Blaze (Or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Source: ARC provided by Author and
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...
I've been excited about reading this book since I first found out about in February 2012 when it was originally titled Fangirl. I had to wait almost a year for it, but it was definitely worth the wait and totally met and exceeded any expectations that I had. I am a complete and total fangirl of Blaze the book and Blaze the character, pun intended!
Blaze is the seemingly average girl who spends her days toting around her younger brother, playing soccer mom, wishing she spent more time with her friends, and trying to catch the eye of her latest crush. She has a passion for comics and drawing - creating her own superheroes with powers.
What I love most about Blaze is how funny and sarcastic she is. She gives her younger brother and his friends a run for their money. The scenes of her driving them around in the minivan, not so lovingly nicknamed Superturd, are some of the most hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments of the book.
Blaze does eventually catch the eye of her crush, Mark, and then things go farther than she ever imagined. In the middle of their make-out session, Mark asks her if she wants to stop and she says no. Blaze thinks to herself,
"Except that I don't think I entirely understand what answering no means. Or, more to the point, I don't know what I've said yes to . . ." (pg. 132)I thought it was pretty realistic how Crompton dealt with Blaze's first sexual experience - sometimes it sort of does just happen. It wasn't unwanted or aggressive, instead just rushed, and awkward, and not what she imagined it was supposed to be like.
When Mark isn't the dream boy who Blaze thought he was and finds out that she is just one of the many girls in a long line of love-them and leave-them, she gets revenge in the best way she knows how - through comics. She creates her own comic - The Blazing Goddess vs. Mark the Shark which she posts online. While this seems like a great idea because she's telling her story and getting her aggression out, you just know it's going to end badly. As I read it, I kept thinking -have you forgotten about the half-naked photo Mark has if you?! It's moments like this - when I am talking to the characters - that made me love this story and the character so much.
I cannot praise this book enough. It was fun and entertaining and while Crompton does address issues like gossip and bullying and the repercussions of "harmless" (as if there is such a thing) sexting, she doesn't beat you over the head with it. She weaves her ideas into a character you want to cheer for and gives us a story of how that character deals with it, learns from it, grows from it, and moves on. I can already tell this is a book that I will be recommending for some time, will read again and again, and share from my bookshelves as often as possible. I LOVED IT!!!!!
OH AND THE ART WORK - how could I forget to mention it?! Throughout the book, you get to see what Blaze is drawing and can see her story of The Blazing Goddess getting the best of Mark the Shark. The artwork wasn't included in the ARC, so I went and purchased a finished copy the weekend that it came out. It is FANTASTIC!!!!!
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the book provided. Quotes were taken from the Advanced Reading Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.