What We Love About Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan


This week for our October Book of the Month, we’re deviating from The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan to focus on her other book, Flash Burnout. We wrote earlier this year about what we love about this book — but we thought this was a fitting time to remind you what’s so great about Flash Burnout, and why you should read it.

Here’s what Stephanie had to say in her review:

1. It’s edgy and realistic: No vamps, no zombies, nary a faery, but the subject matter does include a number of difficult subjects including drug addition, parental abandonment and sex (parents, don’t cover your eyes yet). I love vamps as much as the next reader, but it’s refreshing to visit real problems in the real world — there are no potions, runes or spells to undo the choices the characters make.

What’s more, the story doesn’t have a neatly-wrapped ending like so many YA novels, where the guy gets the girl, evil is defeated and mortals sleep in peace. Life has loose threads and so does Flash Burnout (and I promise, nothing more spoilery than that). That’s not to say it isn’t satisfying – it is, with its central message of “actions have consequences.”

To that I say, amen.

2. It’s written from a male POV: Blake’s voice is, hands down, the best male POV I’ve read in a long, long time. There is a serious lack of boys’ POVs in YA. Because girls read more? With more characters like this, even reluctant male readers will be forced to bow down to Madigan’s genius. She captures a guy’s high school experience like Blake captures “gritty” with his ever-present camera.

3. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious: Readers may not realize this, but it’s extremely difficult to write humor, even for funny people, but again, Madigan handles this with ease. Not only that, she creates necessary and ever-present sexual tension using humor, reminding this reader of her best guy friends from high school.

Read more here.

Sara also wrote about her love of Flash Burnout:

There are a rare few books that I rank among my personal list of mind-blowingly good, life-changing pieces of literature — and the standard I hold them all against is J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

My list is extremely short:

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

and now …

3. Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

It is equally funny, sad, sweet, nostalgic, simple and honest. It’s a rare treat these days to find a realistic Young Adult novel quite like Flash Burnout; one that speaks to contemporary issues, serious subject matters and the issues modern teens find themselves facing on a regular basis.

These are the qualities that make Flash Burnout the perfect addition to my short, very particular list of books. All three of those books (four, if you count Catcher in the Rye) share these qualities. That intangible feeling of being a teenager and digging through the muck life throws at you.

These books all evoke the same feeling in me — a certain nostalgia for those teenage years (something I very rarely feel nostalgic for; I most definitely prefer adulthood). Each book is equally contemporary and timeless.

Read more here.

For the comments: Have you read Flash Burnout? Tell us what you loved about it!

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