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Review: Flash Burnout (Madigan)

Title: Flash Burnout
Author: L.K. Madigan
Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 332
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Challenges: YA
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): Click. Telephoto lens. Zoom. In a shutter release millisecond, Blake's world turns upside down. The nameless woman with the snake tattoo is not just another assignment. "That's my mom!" gasps Marissa. Click. Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to get a laugh, not sure where to focus. Click. Contrast. Shannon, Blake's GF. total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot? Click. Chiaroscuro. Lightdark. Marissa again, overexposed. Crash and burn. Talk about negative space. Click.

Review: This book has so many things about it that I like: the writing, photography, relationships, realistic situations, and more.

Madigan's writing style is straight forward, easy and lures the reader in with humor, sensitivity, and realism. I like that Blake's relationship with his family was "normal". He likes his parents and his big brother is a bit of a pain. So many youth lit books have nasty parents who are caricatures, so it was really refreshing to read a book where that isn't the case. There were funny moments, poignant moments, tense moments, and they all worked together to create a fast and wonderful read.

I love doing photography so this book had the added bonus for me of that angle. Blake is taking a photography class and the photographs and ideas from photography play a large role in the story line. However, if you aren't into photography that won't be annoying. In addition, each chapter begins with a quote from a famous photographer or Blake's camera's user manual. The quote relates to the events of that upcoming chapter very well (and the user manual quotes are really funny; you know a lawyer wrote them to make sure camera users don't get hurt).

The story line of this book was very appealing. Blake is 15 going on 16 and has his first girlfriend and he is really appreciative of that fact. He loves her body, wants to be with her, touch her, and delights in being in her presence. He also has a friend in photography class. Just a friend. There's conflict (of course), but the plot takes twists I didn't see coming.

I highly recommend this book!


Athira said...

This book sounds very different! I love reading unique styles in book - I will need to see how this one feels.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Aths--I am not sure if people not into photography will be driven nuts by the photography or not. But I REALLY liked the main character and his emotions and actions

Unknown said...

I recently picked this up. I was a fan of The Mermaid's Mirror and I love photography. I hope I enjoy this one as well.

Great review!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Marie--I haven't read the Mermaid's Mirror, I'll have to look that one up