Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Atlanta Burns has a reputation. After taking a shotgun to her mother’s boyfriend … everyone knows not to mess with her. Although she tries to stay away from trouble, she becomes the target of two sets of bullies when she intervenes to help a couple of students who quickly become her friends. But since no good deed goes unpunished … Atlanta knows that something is going on when a teen shows up dead and it is listed as a suicide. She doesn’t want to make things worse by looking into it, so she dedicates her time to find out who is killing dogs in the neighborhood. When she discovers a dogfighting ring, she is once again surrounded by bad people and her future is looking more and more forlorn.
Atlanta Burns is a young adult novel that blends many everyday issues into one story. Atlanta confronts bullies, sexual abuse, parental neglect, dogfighting and American poverty. The downside of these many issues is that most are only addressed minimally when they could have used an entire book by themselves. With that said, Wendig did a superb job of creating a story that was believable even if it wasn’t very plausible. The adventure moves along nicely and many of the issues are wrapped up before the conclusion. Wendig has left openings for future books with his new heroine.
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