Wednesday, July 1, 2009


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.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Great review! :) I'm dying to read this book, it looks so good.