Review: Atlanta Burns

Review Atlanta Burns

While waiting for Chuck Wendig‘s Wanderers to be released, I noticed he had written a young adult novel called Atlanta Burns. It’s neither about Georgia’s largest city, nor about things burning.

From the publisher (Amazon’s Skyscape imprint):

You don’t mess with Atlanta Burns.

Everyone knows that. And that’s kinda how she likes it—until the day Atlanta is drawn into a battle against two groups of bullies and saves a pair of new, unexpected friends. But actions have consequences, and when another teen turns up dead—by an apparent suicide—Atlanta knows foul play is involved. And worse: she knows it’s her fault. You go poking rattlesnakes, maybe you get bit.

Afraid of stirring up the snakes further by investigating, Atlanta turns her focus to the killing of a neighborhood dog. All paths lead to a rural dogfighting ring, and once more Atlanta finds herself face-to-face with bullies of the worst sort. Atlanta cannot abide letting bad men do awful things to those who don’t deserve it. So she sets out to unleash her own brand of teenage justice.

Will Atlanta triumph? Or is fighting back just asking for a face full of bad news?

The road to publication for Atlanta Burns is interesting. Originally a set of two crowdfunded novellas, they were combined into this novel and published by Skyscape, Amazon’s imprint for young adults.

I really enjoyed this book. We see Atlanta from the first pages as a kick-ass hero with limited skills/abilities. She’s someone to root for, who stands up for others. Naturally, this tendency gets her into deeper and deeper trouble as the book goes on.

I was a bit surprised by the language, which is coarser than I’ve typically experienced from YA novels. It’s written in close third person POV, and I thought the voice at times seemed too old for the character. Still, it was an action-filled story with some emotional parts woven throughout. I have already purchased the second book in the series.

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