If you can't stand the heat, don't walk into the fire.
Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.
To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town's prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich "in crowd."
From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the "popular and pretty" table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness—all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.
Blaze by Hope Bolinger
Normally I'm not a fan of Bible stories set in modern times, but I really enjoyed this book! The plot is laid out very carefully and I found the adaptation of the events of Daniel clever and well thought out. The many suspenseful moments and twists and turns throughout the book made it a real page turner. The four main characters are each very unique and I loved each of them in their own way. The main character's sense of humor, Danny, is hysterical and I wish I could meet him in real life. This book was a very good start to my summer reading and I am already looking forward to book 2!
Fun Foray Outside My Favored Genres
Posted by M.N. Stroh on Jun 4th 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this modern retelling of the book of Daniel. Blaze was a foray outside the usual genres I read. Usually, contemporary novels don't enthrall me, and rarely contemporary YA. So a four-star rating is high praise from me. If you enjoy YA, Blaze is essential to add to your collection.
Hope Bolinger catapults you into a vivid world of adolescents, with all the real-life struggles they face. Her quirky, yet endearing characters draw you in for a harrowing ride, balanced with levity and grace. An infectious allegory that'll burn straight into your heart!
Great YA read!
Posted by Megan Burkhart on Jun 1st 2020
Blaze is a modern day retelling of the biblical story of Daniel set in a high school. I loved reading the classic story given a new twist. The four main characters were funny and each had their own unique personality that was relatable. It was fun connecting the parallels to the biblical story, and the author was so creative in adding modern elements that made the narrative feel realistic and authentic. The teens in this story are dealing with a lot of real-life issues, within themselves and their families, but they rely on their faith and each other to survive the difficulties of King's Academy. I highly recommend this book for any YA reader.
Posted by Jennifer Hallmark on Feb 13th 2020
Debut author Hope Bolinger entertains the young and young-at-heart with her YA novel, Blaze. She introduces us to Danny Belte and his friends and their struggles and triumphs of life in high school. But this book is so much more. Blaze is a contemporary twist on stories from the book of Daniel in the Bible. The way Hope threads allegory throughout the modern high school setting is masterful. Above all, Blaze is a fun, and can’t-put-it-down, delightful story.