Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship--only it turns out to be for the town's most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, whom Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there's the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious "M," who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.
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Comments about Not Your Sidekick:
There is a lot of fun to be had reading this book. 'Not Your Sidekick' is choc-full of superheroes, has a diverse cast, and some plot twists that come out of nowhere. Learning about a dystopian earth in the future suffering affects from a solar flare, and humans presenting powers (called meta-humans) run by the government as superheroes. That's a pretty cool premise.
The first half of the book is a little slow, but still compelling. Mixed with a lot of humour and comic book styled tales, it didn't bore me at any point. Lee's writing style is witty and fresh, tapping into the psyche of a sullen confused teen expertly.
If the mention of super heroes hasn't tipped you off – I'll tell it to you straight. Expect campy goodness. Cheese and moments that are way over the top. It comes part and parcel with this genre.
Our protagonist, Jessica Tran, an Asian bisexual high school student, with just the right mix of confusion, vulnerability and sarcasm to keep me glued to the page.
Lee also manages to deconstruct some tropes in this novel – and rightly so, she is tackling some newish ground with her bisexual main character. It's not widely prominent in YA and adds a freshness to the storytelling. Her perspective and switching up of stereotypical characters adds that zing that I couldn't get enough of. It was so pleasant not to be fed those same old types of characters that dominate the YA market.
There are so many undertones in this book which are truly marvellous – but I feel it would do a disservice to discuss them in full in a review, because the book is meant to be a light-hearted, fun read. So I'll let you garner from the book your own versions of social awareness and hidden messages.
'Not your Sidekick' is engaging, light hearted and has hidden depths. Definitely recommend for the aspect of diversity and the fun ride that goes a long with them.
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old
For Grades: 3 - 7
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 8th September 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.3 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.34