YA Review – Den – Contemporary Fiction

Summary of Den from the author’s website

Danny Belte barely survived his sophomore year at King’s Academy.

His junior year doesn’t start off much better. Facing a series of mysterious suicide attempts that begin on day one—and a disturbing pattern that appears to connect them—Danny has a feeling something far more sinister is at play. He tries to narrow down a list of suspects as those closest to him disappear, one by one. 

Can he protect his friends from a possible murderer on the loose? Or will he find himself trapped in a fate worse than a lions’ den?

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Purchase DEN (Blaze Trilogy) on Amazon

My Review of Den

Bolinger, Hope. Den: If You Don’t Want to Die, Don’t Sleep With Lions. Birmingham, AL: Illuminate YA Fiction, 2020.

Den is the second book in Hope Bolinger’s series Blaze, based loosely on the Biblical book of Daniel. Readers will recognize similarities between this “modern day” story and the Biblical story – including the names of some characters. 

Den continues right where Blaze (book 1) left off. There is a small amount of overlap (flashbacks) which will help readers remember part of the first book if it has been a while since they read it. I would recommend that readers read the three books in order as there is backstory that is not covered in flashbacks. There are several suicides/deaths in the book which may cause triggers for some. 

Danny continues to grow as a character, becoming more willing to stand up for his beliefs, protect his friends, and do what is right (even risking punishment). Daniel faces many situations in his high school – some of which many high schoolers face daily like bullying. He also deals with anxiety and the death of friends. The story is quite intense at times. Hope Bolinger has crafted a story that includes enough details to keep the reader interested. 

Bolinger ends the book on a bit of a cliff hanger, leaving me eagerly anticipating the final book in the trilogy. 

Den and the other books in the Blaze series are appropriate for a K-12 Christian School library. I think middle school and up would enjoy it.. 

I received a complimentary copy of Den. This is my honest review. 

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If you are an avid reader, you need to check out Totally Booked: A Book Lover’s Companion. Totally Booked, a companion reading journal from The Mosaic Collection, is perfect for book lovers. As a paperback, Totally Booked travels easily and is a charming gift for mothers, sisters, girlfriends, book lovers, avid readers, book club members, influencers, bloggers, and book reviewers (description from Amazon).

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