Guest Reviewer: Inara Scott


Inara Scott is the author of our September Book of the Month Delcroix Academy: The Candidates.  She can be found online at

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
Review by Inara Scott

When I heard I had an opportunity review a book this week, Flash Burnout, by L.K. Madigan, immediately popped into my head. I adore this book, for a whole lot of reasons. First, though, the summary (from L.K.’s website):

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.

What struck me most about this book was how I fell in love with Blake. I don’t usually read books by/about boys, but Blake dragged me in from the very first page. He’s got an incredibly unique and altogether real voice – at once vulnerable, heartfelt, funny, and tragic. Like any teenage boy, Blake is completely obsessed with girls, but has no idea how to communicate with them or, really, with himself. He learns a lot over the course of the book, but in a natural, honest way that isn’t sugar-coated or easy.

The other thing I adored about the book was the writing. Flash Burnout won the William C. Morris award, and received starred reviews everywhere it went. This made me nervous. Honestly, I don’t tend to enjoy the “good” books that the reviewers love! (Know what I mean?) But this book was different. The writing is pure and simple, and doesn’t bog down in pretty words or endless descriptions. It’s raw and honest, with impeccable pacing throughout.

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Flash Burnout, and then tell me what you think. It’s an amazing read.

Thank you so much Inara for being a part of our Book of the Month feature! As a parting treat, here is a trailer of Delcroix Academy: The Candidates