Release Date: January 27, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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?
Life is equal parts strange and beautiful and horrible, and we're tossed into it without a map or an instruction guide. Poems and stories have a way of helping us make sense of things.
Suicide is selfish. Doesn't do squat but leave behind a lot of mess. Worst of all, it makes sure that the bullies win. Because now they live in a world with one less person they hate-in a world that looks suddenly a little more like them.
Since reading Miriam Black, Chuck Wendig's become one of my favorite male authors. His books are so graphic and animated they read like movies, his lead characters are flawed and fit the anti-hero bill perfectly, his plots are provoking and at times it takes on socially relevant themes which makes the story accessible to the readers to a degree. Such is the case with ATLANTA BURNS, a contemporary MYA story about a reluctant and unconventional heroine that found herself fighting some pretty powerful people with sheer cleverness and lots of gusto. Liked the book, loved the girl.
Like Miriam Black, ATLANTA BURNS is an outsider and gained infamy after she blasted off her mother's latest beau's manly bits. And because of her curious reputation, Atlanta became the poster girl for the bullied and the go-to chick for even curiouser cases. I love Atlanta Burns, she's such a toughie on the outside but a softie on the inside. She's a ball-buster and has major anger issues, very loyal, very witty, and hard to outsmart. She's going to be one heck of a heroine, this one.
I loved that ATLANTA BURNS took on relevant themes like bullying, racial discrimination, and other forms of bigotry led by some Neo-Nazi group disguised as a gun club. The book was divided in two major parts, the suicide due to bullying and the dogfight. Though both are good storylines, part 1 was too short especially as it appears to be the main arc of the book, and part 2 felt like a distraction because towards the end, the story eventually came back to Shane's death and the circumstances that surrounds it. Apart from the choppy feel of the novel, Atlanta's character development was slow if not non-existent. I just didn't feel like she changed a whole lot throughout her ordeal, whatever good characteristics she exhibited I think was already there in the beginning so it wasn't a big surprise to learn that ATLANTA BURNS cares more than she appears to be.
Though I have a few gripes, I love the feel of ATLANTA BURNS. It's packed with action and I enjoyed the David-and-Goliath-like conflict that's escalating fast. I can easily see this as a graphic novel, I think the scenes would look spectacular illustrated and I believe it will do wonders for the story. Now I hope there's a second book in the making as CWendig mentioned in his note that this book came into existence thanks to a kickstarter project, I hope he has enough money leftover to write the next one.