Thursday, December 8, 2011

High School Pick: Burnout

by Adreinne Maria Vrettos
McElderry Books
193 pages

click here to read an excerpt

Caustic, cutting, creepy, and dangerous, yet achingly poignant, Burnout is the 21st century's Go Ask Alice.

It's the day after Halloween, and Nan wakes up in a subway car--disheveled and dirty, hungover and ill, with no memory of how she got there, where she's been, or why she's wearing a plastic dress a couple of sizes smaller than she is. A subway worker helps her up and loans her his jacket and offers to call for help, but before the police can arrive, Nan is on the run. Whatever happened, she can't talk to the police. They will think she's a runaway or an addict and take her into custody. She's been clean for months, but now Nan feels like she's been drugged.

The only way she can find out what happened to her is to retrace her steps from the night before. Her memory begins coming back in bits and pieces and she realizes that she's the lucky one. She is still alive, but where is her friend Seemy?

The book is written in jumps and starts, skipping over information and then throwing in bits and pieces to emulate the way Nan is processing information and remembering things. This is at first a bit jarring, then the reader is able to appreciate the author's craft. A quick read for reluctant readers and a sure page turner, this novel is easily read in one sitting.

Recommended for grades 9-up. Drugs, mature situations, alcohol, drug rehab.

FTC Required Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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