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Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 336

Age: Young Adult

Publishers Summary:

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.

“First off, I need to say I’m shocked, really. All of the way through the book I wondered continually if the author was male or female. As you can see, if not intentionally, the first name of the author was left off the book and only the first to initials and last name were revealed (L.K. Madigan). Not until I was completely done with the book and preparing to write the review did I research about the author. Now, why am I shocked? Never in my mind would I have thought a female author could write from the viewpoint of a male character so well. This could be because not many of the books I read have a male character in the lead, but I was surprised and pleasantly so.

Flash Burnout focuses on the life of a young high school boy, Blake, and the struggles he has balancing friendship and new love. How do you choose between a close friend with a troubled background and the girlfriend you’ve just told you love for the first time? It’s complicated and along the way Blake makes some somewhat juvenile mistakes as well as some other not so juvenile mistakes. He also shares with you his comedic ability and whit, which will keep you laughing even through the tough times in the book.

“What I found most interesting about Flash Burnout was viewing this time of life through his eyes. I know how things happened through my own eyes back in high school, but it was neat to see how similar it really was for a young man. Now I’m not going to say Blake was a saint by any means, in some ways he was very much a typical teenage boy with raging hormones and a one track mind eighty percent of the time. But there were times when you could see the depth of character he had, the concern for the people in his life and it wasn’t entirely driven by his desire to fulfill some carnal impulse he may have.

“All this being said, the book still had plenty of what I would think a ‘typical’ teenage male would think about. As a parent of a some day teenage boy, I’m thinking about possibly loaning him out during those years, just so I don’t have to think about it. (Not really! I’m only kidding.) With that, I would have to say I think this book is a tad bit too mature in content for someone under the age of sixteen. I’m not kidding myself here, I know teenagers tend to have one track minds. But as a parent I feel it’s irresponsible to condone this behavior by handing over a book full of it during a time when I feel it’s inappropriate. That’s just me, you may feel differently, and I’d actually be interested to hear what you think. Let me know.”

The1stdaughter’s When I Grow Up Recommendation: Age 16 and older.

Question for the comments:

“So, what do you think? When is it appropriate to suggest books containing questionable behavior to young people, should there be an age to keep in mind and why?”

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7 Responses to Flash Burnout by LK Madigan

  1. s'mee says:

    I would be interested to see what a man thought of this book. I understand that the author wrote well the viewpoint of a young man in high school, however, I am now left wondering if, because the author *is* a woman, if it was accurate. That said, not every woman could accurately express what I feel or think either. Just wondering what real guy would think. Any chance you could get that husband of your to write his commentary? Thanks for the review!
    .-= s’mee´s last blog ..Haiti =-.

  2. Gina says:

    Well, you went ahead and answered a question I had from a comment earlier on my blog! NotNessie mentioned female authors writing a male narrated book and vice versa, but I could not for the life of me think of an example. TADA…your post! (Thanks!) I too would be curious to see what a male reader thinks of the book…may need to send out a tweet to see if any have read this or plan to so as to get a “behind the scenes” perspective. Interesting….very interesting….
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Dessert: Your One Stop Fun Break Stop! (7) =-.

  3. fred liskin says:

    this book was amazing

  4. Trent says:

    Dun dunu duuuh! You asked for a male to comment butI have better! I am a 16 year old boy 😀 I am the perfect person to talk about this book for you. I have to say, I think this book was written PERFECTLY in the teenage male mind. The only thing I see out of the ordinary is how the narrator talks about girls shoulders. We have our “1 track minds” that to us seem like we are thinking about the a lot. We argue with our siblings just because it’s fun. We love making jokes ESPECIALLY to cheer sad girls up. And our minds are full of unnecisary curse words. I think that it is perfect. XD and just to add to our 1 track mindedness, I just totally didn’t notice the “to prove you’re human thing xD

  5. zack says:

    loved this book. th ending i wish would have happened differently but still thought this was an amazing book.

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