I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Bryn is a hybrid dragon - her mom is a Blue, her dad is a Red - who can breathe fire or ice. She's snarky, strong, and unwilling to back down from a challenge. Those qualities make her a kick ass heroine and just the right dragon to incite change in the archaic ways dragons have been forced to live for so long by their governing body, the Directorate.
Bryn has a crush on Zavien, but I didn't. I think she was too quick to forgive him when he'd act like a first class jerk. She'd come close to crying, he'd apologize, and she'd forgive him right away. I'd stay mad for at least a day, especially when he confessed he was manipulating her emotions. Maybe I'd even stay angry at him for a week! I figured there had to be more to his story than what first appeared.
I loved Mr. Stanton, the head of the Green dragons and Bryn's teacher for Elemental Science. He doesn't look at her the same way most do - he sees her as having potential to do amazing things. I could tell from their first meeting he would be a person of authority whom she could trust and confide in. He's one of my favorite characters. I also really liked Ivy and Clint, two black dragons who soon become friends with Bryn. It was nice to see she wouldn't be completely alone.
Some of the remarks other students made were downright horrendous, especially the Blues. One blue dragon female told her her mother should've had an abortion. The Blues were the most hateful and treated her worse than the other groups did by far. Even some of the teachers treated Bryn terribly, like Mrs. Hanfelder, the history teacher.
I knew history was going to be a problem class for Bryn since her parents are well known for running away as they did and not following the Directorate's rules. The first day of class, she tells the class crossbreeding can't produce a functional dragon. Obviously, she's not only spiteful but also dead wrong. She tells Bryn she's an abomination who should have been put down at birth. But then I was ecstatic when Bryn came back with, "Do all the teachers at this school attack their students? Or are you just a raving bitch?" I probably would've cried, but not Bryn. I love a heroine with a lot of spunk!
Overall, Going Down in Flames is a book I loved - it's fun with a lot of humor and exciting with a lot of adventure. I loved Bryn to pieces - she's exactly the kind of lead female character YA books need.