Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.
When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue).
In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.
Ever since hearing about this book last year, I've been dying to read it, and even more so after it won William C. Morris YA Debut Award. Though, sadly enough while Flash Burnout was a funny and charming debut at times, it was a somewhat dud during the rest.
Blake was an interesting and likable character, but I was often put off by the fact that he constantly mocked Shannon's father and how 50% of his thoughts involved getting Shannon's body and how luscious it was. And yes I do understand that guys do think a lot about that type of stuff, but it seriously got way out of hand sometimes. It did feel like he grew a lot during the course of the book into a more maturate guy, though, and I did respect him for that fact. Moving on, the two girls leads were had there separate parts in Blake's life with Shannon being the girlfriend and Marissa being one of his best friends that was a girl. While I did like both, I tended to favor Marissa more because she brought a lot of emotion and reality to the book with her complicated situation. Plus she wasn't nearly as clingy and hands on as Shannon.
The plot was boring at first, but as it chugged along, it grew momentum fast changing into a quick read overall. I really enjoyed that photography was a big part of the story, which left me to also love the different fun tidbits L.K. included within the chapter headings. Plus, I liked the fact that while this book had a lot of sad parts it also continued some funny, a characteristic I was often surprised to see.
The ending was one of the only other parts that brought down my overall liking of the book, because of the fact that it was so bleak and open. Though, now that I think about it I did like the hope it gave you that everything would be okay.
In all, Flash Burnout is a decent debut, but I don't overall suggest you run out and buy it this insant, more like suggest you pick it up on your next library visit.
Flash Burnout is now out!