December 15, 2013

Review: Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2013
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Book Description:

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention.

After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark.

Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

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I feel like a seesaw when I think about Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains). There are parts about this book that I adore and other parts that I disliked with a fiery passion. Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton follows 17-year-old Blaze as she fumbles through awkward encounters with her peers, deals with a minivan full of adolescent soccer players, and navigates through the waters of teenagedom one comic book at a time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Blaze, honest I did. But I hate how she barely ever spoke up for herself and how a lot of her inner monologues were all about Mark. Her naiveté really bugged me on a personal level mostly because I don’t think I was that clueless as a teenager. I get it’s a book and all characters are different, but come on, grow a brain Blaze! I just wanted to shake her and be like you’re a smart girl, don’t fall for Mark’s crap!

…I also didn’t love how she was so loyal to her Father. For godsake he abandoned her entire family, but I get her wanting to believe the best in people. I felt bad for her with the whole Mark thing and when she fought with her Mom. Poor Blaze had too much on her plate and she was looking for an escape, which came in a really bad way.

But I really enjoyed Blaze in the second half of the book. Once she died her hair pink, painted the minivan and decided to stand up for herself I liked her a lot more. I wish I would have liked more characters in the book, but the only other characters who weren’t completely selfish were Josh, Blaze’s brother and Comic Book Boy, who I loved.

My favorite part of the book was Blaze’s interactions with Quintin and all of her superhero references, made of win. There was a lot that went on in this story, taunting, pregnancy scares, bullying, so many issues touched and I sort of feel like maybe the story should have focused on just one. But so many of the issues are real and I understand why they were thrown into the book.

I know it sounds like I’m really down on Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), but I’m not. I did enjoy the story and I like that in the end things worked out, but I sort of wish Crompton would have spent more time with Blaze and Comic Book Guy rather than Mark. It seemed like there was a really strong connection there.

All in all the book was entertaining and well written. While I didn’t love all the characters I liked the story and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read.

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Author Bio:

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be. When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the

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