April 7, 2010

Review: Burning Ambition (+ Contest)

By Jonathan Bernstein
Read my interview
Available now from Razorbill
Review copy

Book Cover

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
-from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

BURNING AMBITION begins much quicker and with more excitement than HOTTIE. Unfortunately, the Department of Hotness has peaked (which you can read in an excerpt here). There are no supervillians in Beverley Hills and soon the friends begin fighting. Dorinda and Kellyn both fall for David. T, the boyfriend, insults Alison. So, Alison hangs up her crime fighting gear to become an intern at her favorite magazine, Jen.

At first things go well. But fifteen-year-old editor Pixie Furmanovsky is close to the edge due to her father's neglect . . . and then she gains superpowers. But the Department of Hotness is in no shape to keep her at bay - they lack the convention to stop her passionate intensity. To win the day, the young teens will have to overcome their hormones to take down the tyke tycoon, and we all know how difficult that is when you're fifteen.

Sometimes BURNING AMBITION gets anvilicious. Ignoring your friends is bad. Ignoring a single coworker is bad. Ignoring your children is bad. Torturing people to get them to date you is bad. (Okay, so the last isn't really anvilicious. But it bears repeating.) Of course, BURNING AMBITION needs a strong moral center to counter-act the running joke of pee-filled balloons.

On the other hand, BURNING AMBITION is mostly just a fun and quick read. Alison isn't a typical post-THE DARK NIGHT RETURNS superhero. She's a girl into fashion and her boyfriend, who sometimes has trouble helping her friends with their issues because she's too wrapped up in her own. Though the friends have issues, they fit well together. Unlike most books I can take the main characters fighting with each other because they take steps to be happy. As mentioned above, when upset with her boyfriend, Alison finds a job that she finds fulfilling. Yes, she wants to reconcile with him, but she doesn't just lay around moping about it. Or the fighting works because it's cartoony. Kellyn and Dorinda definitely go over the top trying to win the boy.

If you need something quick this summer, you might want to pick up HOTTIE and BURNING AMBITION. Both are good beach reads. And when you read them on the beach, no one you know will see the atrocious covers.


I have two copies to giveaway. This is a lightning contest: first two to comment get it.


  1. I need to still read Hottie. xD

  2. I would love to win a copy! =]


  3. I still need to read Hottie too. I'm glad I got an ARC, which has the much better cover on it. But unfortunately, if I like Hottie and want the sequel, I will need to get the atrocious cover since I'm sure the library won't have this. *le sigh*

    Great review!

  4. Lol, yes I do want the copy! xD

  5. I totally agree re: the covers -- all of them, pretty much. I've read Hottie and the inside is way better. It's a funny book. Just ordered H2: Burning Ambition.


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