Ho. Ly. Craaaaaap.
I have known for a while that Chuck Wendig is a badass. I subscribe to his blog, read every straight-shooting writing rant (ok, that description makes him sound like some kind of fountain pen-toting Annie Oakley). He’s funny and sharp and unapologetic. He arts hard.
So, when I heard he had written a YA novel featuring a Veronica Mars-esque MC, I had to read it.
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?
Now, no knocking Veronica Mars (because, as I’ve said an annoying amount of times, Veronica is my girl), but I’m pretty sure Atlanta could take Veronica in a fight. Because that taser is really no match for a shotgun.
Story math time!
Atlanta Burns = (Veronica Mars – rich Californians + Neo-Nazis)^Tarantino
What Intrigued Me: Okay, I know I’ve also said this an annoying amount of times, but I love badasses. I love people who get things done. It’s why I like VM. It’s why I picked up Atlanta Burns. She’s a little sloppy, as subtle as a shovel to the face, and never considers consequences, but she gets it done. And that’s awesome.
What Hooked Me: In my opinion, in a good book, every character is essential. I’m not saying they’re all likeable—I mean, there is a crapload of unlikeable (and just plain evil) characters in Atlanta Burns—but that the story would suffer if any one of those characters disappeared. Hell, there were characters in Atlanta Burns that I was hoping would bite it in horrible ways, but despite that, I wouldn’t want them cut from the story entirely.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Like any badass, Atlanta has a lot of enemies. Not high school mean girls, truly evil people with too much power.
Good thing she’s got such awesome friends.
Shane. Chris. Guy. Steven (or Chomp-Chomp, if you like nicknames). Sure, she doesn’t have a lot of backup, but what she has is pretty great.
Atlanta Burns (now one volume) is available from Amazon or your local dealer. *cough* Book dealer.
Yeah, book dealer.