Books That Burn

A book review podcast where we discuss how authors treat and traumatize their characters.

Stand-Alone 15: Early Departures - Justin A. Reynolds

October 4th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Early Departures” by Justin A Reynolds. We discuss a toxic relationship, abandonment, and death in this YA sci-fi novel about grief, loss, and second chances. Robin read this as an ARC last year and is pleased to report that their re-read of the final version held up.

TITLE: Early Departures 
AUTHOR: Justin A. Reynolds
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
YEAR: 2020
LENGTH: 480 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Science Fiction
RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for ableist language (brief), toxic relationship, grief, vomit, pregnancy, drowning, car accident, parental death, major character death, death.

Topic 1: Toxic Relationship. Begins at (1:35), CW for Toxic relationships.

Topic 2: Abandonment. Begins at (13:10), CW for Parental death, death, abandonment.

Topic 3: Death. Begins at (22:05), CW for Parental death, death.

Promo for Half Damage by Crit Chat; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (33:00).

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You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

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Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Stand-Alone 14: Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

September 6th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson, many people's first shockingly sad childhood book.

TITLE: Bridge to Terabithia
AUTHOR: Katherine Paterson
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
YEAR: 1977
LENGTH: 192 pages
AGE: Middle Grade, Young Adult
GENRE: Realistic Fiction
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book CW for ableist language, bullying, homophobia (brief), fatphobia, sexism, grief, child abuse (not depicted), domestic abuse, violence, child death, major character death, death.

Topic 1: May Belle - Domestic Abuse. Begins at (1:35), CW for domestic abuse, mention of death.

Topic 2: Leslie - Misogyny. Begins at (8:15), CW for misogyny, mention of homophobia, mention of child death.

Topic 3: Jess - Survivor’s Guilt. Begins at (22:24), CW for misogyny, child death.

Promo for CPOV Autographs; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (31:16). CW for mention of homophobia.

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Stand-Alone 13: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea - Maggie Tokuda-Hall

August 9th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA” by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, a young adult fantasy novel set on the islands and high seas.

  • TITLE: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
  • AUTHOR: Maggie Tokuda-Hall
  • PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press
  • YEAR: 2020
  • LENGTH: 368 pages
  • AGE: Young Adult
  • GENRE: Fantasy, Mythology
  • RECOMMENDED: Highly

Book TW for homophobia, colonialism, racism, sexual assault (not depicted), mutilation, child abuse, vomit, blood (graphic), self harm, slavery, torture (graphic), child death, murder (graphic) major character death, death (graphic).

Topic 1: Rake - Colonialism. Begins at (1:30), CW for colonialism, mention of parental death.

Topic 2: Evelyn - Sold by her parents. Begins at (7:17), CW for non-consensual marriage, colonialism, discussion of character death.

Topic 3: Flora/Florian - Mutilation. Begins at (18:41), CW for mutilation, death, description of physical wounds.

Promo for CPOV -  Men of Steel; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (28:48).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Stand-Alone 12: The Midnight Bargain - C.L. Polk

July 12th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “The Midnight Bargain” by C.L. Polk. This book does for discussions of sexism in a magical aristocratic setting what the The Kingston Cycle does for classism in the same.

TITLE:  The Midnight Bargain
AUTHOR: C.L. Polk 
PUBLISHER: Erewhon
YEAR: 2020
LENGTH: 384 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book TW for pregnancy, vomit, death (not depicted), sexism, violence.

Topic 1: The Circle - Loss of security. Begins at (1:35), CW for misogyny.

Topic 2: Ysbeta - Allocishetnormativity. Begins at (16:00), CW for misogyny, aphobia.

Topic 3: Beatrice - Misogyny. Begins at (25:00), CW for misogyny, discussion of birth control side effects.

Promo for CPOV Saturday Morning Confidential; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (37:05).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

For fortnightly news and updates, as well as links to recent written reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Members of the Certain Point of View network of podcasts.

Stand-Alone 11: Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng

June 14th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Under the Pendulum Sun” by Jeannette Ng, with special guest Dare! You can find them on Twitter, or check out their Linktree for more details about their various streaming and gaming exploits.

TITLE: Under the Pendulum Sun
AUTHOR: Jeannette Ng
PUBLISHER: Angry Robot
YEAR: 2019
LENGTH: 409 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy
RECOMMENDED: Yes

Book CWs for sexism, alcoholism, colonialism, incest, emotional manipulation (backstory), mental illness, confinement, body horror, suicidal thoughts, animal death, child death (backstory), murder, major character death, death.

Topic 1: Disassociation. Begins at (1:35), CW for Discussion of historical harm to children and autistic people, stigmatization of autistic behaviors.

