One of the things I appreciated about Flash Burnout is the novel’s setting: Portland, Oregon. Overall, it felt like the Portland I know. It weaved a quirky local event—zoobombing, called “hurtle” in the book—into the story arc.
Protagonist Blake has two major hobbies: photography, and comedy. He also has two girls in his life: his girlfriend, who’s cute, has a good sense of humor, and he hopes to sleep with. Then there’s Marissa, his friend from photography, whose work is “pretty” as opposed to Blake’s “gritty”. But when Blake takes a photo of a homeless woman on the streets of Old Town, he finds out that Marissa’s life is as gritty as his photographs. The woman in the picture is Marissa’s mother.
Blake’s life isn’t exactly “pretty”—both of his parents deal with death for a living—but they’re involved in the lives of their sons. Compared to Marissa’s life, Blake has an ideal family, although he’s free to make his own mistakes. Since he’s a teenage boy, he does.
Madigan weaved photographic terms into the story well, and Blake’s story is both believable, and compelling.
About the author: I originally reserved this novel at the library when @Literaticat mentioned it on Twitter. The day I started the novel, I heard some sad news. In a simple but eloquent post, L. K. Madigan blogged about having stage IV pancreatic cancer that’s metastasized to her liver. Please keep her in your thoughts.
Read by: Kelly
Book: Flash Burnout
Author: L. K. Madigan
Date Finished: January 12, 2011
Source: Public Library