“I have a plan.”—Miki Holtz isn’t some rebellious sixteen-year-old just because she dyed her hair blue and rides a motorcycle. She’s an independent girl who knows what, when, and how to get things done…almost. She can’t seem to gain her dad’s attention or make a connection with her soul crush, Will Sullivan. But when her dad invites her along to the Burnout Biker Rally—and Will is going, too—she jumps at the chance to turn her luck around.
"I don't like the way you like me."— While grieving the death of his mom, Will Sullivan has turned into an undeniable couch potato until he’s forced on a road trip with his dad’s motorcycle buddies as some kind of biker therapy. What’s worse? He’s paired up with the prez’s daughter, Miki, a girl who once humiliated him in front of his friends—a girl he can’t forgive…or forget.
Burnout is an adventure story set in the Pacific Northwest where a strong girl and a moody boy discover love while surviving a road trip from hell.
**FINALIST for Young Adult in the 2016 PNWA Literary Contest under the title Riding with the Hides of Hell.**
Plot: There are a lot of moving parts to this love story between Will and Miki, each of which has the potential to be fascinating. But perhaps because there are so many moving parts, none of them are explored in much depth, which will disappoint readers.
Prose: The descriptions are on point and beautiful at times. Also, the author has found some effective voices for her characters. However, there is some clunky dialogue, and the perspective shifts between Will and Miki at times work to pull readers out of the story.
Originality: At its essence, this book tells a familiar story: two kids finding their places in the world and falling in love. However, Leigh mixes that straightforward YA structure with motorcycle gangs and a fair amount of gender role reversal with the protagonists. And this works to create a book that is anything but standard fare.
Character Development: Will and Miki both have strong voices and clear motivations for their actions. As with all good YA protagonists, readers will root for them to stop being such drama queens. And readers will root for them to finally figure out their issues with one another.
Date Submitted: April 07, 2017