Arson by Estevan Vega is an exciting ride that gives the reader a realistic look at two teenagers with lives that are anything but ordinary. I have to say, Arson was not what I expected to my (pleasant) surprise. It contained all my favorites- mystery, romance, hope and intriguing characters.
Arson, a 17 year old boy, can create fire with his mind. He lives with his slightly psychotic grandmother and works at a cute ice cream shop in town. Though he is unsure of his supernatural power, he works on controlling it. He is constantly coping with the death of his parents- his grandmother and dreams won't allow him to forget the circumstances of their deaths. And just like the majority of teens out there- he's dealing with all these feelings alone and the loneliness is getting to him. That is, until Emery, the masked and mysterious girl next door and her argumentative parents move into town. Emery is facing problems of her own- constant moving from one place to another, parents consistently bickering, an alcoholic father... oh, and lets not forget she wears a mask. All the time.
So, we've got our two loner teenagers. Their first encounter made me laugh out loud- Emery "saves" Arson from drowning himself- she nose dives into the water to pull him out. Little does she know it is a common past time for Arson to relax face down in the water to get his thoughts together. It was a cute, awkward moment. Emery handled herself well ;) Even though these two didn't initially hit it off, they eventually find themselves enamored of each other. I found myself relating to Emery more than Arson and the rest of the characters. Despite the mask, I found her emotions and honesty the most likable- realistic? I am not sure if I can put my finger on the right word right now, but Emery is by far my favorite character here... Though she bit at my nerves at first. Maybe that is why I liked her so much.
This story is written in the third person and is very easy to follow once you get into it. I did find the first few chapters hard to relate to... I just could not connect with the story or characters at first. Maybe it was the introduction of Emery that changed things for me. Arson was edgy and has an insane cliff hanger ending. Good luck not dropping your jaw in shock- he sets you up perfectly for the sequel. This is all impressive for an author who is only 21. Way to go Estevan- and this isn't even your first book!