by L.K. Madigan
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover)
Recommended for ages 14+
Friendship and relationships are common topics in young adult literature, and rightly so. In Flash Burnout we meet Blake, a fifteen-year-old guy who struggles to balance having a girlfriend and having a friend that’s a girl. An amateur photographer, Blake shows his friend Marissa some of his work for their photography class: a photo of a street person who Marissa recognizes immediately as her meth-abusing mother. Marissa shares some of her family’s history with Blake, which immediately makes their connection stronger to one another. Meanwhile, Blake’s girlfriend, Shannon, starts to take issue with their friendship.