Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book really surprised me, even after reading all of the very positive reviews. I don’t usually enjoy realistic teen fiction, especially one that lacks in any action, but something about Blake’s voice make me want to keep reading. It’s a bittersweet story about love and all of it’s complications. But not just romantic love but the love between a young adult and his parents, his brother, and a friend who happens to be a girl.
Blake is a pretty normal teenage boy. He’s about to turn 16 so he thinks about getting his license a lot. He has a girlfriend, Shannon, so he thinks about sex a lot. And he has an interest in photography, so he carries his camera with him at all times.
Blake loves going downtown and snapping photos of people on the streets and rundown shops. His photography teacher calls them “gritty” but feels that Blake could do more with his eye for a photo. Marissa, one of his classmates, is the oppostie. She brings in photos of flowers. But the two get along well enough, chatting in class and discussing their takes on the assignments. But then one of Blake’s photos catches Marissa’s eye…a woman, lying in an alley. Marissa identifies her as her mother, who has been missing for several years…
L.K. Madigan has crafted a beautiful story. I think it’s the honesty in Blake’s voice, the moments of deep thought that are quickly followed by moments of silliness. He’s not angsty or cruel so he is easy to identify with. I don’t want to say much else about the story because I loved how it unfolded in the book. And even though I tend to read a lot more fantastical tales, something about this book really touched me.