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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Review of Flash Burnout by L. K. Madigan

Flash BurnoutFlash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

L. K. Madigan has created a character in Blake who is a tribute to adolescence.  He is genuine.  With all the intense emotions, the strong desires, the confusion, self-doubt, need to be an individual and yet to be accepted by the crowd, Blake is a wise-cracking encyclopedia of pop-culture (he had me at Doctor Who) with a lotta heart.

Without missing a beat, Madigan constructs a story in which the reader can immediately settle in and feel like a part of the family.  The author plays hostess as beautifully as Blake's chaplain mother.  Whether it's a simple description of a homework assignment, an important father-son talk about birth-control, a lesson on the effects of meth, or an exploration of the fragile boundaries of friendships and romances, Madigan treats each character, each scene with special attention.  And, let's face it, everything deserves that kind of tender consideration in its own season.

Filled with common teenage vernacular and speech-patterns, Blake's voice is authentic and he is likable.  The "'rents", the "olds", the brother, peers, friends, teachers, and acquaintances are all extraordinarily real.  So, while Flash Burnout may not be the happiest of books, it is certainly satisfying.

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