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?
Ginny’s thoughts: I don’t remember what I thought when I first picked up Atlanta Burns, but I was not expecting what I got. (Which is my way of saying “for some reason I thought this was a zombie novel and I’d never read any Chuck Wendig but everyone on the internet loves him plus the cover was pretty … “)
This is the book that every high school student should read. Not that I condone drug use in the place of therapy or vigilante justice (except for what happened before the story, you go Atlanta Burns) but because …
Because things don’t just magically get better. You don’t wake up one day after high school and find that the bullies are gone. You just find that they’ve grown better at fucking you over.
Because you’re different and that’s okay.
Because dog fighting is wrong. (And so is allowing a felon convicted of participating in that “sport” to once again be a professional athlete, but that’s a soap box for another time.)
Because taking pleasure in the misfortune of others makes you an asshole. Even if the person suffering was an asshole to begin with.
Because even when I was all “well they have to run now, right? Start a new life somewhere else?” they stuck it out. For better or for worse.
Because yes, a dog is worth that much.
Because the prose is simply gorgeous. It’s not simply words thrown on a page to tell a story, but rather woven together to transport you into this world that basically sucks.
Atlanta Burns is powerful and moving and I highly recommend it to everyone. Regardless of what genre you like to read.
A review copy was provided via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.