Topic 2: Religious Trauma. Begins at (11:25), CW for suicidal tendencies, religious trauma (Protestant Christianity), biblical justification for harm, death (brief mention).

Topic 3: Incest. Begins at (23:10), CW for incest, biblical justification for harm, death (brief mention).

Promo for CPOV - RMC vs CG; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (39:35). CW for eugenics mention.

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Highlight 7: So This Is How You Die - edited by Ryan North

May 31st, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing the anthology “This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death”, edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki! This anthology was published after the original, "Machine of Death", but can be read independently. We discussed three specific stories by different contributors.

  • "Furnace" by Erika Hammerschmidt
  • "Drowning Burning Flying Falling" by Grace Seybold
  • "Toxoplasmosis of the Brain" by Gord Sellar

Book TW for domestic violence (backstory), homophobia, ableism, racism, racial slurs, terminal illness, bullying, blood, gore, gun violence, violence, self harm, suicidal thoughts, suicide, torture (not depicted), genocide, animal death, child death, major character death, death.

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This episode discusses fictional depictions of suicide (Topic 2). If you're in the United States the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. For those of our audience outside of the United States, you maybe able to find the suicide hotline number or other appropriate emergency services for your country in this directory provided by OpenCounseling.

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Topic 1: "Furnace" - Death. Begins at (1:43), CW for Infertility, sex, death, loss of innocence, bomb mention.

Topic 2: "Drowning Burning Flying Falling" - Loss of agency. Begins at (12:33), CW for Suicide, death, grief, suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, loss of agency.

Topic 3: "Toxoplasmosis of the Brain" - Death camps. Begins at (24:57), CW for abandonment, HIV/AIDS, stereotyping based on death, child death, death, rape, genocide, murder.

Promo for CPOV Reignite; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (34:45).

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon. Patrons at any level will receive the bonus Epilogue episode for this book.

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi.

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn.

Find all our links on our Carrd.

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission.

Stand-Alone 10: All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

May 17th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders. We've had this on the booklist since almost the beginning and we're so excited to finally bring you this episode. 

Book TW for abusive parents, parental death, torture (implied), sex (explicit), bullying/abuse (explicit). 

Topic 1: Serafina - Emotional connection. Begins at (1:35), No major CWs. 

Topic 2: Laurence - Parental abuse: Neglect. Begins at (14:20), CW for neglect, discussion of torture, child abuse. 

Topic 3: Patricia - Parental abuse: Control. Begins at (23:55), CW for neglect, food abuse, bullying, targeting abuse, child abuse. 

Promo for CPOV Reignite; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (36:50). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn. 

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Stand-Alone 9: Beneath The Citadel - Destiny Soria

April 19th, 2021

This fortnight we’re discussing “Beneath The Citadel” by Destiny Soria. We're joined by Christian from The Lazy Gringo Podcast

Book TW for panic attacks, violence, child abuse, suicide, child death, major character death, death. 

Topic 1: Child abuse. Begins at (1:35), CW for child abuse, dislocation, injury mention, panic attacks, suicide mention. 

Topic 2: Memory Loss. Begins at (12:54), CW for Memory loss, memory theft, loss of personality, loss of bodily function. 

Topic 3: Death and the specter of mortality. Begins at (24:35), CW for suicidal ideation. 

Promo for ComicsQuest; Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (33:55). 

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

To make a one-time donation please support us on Ko-Fi

You can check out Robin's written review of the book at Reviews That Burn

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

Stand-Alone 8: The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

April 1st, 2021

We have a fun episode for you this time! We're joined by Andrea for a special discussion of one of our favorite kidlit books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Episode TW for possible derealization, please refer to additional details below the topic list if this is a concern for you. 

This book has a film adaptation which you can find here. 

Link to monkey study discussed in the episode. 

Topic 1: Absent Parents. Begins at (0:00), CW for abandonment, neglect. This topic had a small recording issue and is a highlight reel from our discussion. The episode starts properly with Topic 2. 

Topic 2: Food Insecurity. Begins at (5:50), CW for food insecurity, food deserts, hunger, eating disorders, body horror. 

Topic 3: Illness. Begins at (16:20), CW for death, illness, body horror. 

Spoiler-free wrap-up and ratings: Begins at (28:18). 

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This is an April Fool's Day episode. While we love a good joke, we don't want to distress our audience. This episode may invoke feelings of derealization (unreality and disorientation) as we take very seriously a book which perhaps on its own might not warrant the level of scrutiny we grant it in this episode. 

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You can find Andrea on Twitter, TikTok, and on Good Idea

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If you'd like to make a monthly donation, please check us out on Patreon

Find all our links on our Carrd

Music provided by HeartBeatArt and is used with permission. 

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