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Flash Burnoutby L. K. Madigan
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Blake's life is riddled with the small dramas that accompany a high school sophomore's existence, but he has a sense of humor and feels lucky to be in love with his girlfriend, Shannon. But that relationship, and his generally normal life, are upended after he takes a photo of a meth addict on the street and discovers that she's the mother of Marissa, one of his classmates. With her father in jail, Marissa has nowhere to turn when her mother disappears, and before he knows it, Blake becomes emotionally entrenched in her family troubles. As his relationship with Marissa intensifies, Blake struggles to manage Shannon's jealousy ('even thought I may not work at the Genius Bar, I can tell she is mad') and figure out what he really wants (he eventually does cheat on Shannon). Madigan's debut skillfully employs the metaphor of photography to illuminate Blake's subtle discoveries about human nature and himself. But it's the teenager's authentic, often humorous, narration and personality that carry the story and act as a counterpoint to the tough issues Madigan addresses. Ages 14 — up. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"With just enough humor to diffuse the tension and the art and science of photography as a backdrop, this rich romance explores the complexities of friendship and love." Booklist
"[T]he details are just intriguingly bizarre enough to hook teens of both sexes and keep them engrossed by the naïvely unsteady love triangle.
"...[A]ppropriate but sensitive dialogue; beautifully developed, diverse characters; an unblinking pace; and intelligent humor. An exceptional novel. School Library Journal
Stevie Calhoun knows how to take care of herself. Its not like her mom hasnt disappeared before. So why is Aunt Mindy making such a big deal of it now? Its not like Moms really doing meth. Stevie makes sure of that. Whatever. Shell go home with Aunt Mindy if it will keep her from calling Child Protective Services—but it doesnt mean shell stay. Mom will come back. Mom always comes back. And Stevie will be there when she does. But when Stevie meets Alan—frustrating and fascinating and so-different-from-everyone-she-knows Alan—and she starts helping out at the bird rehab center, things begin to look different. Even the tutoring and the ridiculous outfits Aunt Mindys forcing her into might not be so bad. Not that Stevie would say it out loud. She cant. Because how can anything be good if it doesnt include Mom?
Stevie Calhoun is fifteen and knows how to take care of herself. Her mom has disappeared for days at a time before. So why is Aunt Mindy making such a big deal of it now?Whatever.Stevie will pack up her gypsy skirts, midriffs, camouflage pants, and red high heels. Shell go with Aunt Mindy. But it doesnt mean shes going to stay. Mom will return and promise to never see Drake and his white powder again. Stevie will make sure of that. If Moms awake, shell be with her. If shes working at the club, Stevie will hang at home and count the hours. Who cares about school? Who cares about Alan and helping those stupid birds?Crap.Does she?
With a powerful mix of humor and heartbreak, Flyawayis a contemporary novel that takes a frank, hopeful look at the victims of addiction and their right to a safe and heartening future.
About the Author
L.K. Madigan lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her son.
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