Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Flash Burnout Vs. The Gardner
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan is a story about a high-schooler named Blake who is an oridary teenage boy. He is the class-clown and always tries to get laughs out of his buddies, family, and girlfriend for "points". He has a girlfriend, who is a total babe. She’s the first girl he’s ever said, “I love you” to and he is trying to figure out exactly what that means. Being a teenage boy, his thoughts quite frequently drift over to the sexual aspect of relationships which leads to some laugh-out-loud moments. Blake is also good friends with a girl named Marissa from his photography class. For an assignment for photography class Blake ends up taking a photo of a homeless women who happens to be Marissa' mom. This incident leads to Marissa getting back in touch with her drug addicted mother and Marissa's hope for her mother to get back on the straight and narrow. The more Blake gets involved with Marissa’s messy personal life, the more he has trouble juggling time with his girlfriend and his girl friend. Flash Burnout is about love and loyalty, growing up and making mistakes, and learning how messy relationships can be.
I couldn't put this novel down! It was funny and dramatic which is exactly what high school is all about. I think it is a great novel for both teenage boys and girls as it explores high school life and relationships through the eyes of a ordinary teenage boy.
The Gardner by S.A. Bodeen is about Mason a teenage boy and his journey with an autotrophic girl as he seeks out information about his personal life.
On a visit to the nursing home in which his mother works, Mason discovers that her job does not involve caring for the elderly patients as he imagined, but for several apparently "catatonic teenagers". When his mother steps away, one of the teens awakens in response to a DVD that he puts on from his absentee father. The girl suffers from amnesia but somehow knows she must escape her current environment and begs Mason for his help. He suddenly finds himself on the run from TroDyn Industries, a scientific corporation that owns most of his town. As they escape the nursing home, the girl slowly attains some of her memory and tells him not to go anywhere near TroDyn. As the story goes on we find out that TroDyn has been using this girl as a science experiment to create a human who can create their own food. Mason tries to keep her safe from these evil scientists but finds out that he is more and more connected to this science experiment than he would like to be.
This is a great novel for young readers. I found it to be an easy read but found it to be better suited as a short story. The character development could have been a bit more fleshed out, but overall it was an interesting topic. The themes are relevant to readers today as it deals with enivromentalism which young readers would love.
And the winner is.... FLASH BURNOUT.