Flash Burnout

Flash Burnout

by L. K. Madigan
4.1 23


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Flash Burnout by L. K. Madigan

Winner of the 2010 William C. Morris Award!

Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who’s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa’s long-lost meth addicted mom. Blake’s participation in the ensuing drama opens up a world of trouble, both for him and for Marissa. He spends the next few months trying to reconcile the conflicting roles of Boyfriend and Friend. His experiences range from the comic (surviving his dad’s birth control talk) to the tragic (a harrowing after-hours visit to the morgue).

In a tangle of life and death, love and loyalty, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547194899
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/19/2009
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 8.26(w) x 5.74(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile: HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

L. K. Madigan lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, son, two big black dogs, hundreds of books, and a couple of vintage cars.

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Flash Burnout 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Erica_Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
Rest in Peace L.K. Madigan. Your writing will truly be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this from Blake's P.O.V. His fun loving attitude made this a great book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked how he was both a loving boyfriend and a loyal, caring friend. But I think sometimes in life, you have to chose one or the other ... But overall, a great book! Slow-going sometimes, but good book(:
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Sierra Clegg More than 1 year ago
Taking a photography class next year because this book! Super amped for it!
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321Run More than 1 year ago
Super good book. it seems, like it might be predictable at the end, but it isn't. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ShelbyKae More than 1 year ago
This book, is flawless. Absolutely amazing in so many ways. My favorite book by far, and is just flat out amazing! Speachless. This book was just amazing. I loved it. And I LOVED how it had photography tied in with it. Defenitly read it. So worthwhile.
the1stdaughter More than 1 year ago
"First off, I need to say I'm shocked, really. All of the way through the book I wondered continually if the author was male or female. As you can see, if not intentionally, the first name of the author was left off the book and only the first to initials and last name were revealed (L.K. Madigan). Not until I was completely done with the book and preparing to write the review did I research about the author. Now, why am I shocked? Never in my mind would I have thought a female author could write from the viewpoint of a male character so well. This could be because not many of the books I read have a male character in the lead, but I was surprised and pleasantly so. "Flash Burnout focuses on the life of a young high school boy, Blake, and the struggles he has balancing friendship and new love. How do you choose between a close friend with a troubled background and the girlfriend you've just told you love for the first time? It's complicated and along the way Blake makes some somewhat juvenile mistakes as well as some other not so juvenile mistakes. He also shares with you his comedic ability and whit, which will keep you laughing even through the tough times in the book. "What I found most interesting about Flash Burnout was viewing this time of life through his eyes. I know how things happened through my own eyes back in high school, but it was neat to see how similar it really was for a young man. Now I'm not going to say Blake was a saint by any means, in some ways he was very much a typical teenage boy with raging hormones and a one track mind eighty percent of the time. But there were times when you could see the depth of character he had, the concern for the people in his life and it wasn't entirely driven by his desire to fulfill some carnal impulse he may have. "All this being said, the book still had plenty of what I would think a 'typical' teenage male would think about. As a parent of a some day teenage boy, I'm thinking about possibly loaning him out during those years, just so I don't have to think about it. (Not really! I'm only kidding.) With that, I would have to say I think this book is a tad bit too mature in content for someone under the age of sixteen. I'm not kidding myself here, I know teenagers tend to have one track minds. But as a parent I feel it's irresponsible to condone this behavior by handing over a book full of it during a time when I feel it's inappropriate. That's just me, you may feel differently, and I'd actually be interested to hear what you think. Let me know."