Kat's Reviews > Flash Burnout

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
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's review
Sep 09, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, ya-fiction
Read from September 07 to 09, 2011

Blake is your typical middle-class American teenage boy. He lives in Portland, OR with his parents and his jocky older brother Garrett, and he recently acquired a sweet GF named Shannon. Among the standard teenage boy fare, Blake's hobbies include photography and cracking jokes. He secretly keeps a mental tally of how many daily laughs he gets from his sarcastic quips in hopes that he'll be a stand-up comic someday. Life seems great until one day in Photo class, Blake shows one of his gritty pictures taken in Old Town to his friend Marissa. They're both shocked to discover that the bedraggled passed-out drug addict in the photo is Marissa's mom, who's been missing for over a year. Suddenly Blake finds himself thrust in the middle of Marissa's family troubles, and he finds it increasingly hard to balance being Shannon's "BF" with being there for Marissa during an incredibly tough time.

It was really sad to learn that this author recently passed away from cancer after publishing just 2 books, including this one which won the Morris Debut Award last year. I would've loved to see what else she would've done. I found Blake to be ridiculously real and honest, to the point where this book deftly serves two teen audiences: guys looking for some "dude-lit" with a relatable voice, and gals looking to get inside the mysterious head of the teenage boy. I loved his internal dialogue as he struggled to decipher Shannon's various moods. "Uh oh, she's freaking out. Houston, we have a problem. Do I hug her? Kiss her? Leave her alone?" Despite his adolescent bumbling through various emotional trials, the reader always understands that his intentions are good, which leaves him likable throughout the increasingly-tense story. The ending was pretty abrupt, but overall I really enjoyed this.

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