Study Guide

Burn Love

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Chapter 2

"I'm in love with Lyda. I'm not going to be peer pressured into falling out of love, okay?" (2.30)

Ever try to convince your friend to break up with their significant other? Well, Partridge is that friend. Except the whole entire Dome is trying to convince him to break up with Lyda.

Chapter 3

Matters of the heart? They just build up scar tissue. He'll be thankful, one day, that she toughened his heart. (3.12)

It's sort of like the tougher version of having another notch in your belt. El Capitan tries to see Pressia's rejection as a way to make himself tougher.

"You know what really wrecks us, Helmud? Love. Love is what really wrecks us." (3.46)

Even though El Capitan made a bombastic statement about matters of the heart building up scar tissue, we can see that he's pretty vulnerable to the effects of lost love.

He kissed her. Each time he thinks about it, his heart feels like a crooked thing is his chest, all bent, all wrong—a freak heart. His heart will beat for Pressia for the rest of his life. (3.11)

Aww, El Capitan's in love. It's sort of disheartening that he thinks about himself as having a "freak" heart. There's nothing freakish about falling in love.

Chapter 7

If she wants Bradwell to forgive her, maybe the first step is making him see that she's valuable. (7.15)

Not exactly the best idea if you want to win someone over. Sure, Pressia is valuable to Bradwell, but now she's just trying to manipulate him.

Chapter 8

Was it a moment of weakness when he told Pressia he loved her? Or was that conviction? (8.41)

El Capitan wonders if he was just succumbing to weakness in confessing his love to Pressia; but really, saying I love you is a pretty gutsy move. Hey, at least he had the confidence to say it, unlike Bradwell.

Chapter 11

She feels like crying, not because she's afraid—which she is—but because El Capitan deserves to be loved the way he loves her. It's wrong to die without that. Unfair. (11.145)

Amidst this El Capitan-Pressia-Bradwell love triangle, Pressia has a moment of remorse when thinking about El Capitan. After all, it must be hard for her not to feel bad — it's not her fault she doesn't love him, but, as she says, it's difficult not to feel saddened by his situation.

This is what Pressia wants to believe in—the kind of love that stays, no matter what. It's a declaration that's come out of the wrong mouth. (11.141)

El Capitan is perfect for Pressia; he's steadfast and loyal. The only problem? He's not Bradwell. So yeah, Pressia is stuck between loving someone who doesn't love her, and being loved by someone she doesn't love.

Chapter 25

Her mother loved her—she's sure of it. But it was a locked-up love, a buried-down love, a love to be ashamed of because… because that kind of loves makes you vulnerable? Makes you weak? (25.10)

So if Lyda's mother had a kind of "locked-up" and "buried-down" love, which raises the question of whether Mrs. Mertz actually loved Lyda or not. If you're ashamed of loving someone, then something isn't quite right — especially if that someone is your daughter.

Chapter 28

As awful and bloody and filled with suffering and death as it is, she fell in love in that world. Love. Who would ever have guessed that it could still exist—after everything—but it does. (28.10)

Romantic love is pretty prevalent in this book, but Pressia's love for the world of the wretches burns just as bright. After all, this is the world that created love for her; without the world, she wouldn't have Bradwell, El Capitan, or Freedle.

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