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BLAZE (OR LOVE IN THE TIME OF SUPERVILLAINS) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

BLAZE (OR LOVE IN THE TIME OF SUPERVILLAINS)

By Laurie Boyle Crompton

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4022-7348-8
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Geeky girl with absent father and quirky hobby meets unsuitable boy, then realizes Mr. Right has been under her nose all along.

Blaze's self-centered father, a caricature, left the family to become an actor, leaving her with only her name (from Ghost Rider's Johnny Blaze) and a love for classic Marvel Comics. Now, Blaze spends her time ferrying her 13-year-old brother Josh and his farting, breast-ogling, gay-joke–making friends to and from soccer practice. She has a crush on Mark, Josh's soccer coach, but their relationship fails to progress until Blaze's friend snaps a picture of Blaze trying on lingerie and sends it to Mark's phone. After a confusing and pressure-filled sexual encounter and Mark's subsequent brushoff, Mark posts the half-naked photo on clunkily named Facebook stand-in FriendsPlace, and it goes viral. The resultant bullying is harsh but believable, and it's satisfying to see Blaze channeling her hurt and anger into making comics and redecorating her Superturd of a minivan. Less impressive, however, are some of Blaze's asides to the reader (“Stuart is one of only three black students in our school....I feel somewhat hip and urban having him here at my house”) and the frequent subtle digs at girls being high-maintenance, stalkers, actual sluts and brainwashing feminists.

Timely subject matter and an adequate romance, but nothing super. (Fiction. 12-16)