professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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Book #53 Smile and Say Cheese



FLASH BURNOUT by L.K. Madigan (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) is the Morris winner for 2010. Blake is having a terrific time this year. He has a steady girlfriend in Shannon and a friend who shares his interest in photography, also a girl (Marissa). Such fortune mitigates the occasional problem with his snarky older brother or love-to-talk-about-my-job-at-dinner father who is a coroner. But Shannon is possessive and sometimes Blake stumbles in his attempt to keep the relationship in a steady course. His friendship with Marissa becomes strained when Blake takes a photo of a homless woman and it turns out to be Marissa's meth-addicted mother. Madigan's story is fast-paced and totally rooted in the reality of teendom. Conversations, both real and internal monologues, sound genuine. Blake's problems navigating the pitfalls of budding romances are met with good humor and self-deprecation ("Houston, we have a problem). No easy answers here: just a solid story with memorable characters. The chapter headings, with advice from a photography book set up the action of each chapter nicely as well.
Tags: award winner, ya
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