Chuck Wendig is not a subtle writer. But he is a very good one. Atlanta Burns is one of the most exciting YA mystery/thrillers I’ve read.
Atlanta Burns is a scrappy teen. Tough by necessity and wise beyond her teen years, Atlanta just wants to get through each day without being bothered. And most everyone around knows not to mess with her. She also doesn’t like bullies, and when she sees some school bullies picking on some new friends, she intervenes. Not soon after, one of her friends commits suicide. But Atlanta knows that there is much more to the story, and worse yet … she is partly to blame. She wants badly to set things right.
Meanwhile, she and her mother are soon to find themselves without a home and Atlanta needs to find some work to help pay some overdue bills. She takes on a job looking into the disappearance of a neighbor’s dog. What she finds is a despicable ring of dog fighting in which some leaders of her own town take part. This is not the sort of thing Atlanta can let go, but she needs some reliable assistance to take down these criminals.
Chuck Wendig does not pull his punches and if you have a weak constitution, you might need to skip over a few pages here. The truth, as Atlanta discovers it, behind dog fighting is unfolded before the reader. Most of us know it’s wrong and that it’s criminal, but the training behind raising fighting dogs is more brutal than I suspected.
I absolutely loved Atlanta. She’s strong, with a moral heart. She’s flawed, but that makes her human and real.
I borrowed this book through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program and with that loan I was also given access to the Audible book. I listened to this book on my work commute and I found it tremendously engaging. Narrator Cris Dukehart was brilliant and captured the energy and excitement of the book quite well. I found myself often sitting in the car, just wanting to listen to a little more.
Wendig is one of those rare authors who always manages to provide a new take or a new look on a character or a story and if you haven’t read a Wendig book, you really should correct that.
Looking for a good book? Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig is a powerful YA book with a wonderful, strong protagonist trying to set her own small part of the world right.
I borrowed this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.
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author: Chuck Wendig
narrator: Cris Dukehart
series: Atlanta Burns #1
publisher: Skyscape/Brilliance Audio
paperback, 381 pages
9 hours, 58 minutes