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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillans) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publishing Date: February 1, 2013 
Length: 309 pages 
Editions: Paperback, kindle 
Genre: YA contemporary, coming of age 
Source: Edelweiss 

Synopsis: -Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.

All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who draws comics.

What she gets is her very own arch-nemesis.

Name: Mark Deninger, aka Mark the Shark
Occupation: Soccer star and all-around lady killer
Relationship Status: Serial dater
Group Affiliation: No loyalty
Known Superpowers: Anti-girlfriend force field, breaking hearts

Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillian-style, but what he doesn't know is how geek girls always get revenge.



I've been eyeing this book for a while and wanted to read it. The cover is cute and I'm a fan of people who aren't afraid to be themselves. 

I liked it. Didn’t LOVE it, but I liked it. I didn’t love it because Blaze pissed me off with her incredibly STUPID actions, which I didn’t expect of her from the beginning. She was instantly likeable in the beginning.

I think this book is for more mature teen readers, say in the 15+ age range. It isn’t that it’s sexually explicit, but there are themes here that can be better discussed with those in that age group. There is a lot I liked and didn’t like about the book. I do not want to spoil it for the reader so excuse me if this comes out a tad cryptic.

Really liked Blaze in the beginning. She is witty and smart and I found her inner dialogue and fluttering over her crush cute. I like the games she creates to play with her band of Soccer Cretins as she ferries them from games and practices. I like that she seemed pretty self-assured and geeky about her comic books. But then…things took a turn for worse.

I did NOT like her and her friends slut-shaming and gossiping but I understand that it is the nature of the beast that is TEENAGER. I didn’t like her friends, and while she explains why she is friends with them, I was sneering in disgust. You have spoiled rich brat who tries to move in on the person you like. You have one who constantly asks to have, not borrow, but HAVE your stuff. And then the rich jerk friend sends a sext to her crush which catapults Blaze into unsafe sex before being dropped. And neither of her CLOSEST friends are apologetic in the least. Blaze, sweetie, dearie, honey – get some new friends or go it alone. Seriously. And the bad decisions rolled on from there. Sigh.
I did want more interaction with Quentin and I think my favorite character is Blaze’s younger brother, who is much more savvy and wise and socially apt than his older sister. 

The book had cute little comic drawings at the end of chapters, reflecting what just happened, and seeing as how Blaze is a comic-geek, I thought this was adorable.

Some of the transitions seemed a little too short and choppy to me, but I cannot imagine it any other way as it fits what today’s techno society is like, right down to the text speak in Instant Messages despite having a full keyboard at the user’s disposal.
Some good themes here for teenagers – sexting can make your life hell so don’t do it, unsafe sex is bad (but really, not just pregnancy scare…Mark the Shark is a MANWHORE. She could’ve contracted a STD!), sometimes unfortunately your parent is a self-absorbed poopnose, don’t be a bully including slut-shaming especially when you don’t know the whole story, and even the most devoted clingy loser can turn into your worst enemy just to look cool.