“Burnout” by Rebecca Donner

My friend The Big Brain lent me an advance copy of Burnout, the newest graphic novel from the DC Minx line, for young adults. The Minx books have gotten a lot of praise, and I’m in the minority (for example, praise at Boing Boing); I hate them. I think they’re full of young-adult novel cliches that were tired at least a decade ago. I could do a plot summary, but I think a cliche summary will function just as well:

Teenage protagonist was abandoned by father
Mother is in relationship with abusive, alcoholic jerk
Jerk has a hottie son whom protagonist has crush on
Hottie has a secret, which protagonist learns
Minimum of other characters (dog, best friend, and best friend’s uncle)
Hottie comes to bad end; protagonist and mother escape to new life

Perhaps the only difference between this story and the typical teenage problem novels of the 80s and 90s (which I quoted Michael Cart about, here) is that there is an ambiguous, not-happy ending. To me, this was a by the numbers YA book with OK art.

Better choices? Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Yes, they’re more serious. But they’re also really good. Gray Horses by Hope Larson, and Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan have good, believable female protagonists. And for good YA novels, check out the Printz award winners.

One Response to ““Burnout” by Rebecca Donner”

  1. ChristineMM Says:

    Those time out recommendations are also what the “Super Nanny” does on her reality TV show.

    The best parenting advice that I’ve come across is written by William Sears MD such as “The Discipline Book” (up to age 10). I wish he’d write one for over age 10 though as my oldest turns 11 soon.

    I’ll go over to your post on The Kindergarchy to say something else parenting related…

    Have a great weekend.