Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Two years ago, Josie Smith’s life went up in smoke. Literally. Everyone and everything she ever loved burned in a fire—one set by a crooked cop. To survive, Josie’s been living under the radar as a homeless kid while trying to find a way to knock the cop down a few notches and put her on the other side of the prison bars. But time’s running out. A pimp’s got his eye on Josie, and if she doesn’t get off the streets soon, she’ll be the one brought down. Her salvation and the key to the cop’s undoing seem to lie with a car thief and a rich kid. Trust and teamwork don’t come easily to Josie—in fact, they don’t come at all—but if she can’t find a way to make the team work and find justice for her family, she will get burned all over again.
Part of RETRIBUTION—a high-interest trilogy that can be read in any order.
About the author
"A fast-paced, high energy, and engaging novel. Readers will be immersed from the intriguing mystery posed in the first chapter, and their interest will only continue to rise as they follow Josie through the twists and turns of her search for vengeance. Josie and her friends are written as realistic and relatable characters, with whom teens will be able to identify, and the city of Vancouver is also recognizable in all of its grit and glamour...Deen has collaborated with well-known young adult authors Judith Graves and Sigmund Brouwer to create a high interest trilogy for teens that can be read in any order. Burned will be enjoyed by teens who love mystery or action novels, and reluctant readers will especially appreciate its rapid pace and exciting content."
"The rough and tumble streets of east side Vancouver leap off the page...Dialogue is up to date, abrupt and minimal in nature. As the story is told in Jo’s voice, her internal dialogue reveals her fear and disgust and her attraction to Jace, while quickly drawing in the reader and jump starting the story."
"This series does not back away from divisive social issues...Those who enjoy gritty realistic fiction will find these books gripping. Recommended."
School Library Connection
"Large text and middle grade reading levels make the [Retribution] series accessible to struggling teen readers."
School Library Journal
"These interconnected narratives are page-turning reads, offering adventure, intrigue, and satisfying retribution. Jace, Josie, and Raven are fiercely independent, clever, and intelligent protagonists; each has a rich backstory and an engaging narrative voice that hooks readers from the beginning. Each compact narrative can stand on its own but also incorporates references to the other two, lending a multiple-perspective aspect to the story as a whole. While each book offers a quick resolution, readers will connect quickly to the characters and find their plights both compelling and entertaining. The series tackles such topics as truth and justice, integrity and honesty, and survival. It will appeal to a wide range of readers, including reluctant readers who need a quick hook."