Packed with voice, Shannon C.F. Rogers' I'd Rather Burn than Bloom is a powerful YA novel about a Filipina-American teen who tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother's death.
Some girls call their mother their best friend. Marisol Martin? She could never relate. She and her mom were forever locked in an argument with no beginning and no end. Clothes, church, boys, no matter the topic, Marisol always felt like there was an unbridgeable gap between them that they were perpetually shouting across, one that she longed to close.
But when her mother dies suddenly, Marisol is left with no one to fight against, haunted by all the things that she both said and didn't say. Her dad seems completely lost, and worse, baffled by Marisol's attempts to connect with her mother's memory through her Filipino culture. Her brother Bernie is retreating further and further into himself. And when Marisol sleeps with her best friend's boyfriend - and then punches said best friend in the face - she's left alone, with nothing but a burning anger, and nowhere for it to go.
And Marisol is determined to stay angry, after all, there's a lot to be angry about- her father, her mother, the world. But as a new friendship begins to develop with someone who just might understand, Marisol reluctantly starts to open up to her, and to the possibility there's something else on the other side of that anger- something more to who she is, and who she could be.