A socially awkward preteen named Lindsay emerges from a superhero fantasy world to make friends and become a BMX queen.
When Lindsay’s parents announce that they are going on an archaeological dig in Estonia, she can hardly believe her luck. She is sure to find a hidden amulet on their assignment that will finally reveal her superpowers, unleashing the fearless girl underneath her shy, bilingual facade. Instead, they tell her that she will be staying with her cousin and archnemesis, Phoebe, the tough-dressing and tattooed daughter of her tía Maria. All at once, she has to say goodbye to her house, her parents, and her comic books for a summer adventure that will push her to athletic new heights and force her to admit how wrong she was about her cousin’s dark nature. Getting to know the real Phoebe means attending her BMX classes at an indoor track named Joyride, where Lindsay enters an all-gender bike-jumping competition. While Lindsay stops judging Phoebe for her punk style of dress, she remains preoccupied with external appearances and popularity throughout the novel, undergoing a makeover in an attempt to fit it. Dressing for a training session, she reflects that “the hat makes me feel like I actually belong on the tracks at Joyride.” The author uses clothing styles and stereotypes in place of character development throughout, defeating the point of Lindsay’s earliest lesson. Biracial Lindsay’s mom is Mexican, and her father is white; she and Phoebe both have light skin and brown hair.
Disappointingly superficial. (Fiction. 8-12)