Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

This is not a review per se, more like your truly’s thoughts and feelings about this book.

You can find the Goodreads summary here.

Goodreads rating: 3.88

I read this book on a cozy December afternoon, snuggled in my bed, and I read it all in one sitting. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down at all! It was thrilling and fast paced and it kept me guessing and at the edge of my seat, because I neeeeeded to know how it ended. I usually try and guess the twist/ending whenever I read a mystery or thriller book (and usually, my hunches prove to be correct), but this one surprised me! And I love it when books do this!

This book is literally a mother’s (or any parent’s, really) worst nightmare. Rachel and her 8 year old son Ben are out on a Sunday walk in the woods. Ben races ahead to the playground, Rachel not too far behind, but when she gets there, Ben is nowhere to be found. She looks for him and calls out, but he still doesn’t show up. She alerts the police and an investigation is unleashed, but the suspicions start closing in on Rachel herself, everyone suspecting she might have done something to Ben. 

The writing was the first thing that really drew me in. It’s remarkably poetic and expressive and I found it very easy to connect with the plot and the characters because of that. It’s not overly metaphorical and it doesn’t try to much, but it delivers. It keeps the reader engaged and invested. 

I love books with unreliable narrators. They always keep you on an edge, trying to guess and figure out….well, everything. And I love books with rather unlikable, morally grey characters. And this novel delivers on both fronts. I sympathised with Rachel, but I had my doubts about her as well. Most of all, I kept asking myself how I’d react if something like this happened to me. It scared the crap out of me. I don’t want kids, and some of the reasons for that revolve exactly around situations like this one. We live in a scary, crazy world, where tragedies happen, no matter how much we try our best to avoid them. But when that tragedy happens to the person you love most in the world, you always blame yourself. And ask yourself what you could have done to prevent it. It’s something that will eat at you until there won’t be anything left of you. It’s scary and fucked up.

If you’re a fan of thrillers, of books that keep you on the edge, of mysteries, this is a book you shouldn’t miss. It’s perfect for getting out of a slump, or if you want a fast paced read, that leaves you breathless.

Favourite quotes:

“But here’s the thing: none of us deserve anything. That’s an illusion we all exist under. What I know now is that even after the divorce I should simply have been grateful for what I had. I should have celebrated my life as it was, imperfections, sadness, and all, and not forensically examined its faults.”

“This is what a total breakdown must be, I though. You find yourself standing somewhere you should’t be, doing something so out of character that you wonder if you’ve become someone else entirely. You’ve lost the plot, taken a wrong turning, jumped into a train whose destination is total lunacy.”


To everyone who got this far, thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! Also, feel free to share your thoughts, comment or tell me anything :)

Buy it from the Book Depository :)


“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another - just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother - why, its brother gave you that scar. Yes, thirteen and a half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember… I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things - terrible, yes, but great.


female character meme // a mother character:  o y c e  b y e r s  

will is is calling to me! and he’s out there, and he’s alone, and he’s scared, and i don’t care if anyone believes me! i am not gonna stop looking for him until i find him and bring him home.  i am going to bring him home!