Goodreads ratings
3.65 / 5

"Burning" Summary

By Danielle Rollins

young adult | 352 pages | Published in 2016

After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she'll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teenage girl is sent to a reform school where she uncovers dark secrets and must fight to survive.


"Burning" is a thrilling young adult novel written by Danielle Rollins. This gripping story takes readers on a suspenseful journey filled with mystery, romance, and supernatural elements. Set in a boarding school for troubled teens, the book explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the consequences of secrets. With its fast-paced plot and well-developed characters, "Burning" keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set at the prestigious Brunesfield Academy, a boarding school nestled in the remote mountains of Colorado. The academy is known for its strict discipline and unconventional methods of teaching. Angela Martin, a troubled teenager with a troubled past, is sent to Brunesfield after an unfortunate incident at her previous school. She hopes that this new environment will help her start afresh and leave her troubled past behind.

Upon her arrival at Brunesfield, Angela quickly befriends two fellow students, Iris and Caleb. Together, they form an unlikely trio and navigate the challenges of life at the academy. However, their lives take a sinister turn when a series of mysterious fires break out on campus. As the fires escalate, Angela and her friends become convinced that they are not accidents but deliberate acts of arson.

Desperate to uncover the truth and protect themselves, Angela, Iris, and Caleb embark on a dangerous investigation. They uncover dark secrets and hidden agendas as they delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding Brunesfield Academy. Along the way, Angela discovers her own hidden powers and the true nature of her troubled past.

Main Characters

Angela MartinThe protagonist of the story, Angela is a troubled teenager with a troubled past. She possesses a unique ability to sense and control fire.
IrisA mysterious and enigmatic girl who befriends Angela. She has a knack for uncovering secrets and is fiercely loyal to her friends.
CalebA charming and witty boy who becomes Angela's closest friend at Brunesfield Academy. He is determined to protect his friends and uncover the truth behind the fires.

Summary of Different Story Points

Chapter 1-5: The Arrival at Brunesfield Academy

Angela arrives at Brunesfield Academy, unsure of what to expect. She meets Iris and Caleb and forms a bond with them. They navigate the strict rules and peculiarities of the academy, including the watchful eyes of the school administration.

Chapter 6-10: The Mysterious Fires Begin

A series of small fires break out on campus, initially dismissed as accidents. Angela, Iris, and Caleb suspect foul play and begin investigating. They uncover hidden passages and secret rooms within the academy, leading them to believe that someone is deliberately starting the fires.

Chapter 11-15: Uncovering Dark Secrets

Angela discovers her unique ability to control fire and realizes that she is connected to the fires. As the investigation deepens, they uncover dark secrets about the academy, including a secret society known as the Order of the Bell. They suspect that members of the Order are behind the fires.

Chapter 16-20: The Final Showdown

Angela, Iris, and Caleb confront the members of the Order of the Bell and discover their true intentions. A thrilling climax ensues as Angela uses her fire-controlling abilities to defeat the members and save her friends. The truth behind the fires is revealed, and the trio finally finds closure and freedom from the academy.

Main Events

  1. Angela's arrival at Brunesfield Academy and her initial encounters with Iris and Caleb.
  2. The first fire breaks out on campus, raising suspicions.
  3. Angela, Iris, and Caleb begin their investigation, uncovering hidden passages and secret rooms.
  4. Angela discovers her fire-controlling abilities and realizes her connection to the fires.
  5. The trio uncovers the existence of the Order of the Bell and their involvement in the fires.
  6. A confrontation with the members of the Order leads to a thrilling climax and the revelation of the truth.
  7. Angela, Iris, and Caleb find closure and freedom from the academy.

Themes and Insights

  • Friendship and Loyalty: The book explores the power of friendship and the importance of loyalty in the face of adversity. Angela, Iris, and Caleb support each other throughout their investigation and ultimately rely on their bond to overcome challenges.
  • Secrets and Consequences: "Burning" delves into the consequences of keeping secrets. The characters' lives are deeply affected by the hidden truths they uncover, leading to personal growth and self-discovery.
  • Identity and Self-Acceptance: Angela's journey at Brunesfield Academy forces her to confront her troubled past and accept her unique abilities. The story highlights the importance of embracing one's identity and finding self-acceptance.

Reader's Takeaway

"Burning" is a captivating and suspenseful read that will keep young adult readers hooked from beginning to end. The well-developed characters, fast-paced plot, and supernatural elements make for an enthralling reading experience. The themes of friendship, loyalty, and self-discovery resonate with readers, encouraging reflection on their own lives.


Danielle Rollins' "Burning" is a gripping young adult novel that combines mystery, romance, and the supernatural. Set in a boarding school for troubled teens, the story follows Angela, Iris, and Caleb as they navigate the challenges of life at Brunesfield Academy and uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious fires. With its well-crafted plot, engaging characters, and themes of friendship and self-discovery, "Burning" is a must-read for fans of suspenseful YA fiction.

Burning FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book 'Burning'?

    The book 'Burning' is a young adult thriller.

  2. Who is the author of 'Burning'?

    The author of 'Burning' is Danielle Rollins.

  3. What is the main plot of 'Burning'?

    The main plot of 'Burning' revolves around a group of teenagers who are sent to a reform school called Brunesfield Academy, where they discover dark secrets and a deadly game.

  4. Is 'Burning' part of a series?

    'Burning' is the first book in the 'Mercy Rule' series.

  5. What age group is 'Burning' recommended for?

    'Burning' is recommended for readers aged 14 and above.

  6. Are there any trigger warnings for 'Burning'?

    Yes, 'Burning' contains themes of violence, abuse, and psychological manipulation.

  7. Where can I purchase 'Burning'?

    'Burning' is available for purchase on various online platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository, as well as in physical bookstores.

  8. Is there a movie adaptation of 'Burning'?

    As of now, there is no movie adaptation of 'Burning'.

  9. What are some similar books to 'Burning'?

    Some similar books to 'Burning' are 'One of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus, 'The Female of the Species' by Mindy McGinnis, and 'Gone' by Michael Grant.

  10. Is 'Burning' available in ebook format?

    Yes, 'Burning' is available in ebook format for Kindle, Nook, and other ebook readers.