Flash 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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