Early Review: Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon

junior-hero-bluesJunior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon
Genre: YA LGBT Romance
Publication Date: November 7th, 2016
Publisher: Triton Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s . . . well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of schoolwork and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.

Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.

Wendy’s Review

I was honestly really excited to read this book.  I think I have a fascination with YA Superhero novels, as apparent by my love of Renegade X.  I love how you can play with current events in a fantasy element, which I know you can do in most genre’s, but there’s something almost accurate when you play with the black and white world of heroes and villains.

Anyway, that concept plus the idea of an LGBT main character, is what drew me to Junior Hero Blues.  Javi was an unpopular gay kid at his school, starting to date an extremely popular kid, and in addition he’s dealing with having superpowers and working as a Junior Hero for the Legion.

What Junior Hero Blues had going for it:

Oh, the snark!  Javi had a self-deprecating level of snark that made me laugh more than once.  I enjoyed his outlook on himself, his best friend Kendell, and the jocks of the school.  I appreciated how the author used her main character to highlight bullying too.  I liked that Rick and Javi came from opposite sides of the high school spectrum.

I really liked Javi’s superpower.  I thought it was a nice change to have Javi both proud of his ability, be pretty adept, and yet at the same time give him aspects of his power that even embarrassed him, like the bouncing.  I loved the physical manifestation of Javi’s powers also.  It was creative.  I loved liked how Javi wanted an superhero costume that showed off his awesome new abs!  I feel like that’s exactly what a teenager would want when they’re suddenly granted a super hot bod.  He can’t show it off in his reality, but Blue Spark sure can wear a revealing costume!

What didn’t work in Junior Hero Blues

I felt like Javi’s personality devolved a bit over the course of the story.  While in the beginning he read as funny, by the end he felt whiney.  It was a problem for me, because I’m such a character driven reader.  When there’s a lack of substance, or consistency, in the character I notice and focus on it.

In addition, I didn’t believe the relationship between Javi and Rick.  Their relationship started at the beginning of the book, and they only dated for a week.  Javi even jokes about it.  Yet, still they act like they’re madly in love at the end.  I don’t even dislike whirlwind romances, if they’re done right.  This felt too fast paced, and without enough one on one time to truly develop a romance.

I also thought not enough time was spent on Javi and his parents.

Really, I think my dislikes all boiled down to the rushed feeling, and not enough time marinating in the characters and the plot.

Thank you to Triton Books and Riptide Publishing for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 2.75 Stars = C-

© 2016, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

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