Hardcover: 407 Pages
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Narration: Third Person: Bryn
Paranormal Type: Dragons/Paladins
Going Down In Flames Series
Book One: Going Down in Flames
Book Two: Unknown
Book Three: Unknown
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If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.
Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.
Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.
Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.
At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.
Going into the book, I already knew that the protagonist was most likely going to be a spoiled kid who thought the world revolved solely around her, and I was right. Countless times throughout the book, she threw tantrums, referred to herself as acting like a five year old, and raged whenever she didn't get what she wanted. Her version of rage being shooting balls of fire at people she didn't like. Another immature thing she had a tendency for was doing the exact opposite of what people told her to do. We see this often enough in other stories when headstrong female leads come into question, but her version of rebelling was absolutely ridiculous. For example, in the beginning, she refused to do something that she didn't want to do. However, after someone agreed with her and told her not to do said something, she was all, "Screw you, I'll do it if I feel like doing it!" *Facepalm* In the least, she realized that she was acting like a child, and further down along the road, restrained herself to some degree of success. I guess that counts as some sort of character development.
Dragons. Freaking awesome mythical beings. After my How to Train Your Dragon phase, I've been a bit obsessed with them, which is why I became interested in this book in the first place. However, the world building for this was....not as amazing as I had hoped. I mean, it wasn't bad, but at the same time, it wasn't great either. There was no intricacy whatsoever. Dragons are classified by their skin color, their skin color specifying their skills and talents. The protagonist, being a mix breed between a Red and Blue dragon, unsurprisingly had both their qualities, fire breathing and ice shooting. It all felt too by the book. There was nothing that was surprising or made me fangirl.
The romance was almost comical. The classic everyone starts crushing on the protagonist sort of plot, which, in my opinion, is confusing, because I really don't see anything appealing about her character. The main love interest was just creepy, at least I would think he was if I was in her shoes. You just meet the dude, and then he begins stalking you. Like literally, he was always climbing through her window, standing by her door, or doing something else vaguely alarming. Another thing that irritated me was how he ALWAYS seemed to be profusely begging for Bryn's forgiveness when he wasn't the one to blame. So many times I wanted to shake some sense into him.
The writing was pretty well done. It flowed well and the jokes here and there were funny. Nothing ever slipped awkwardly and thoughts blended very well. The only thing that stood out to me was the author's overuse of the word "growled."
Overall, Going Down in Flames was an entertaining and quick read. Although I despised the protagonist 99% of the time and thought the dragon lore was too simple, I had fun with it, and it kept my attention. I probably won't be reading the sequel, but I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this either.