ya love stuff right now.I also loved the fact that 99% of the characters seemed bi to me.
  • Trish Doller
    I hate Steve Brezenoff in the best possible way.
  • Liza
    Ehhhh. This was fine but I didn't connect with any of the characters at all. Even when the issues overlapped with stuff I've experienced - abusive parent, homelessness, addiction, doomed love - I couldn't find it in myself to care. That's really rare - I have BPD for christ's sake. I have to conclude that this means the character development was lacking. They all felt flat to me - everyone seemed to basically have one character trait (except for ...
  • Nayeli Fuentes
    Brooklyn Burning mostly focused on the narrator, Kid's love life and the issues Kid faced. Kid is a homeless teenager living on the streets of Brooklyn. Kid is accused of burning a warehouse that many homeless people lived in and then is being hounded by the police. Kid soon discovers that he has fell in love and throughout the book his love life is explained. The book mentions a topic which is much often ignored, gender identity. The author does...
  • Simon
    Brooklyn burning is the story of tow summers in Brooklyn,two summers of fires, music, loss, and ultimately love. The main characters are "you" Fish Felix, johnny, and Scout (the main charecter) . Steve Brushoff's latest novel tells the story of a street-kid in Brooklyn accused of burning down a local warehouse. However, the more interesting story line in Brooklyn, Burning has little to do with the fire, but focuses on the protagonist’s love int...
  • Isaiah Adeleke
    Kid a non gender pronoun deals with oppression during this book because s/he does not know how to identify. Kid as a result wanted to also have a love life with a girl named Konny but also a boy named Ace. But as the summer went by Kid got her/his heart broken by both during this. Instead of kid to morn everyday during this summer he or she decides to to join a band with a future best friend Felix. So after kid met Felix and got s/he's heart brok...
  • Iredike Erima
    SPOILER WARNING This might have been the most confusing book I have ever read. The plot was unclear, and it was hard to find out the roles of each character. There is a kid named Kid that has a crush on a girl named Konny, an "ACE" character and about 2 other people. Kid decides what he identified as and whenever someone called him a certain gender that he wanted to be, than he would take offence. The ages were also unclear, you couldn't really t...