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. It was also really surprising, to me at least. I liked the story and the inclusion of photography. The author did a really good job of adding the elements of photography in the beginning of each chapter. The ending really made me wonder what happened and the even though the main character had his faults I still felt bad for him when things went wrong. It was a really good book and I definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Blake has a pretty good life for a high school sophomore. He's got a girlfriend who loves him and makes him happy, he's got good friends, and for the most part he likes his classes in school. And he lives in a loving home with two parents and his older brother Garrett. He doesn't give his situation much thought until he's showing a photo assignment to his friend Marissa in class one day. When he uncovers a photo of a homeless woman passed out on the sidewalk, Marissa gasps and says, "That's my mom." Suddenly he's compelled into Marissa's life in unexpected ways and finding out that not everyone leads mundane, uneventful lives away from school. As he's drawn to help Marissa more and more, Blake's relationship with his girlfriend, Shannon, becomes strained. Can he be the friend Marissa needs and the boyfriend Shannon expects at the same time? Flash Burnout by L. K. Madigan juxtaposes suburban middle-class life against the lives of the homeless and addicted. It shows the toll addiction and neglect can take not only on family members, but also on friends and others in the community around them. The book covers issues of sexual abstinence, safe sex, underage drinking, using alcohol to escape, honesty in relationships and more. It also introduces complex supporting characters that add interest to the story: Blake's mother is a hospital chaplain, and his father is a coroner. Garrett interns at the morgue with his dad. (Their work discussions make Blake queasy and may do the same for some readers.) Marissa's brother Gus is a thrill-seeking bike messenger who takes responsibility for his family. Madigan lives in Portland, and I really enjoyed picking up on some of the local references in Flash Burnout. I would have liked to know more about Blake's conflicted thoughts between his feelings for his girlfriend and his friend, particularly after a particular event near the end, and I would have preferred less description of Blake's ordinary life. Even so, I really liked following his story, and I liked that Flash Burnout doesn't tidy up all the answers into a nice package at the end; instead it asks the reader to consider what will happen next. I believe the issues and the characters should provide great discussions for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up. Flash Burnout is Madigan's debut novel, and I eagerly anticipate her next book.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Blake is trying to understand relationships. He has a girlfriend and he is also the friend of a girl. Both relationships are important to him, but he realizes balancing them requires artful skill much like in his hobby of photography. There are rules to follow and one mistake can cause everything to go out of focus. Blake is a cool character. He dreams of life as a stand-up comic and uses almost every opportunity to test out jokes and one-liners. He chalks up an invisible mark every time he gets a laugh. Many of those laughs come from Shannon. Blake can't believe how much fun she is, how beautiful she is, and how much he is really starting to love her. Marissa is Blake's partner in photography class. As the two youngest in the class, they became partners by default, but it's a partnership that has worked well. Their friendship revolves strictly around photography until the day Blake accidentally takes a picture of Marissa's mother. He didn't realize they were mother and daughter when he stumbled across the homeless woman sleeping on the street. The photo begins a change in their friendship as Blake learns the truth about Marissa's mother. What makes this story unique is the combination of an interesting cast of characters in a mix of serious situations and refreshing humor. My attention was immediately grabbed in the opening pages as Blake enters the kitchen for breakfast. He describes the snapshots of gunshot wounds fanned out across the kitchen table and the snoring of his father, the coroner, asleep on the nearby couch. Then there's the entrance of his mother, a hospital chaplain, dressed in only underwear and a blouse. As she fixes her morning coffee, Blake is disgusted, but not particularly shocked, when she warns of an oncoming hot flash and promptly removes her blouse. With an introduction like that, how can readers not continue turning pages? L. K. Madigan has fun with her characters as she takes them through the good times and the bad. Readers are sure to find at least one character to relate to and at least one experience to learn from. Several added bonuses include a photography tip at the beginning of each chapter and two interesting playlists with commentary from Blake at the end of the book. FLASH BURNOUT doesn't come out until October 2009, but be sure to watch for it; it's a worthwhile read.
SJYALitExaminer More than 1 year ago
Blake is 15, tolerates his family's wackiness, loves his girlfriend, and wants to help his friends. He is in Photo II and attempts to capture the world around him with his camera. One of these shots that he has taken is shown to his friend Marissa, who is not pleased with what she sees: her mom who has been missing for a year. In his attempt to do the right thing and help his friend out, he isolates himself from his friends and his girlfriend. The teen angst that is inherent with these situations makes us as readers empathize with these good-hearted attempts. This book will make you realize a) how normal your parents are, as nuts as they may seem and b) how valuable friends and family are. Madigan does a superb job capturing the thoughts and words of a 15-year-old, and the story and plot is so compelling, you won't want to leave this story behind. This book is a reminder that we all get our hearts broken and suffer from loss, and we always have people who will be there rooting for us.