Contra Costa Times
You can always count on a lively read from Minx, DC's year-old line specializing in sassy comics for the young adult market. With "Burnout," they've released one of their best works yet. Donner's uncompromisingly gritty tale makes for a scorching hot read, loaded with complex characters and dangerous situations. After relocating to the Northwest, Danni develops a crush on hunky Haskell, son of her mom's drunken lout of a boyfriend. But Haskell harbors a secret: He's a militant environmentalist whose rage is playing with fire. The enormously talented Donner is unafraid of taking risks with "Burnout," and it pays off, with a cautionary, edgy and unputdownable story. Grade: A.
San Jose Mercury News
The enormously talented Donner is unafraid of taking risks with "Burnout," and it pays off, with a cautionary, edgy and unputdownable story. Grade: A.
[W]hile the message of Burnout isn't a happy-go-lucky one, it is honest. For that and much more, it's a story that lingers in the mind, like the sharp pain of a burn.
Children's Literature - Michael Jung
Those who believe comic books are only about superheroes or comedy characters should check out Burnout, which tells a tragic story about ecoterrorism and teen rebellion. After her father abandons them, 17-year-old Danni and her mother relocate to an Oregon logging town and move in with her mother's abusive boyfriend and his moody son Haskell. Attracted to Haskell's mysterious attitude, Danni is shocked when she discovers he is an eco-terrorist who drives spikes into trees to damage chainsaws and sawmill equipment. Hoping to impress him, Danni starts spiking trees too and enters into a semi-incestuous relationship with a boy who may become her step-brother. But when Haskell reveals a plan to shoot down an electric company's power lines to protest the way its discharge pipes pollute the environment, Danni refuses to help. Furious, Haskell shoots the power lines anywayand accidentally starts a blaze that burns down the forest. With Haskell presumed dead, Danni is left traumatized and realizes, "Sometimes you have to do something extreme for people to take notice… It's true. But here's what's also true: sometimes when you cross that line, you pay a price. You can never go back." As part of DC Comics' Minx imprint, which publishes graphic novels for teenage girls, Burnout offers a useful platform for discussions about ecoterrorism and extremist attitudes. Miranda and de la Cruz's black and white art provide a melancholy atmosphere for the story, which holds its own among prose novels about rebellious teenagers and broken homes. Reviewer: Michael Jung
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up -Burnout opens and closes with Danni seeing how long she can hold her finger over a flame. When her mother moved them out of their trailer and into her boyfriend's house, the teen hoped their lives would improve. But Hank is an alcoholic who becomes increasingly abusive, so their lives become even worse. The only silver lining for Danni is Hank's mysterious son. When she follows him after he sneaks out of their room at night, she discovers that he's spiking trees to sabotage the logging industry. Soon they become romantically involved. Danni is in danger of losing her best friend because she spends so much time with Haskell and because Vivian comes from a logging family and disagrees with his tactics. Sometimes the message gets a little heavy-handed: what are the odds that in every classroom scene, the teacher is lecturing about some type of guerrilla warfare in history? And the multiple uses of fire are enough to support the burning theme without the girls singing along with the "Burn Me Burn Me Burn Me" on the radio. Miranda's superb illustrations complement the story well, whether they're showing landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, action sequences, or the eyes of a troubled girl. The strength of Burnout lies in Danni's internal struggle with her commitment to her first love, the focus on environmental awareness, and the realistically unanswered questions at the end of the story.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Novelist Donner tries her hand at graphic novels in this new offering in the Minx line. Relocated to the Pacific Northwest by her mother, Danni is thrust into a new household with her mother's temperamental alcoholic boyfriend, Hank, and his enigmatic son Haskell. Strangely assigned to room together by Hank, Danni falls for her brooding almost-stepbrother and shockingly discovers that he is an eco-terrorist. Both Danni's and her mother's destructive relationships compellingly demonstrate how smart girls' bad choices can land them in troubling situations. Danni is a likable character, and her flaws and missteps should resonate with any teen girl who has ever fallen for the wrong boy. Miranda's art, sweeping and cinematic in scope, greatly complements Donner's writing, which takes some convenient plot liberties that lead to an unsettling-albeit understandable-ending. Written in a familiar, teen-novel voice, this should appeal to fans of such other Minx titles as Cecil Castelucci's The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, who are looking for a darker, less sassy read. (Graphic novel. YA)