Burnout, by Rebecca Donner & Inaki Miranda. New York: Minx, 2008. 147 pp. ISBN 9781401215378
Danni's life up to this point has not been easy. Her dad's left, and now she and her mom are on the road looking for a place to live. Hopefully things will be better in this new town...
"When Danni and her mom move in with her mom's alcoholic boyfriend, Danni develops a fierce crush on Haskell, her soon-to-be stepbrother, who's a hardcore environmentalist. Desperate and confused, Danni wrestles with what she's willing to sacrifice as she confronts first love, family secrets and the politics of ecoterrorism set against the lush backdrop of the Pacific Northwest." (barnesandnoble.com synopsis)
Protagonist Danni shows growth in character in this novel, yet it is somewhat depressing that by the end of the story, she doesn't seem to be using any new coping skills to deal with emotional trauma. (However, though, she has just lost a boyfriend, and not too long after her father abandoned her and her mother.) Perhaps, given what she's gone through, her reaction is realistic, but it's sad that she doesn't even seem to have a tiny bit of hope. Potential controversial element: brief "almost" sexual intimacy between Danni and Haskell.
HOW THIS BOOK HELPS
This book could help teens with one or more absent parents, or who are living in alcoholic households.
WHY I CHOSE TO READ IT
Judging by the drawing on the cover, it looked liked the protagonist had been through a lot and might have an interesting story to tell.