Friday, December 23, 2011

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Flash BurnoutFlash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

One of those books from a boy's perspective, which I realize I don't read that often unless it's high fantasy.

Why I checked it out- The back cover intrigued me- a reviewer called it hysterical and it won the William C. Morris award in 2010. Not that I'd heard of that award before, but it must be decent, right?

Anyhow, sometimes "witty" characters just aren't as funny as they're meant to be, so I was curious if Blake would feel authentic. And to my surprise, he did. Blake scores himself everyday on how many times he makes people laugh, especially his girlfriend, Shannon. She's perfect. Totally. Not only does she think he's hysterical, but she's hot and not psycho, and she likes to make out with him. But Blake's photography partner, Marissa, needs a friend, and he's there to help as she tries to get her meth-addicted mother into rehab. Marissa is having a really hard time, and Blake really cares about her, and suddenly Marissa is more than "just a friend." That's when Shan hits the fit.

I really enjoyed this book, much more than I expected to even when I was a few chapters in. It took some time to really connect with Blake, in part I think because he's so funny, so it takes a while to see his soft underbelly. But there's a really sweet kid under there, and this story totally hooked me.

Contentwise, there are mentions of drugs (Marissa's mother is on meth, portrayed negatively), alcohol (Marissa gets drunk a few times, portrayed negatively), sex (Blake thinks about physical intimacy a fair amount. I've never been a guy, but it seemed reasonable. Some characters talk about sex and when the right time is, a parent gives a character "the talk" and shows him where the box of condoms is for whenever he needs one. Some characters have sex and there are consequences. None of this was meant to titillate, instead it was more of a look at how confusing these decisions are and how important it is to make good decisions. No discussion of abstinence, it was a given that teens will have sex.)

Anybody else read this? What did you think?

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Glutton for Punishment?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute

Last week, my 4 year old asked me to help him write a note to Santa...for his daddy. He asked how to spell "Daddy's" and "Santa," and then asked me to write "phone, one pair of biking pants and shirt, chocolate candy, new car, and tennis shoes." Which is completely on target. The only thing he missed is the yearly request for Gator fan gear.

I was really impressed because little kids are supposedly only capable of thinking about what they want and assume that other people would want the same things. Their brains aren't wired to understand other people's perspectives yet. So Mommy would want a new DS game, Daddy would want a Lego set, etc.

That's the level I'm still at. I want books for Christmas, so of course that's what everyone else wants, too! This means that Jojo, at 4 years old, is a better gift idea person than me.

This gives me a shopping phobia, which leads me to be a last minute shopper, which in turn makes it even harder to find personal, amazing gifts. It's a vicious cycle, one that it's too late to break this year!

Maybe next year, I'll sit down with Jojo in July and we can start our Christmas gift list. Yep. That's the plan.

Five days til Christmas! Happy shopping, friends!
Glutton for Punishment?