Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Burning

by Laura Bates

'new gen' - Great Fiction for Young Adults

LoveReading View on The Burning

Written by the founder of Everyday Sexism, and based on real-life experiences, double-standard “slut shaming” and sexual degradation are here exposed with vital urgency, and interwoven with the gripping story of a medieval woman whose abuse at the hands of a misogynistic society has present-day parallels.

Fifteen-year-old Anna and her mum have moved hundreds of miles so she can escape the sexist bullying she was subjected to at her last school. But as Anna tries to make a fresh start, her past rears its head and continues to haunt her. While suffering torrents of abuse from her peers, Anna immerses herself in a history project that draws her into the tragic life of Maggie, an unmarried young woman from the 17th century. In juxtaposing Maggie and Anna’s experiences, the author lays bare an unbroken thread of misogyny from the Middle Ages to today’s culture of “revenge porn” and sexual shaming. Centuries on from scold’s bridles and burnings at the stake, women are still blamed and punished for the brutal behaviour of men.

But Anna finds strength in her friendships with Alisha, Cat and Robin, and her connection with Maggie makes this a potent page-turner that will speak to a generation. As the author states in her afterword, “You are not alone, you are not to blame, and you deserve to feel better”. Or, in Anna’s words, “We are the granddaughters of the witches you burned. And we’re not putting up with it any more.”

Joanne Owen

The Burning Synopsis

Fire is like a rumour. You might think you've extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames ...

New school. Tick. New town. Tick. New surname. Tick. Social media profiles? Erased. There's nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the `incident'. At least that's what she thinks ... until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna's own...

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up. 

The Burning Press Reviews

The Burning lights a fire in you - one that makes you want to fight for change and ignite sparks in others so the fire spreads and spreads. - HOLLY BOURNE

Bold, brutal & hugely important. - ABI ELPHINSTONE 


`One of the first women to harness the power of social media to fight sexism and misogyny and give millions of young women a voice.' Grazia

`Mature, eloquent and passionate, Bates is in many ways the voice of her generation.' Huffington Post


`A bracing love letter to today's teenage girls' - Sunday Times

'Essential reading for young women and girls' - Morning Star Online

'This no-nonsense guide to being a girl in 2016 is one all teen girls should read' - Red magazine

'If you have a daughter or a niece or a younger sister or a goddaughter, buy it for them now' --The Pool


`This is an important book' -Independent

`A potent reminder of how far feminism has come and how far it has to go' - Kirkus Reviews

'A game-changing book, a must-read for every woman' -Cosmopolitan

'Funny and clever' - Telegraph

If you loved this, you might like these...

Only the Ocean
The Black Flamingo

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471170201
Publication date: 21/02/2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471170201
Publication date: 21st February 2019
Author: Laura Bates
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction,
Categories: General fiction (Children's / Teenage),

About Laura Bates

Laura Bates studied English at Cambridge University and went on to be a freelance journalist. She has written for the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, Red Magazine and Grazia among others. She is also contributor at Women Under Siege, a New-York based organisation working to combat the use of sexual violence as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide. She is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.

More About Laura Bates

Share this book