Sunday, June 1, 2014


Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story (Burnouts #1)Series: Burnouts #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 3/4/14
Format: ebooks
Source: Author
Rating: 3.5 stars

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They’re burnouts - a little short on parents, money and plans for the future, but they’ve got each other and a whole lot of fun. With a world of crazy at home, Carrie Gould needs them to keep her sanity. To stay in their world she needs to keep dating the guy with the party house, which would be fine, if she hadn’t fallen in love with someone else.
He’s such a geek. Ben Gorman is obsessive, smart, strong-willed and on the fast track to his dream of becoming an Army Ranger. He’s also the only geek with a girl. Joelle Welker is perfect for him; a self-proclaimed Jesus freak, who is dedicated to her beliefs and to building a future with Ben. But those plans don’t include his neighbor, Carrie, or Ben’s dedication to her.
Their friendship started by chance. Their love started with trust.

This is a sweet, silly smart-sexy story of first love and first lovers.

I was drawn to Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks because that is a great title. To my (happy) surprise, the story was set in the late 1990s, and the southern Missouri settings were close to home. There was a lot I liked about Burnouts, in addition to what I've mentioned.

Carrie, the main character, was not a sweet and innocent, perfect girl. It's not that I don't like the perfect girls, but with her fun-loving ways, Carrie and her friends felt more authentic to mine and my friends' experiences. I think a lot of what drove Carrie was her parents' indifference. No matter what she did, they didn't see her. And if they did, it was only to criticize. Carrie went out a lot, partied with friends, dated a much older guy, and had a bit of attitude. She was sad at times, and though she tried really hard to hide it, her friend and neighbor Ben always saw Carrie. Ben was such a nice guy! This boy was an easy character to embrace, especially when it came to Carrie. He was comforting and thoughtful, and expected little in return. I liked that he knew what he wanted out of his life, and did exactly what it took to get there.

Of course, I wanted Ben and Carrie together, though they were both dating others in the beginning. Burnouts is not a cheating story, though, so do not let that deter you. It's a coming-of-age story, and was much bigger than I anticipated. The story spans their senior year of high school, with a few flashbacks of their friendship as younger teens. With Ben's big plans for the future, the road for him and Carrie is not easy or predictable. There were some major shocks and heartbreak along the way, with the story landing them more than four years into the future. Some of their story hurt and frustrated me, but in the end I really liked it.

Okay, so I really did like this story, but felt a bit disconnected. Why? The narrative. The story is told
in third person, which doesn't actually bother me like it used to since I read so many adult novels. But
here, I felt as if I was being told a story instead of living it alongside the characters. The passage of time was quickly recapped, and some big moments in Carrie's and Ben's lives were rushed through. Having said that, I still liked Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks, and would recommend it to those looking for a expansive love story that was often bittersweet, but will leave you with a smile.

 Favorite Quote

  Carrie looked up at the sky, "No one seemed to care if I was crying, or wanted to be around me...'til you."
    Ben held her hand and rubbed the back of it but her train of thought.
  "When you're sweet to me, when you care...," she swallowed down the lump in her throat, "I know you see me, really see me. I get scared...cause you might not like what you see." She took a shaky breath to continue, "Then these tears, these stupid's like I've got a million of them stored up behind some floodgate. When you're nice, it just, opens."

Author Karen Gordon is giving one lucky winner a custom beach bag!

About the author
Karen  GordonKaren Gordon was born and raised in the suburban paradise of St. Charles, MO, on the outskirts of St. Louis. She earned a B.S. in English from the University of Central Missouri (BS being the operative term) and a M.A. in Media Communications from Webster University, where she graduated in a hot pink mortar board because she didn’t like the school colors.
She currently resides in Olive Branch, MS (formerly Cow Pen) on the outskirts of Memphis, TN with her 2.5 super-smart kids, and an amazingly-funny, cute, geeky husband.

When not writing, she is a stay-at-home mom (chick in charge) and part-time teacher. Any down time is spent reading, catching up with friends and obsessively worrying about every little thing.

“Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story” is her debut novel. She is now frantically trying to recall her college years to write the sequel, “Popstars, Friends and Lovers.” 

 Twitter GoodReads



  1. Hmm..sounds interesting. Ben and Carrie still sound like a great couple despite the angst :)

  2. Couldn't resist! Added this one to my TBR list :-)

  3. I love the cover. So fun! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  4. oh, looks like fun. I think I would pick this one up based on the title heh. But I am glad to hear it was so much more.
    Oh gosh I been so busy and did not have time for online much that I was almost lost when I clicked your page! I thought I was somewhere else lol love the new layout it's so...airy

  5. That's quite the title. lol I don't know that it's the one for me but never know. Think I'll wishlist it and think on it a bit :)

  6. This does sound like a fun book. I'm already liking Carrie.

  7. Ahhh the 90s! What memories. :) Third person doesn't bother me as much anymore either, Andrea, but it's unfortunate that you felt a disconnect with this story anyhow. Great review. :)

  8. I love the title! Definitely an eye-catcher. While I do love the 90's, was there a reason this book was set in the 90's? From the blurb and your review, it seemed kind of random. Just wondering!

  9. This does sound pretty good, Andrea. And I LOVE that title! ;)

  10. I really love the title also. Sounds fun.

  11. Oh I hate bittersweet lol I may give it a try at some point because I love that title but I have a feeling I would be too upset.


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