REVIEW: Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon

The Official Description: Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s…well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of school work and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.

Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.

Just the facts: Queer YA, superhero, great POV

This was a fun romp in the world of superheroes from a teenage perspective! Everything is more complicated when you’re a teen. – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:
This book was a fun read. If you read YA, and enjoy the fantasy world of superheroes and crime fighters then you’re going to enjoy “Junior Hero Blues” by J.K. Pendragon.

It took me a few pages to get used to the writing style. That narrative was great though. Javier’s voice was quirky, funny and endearing. It read to me a bit like a film … the way a character will start off at the beginning of a film talking to the audience. I settled into the style and came to really enjoy Javier’s wit and his self-deprecating humour.

The plot is not complex although parts of it are quire original. I really enjoyed the idea that superheroes join an organization to be “junior” to the people who have been in the game longer. I mean, it makes perfect sense. This book is heavy on the super-action…there are several pretty awesome altercations between the villains and the heroes. As the story progresses, the plot becomes more complicated in terms of “who is good” and “who is evil”. I liked the way things were complicated by the author – it made the book. much more interesting read.

At the beginning of the book, Javier begins a relationship with Rick. They are, in many ways, opposite of one another and Javier struggles a bit as he tries to figure himself out. He’s not just figuring out what it’s like to live as a superhero, he’s figuring out who he is as a person. The interactions between these two young men were great and really authentic. They were fun and even with the whip-snap turns in the plot, I kept finding myself cheering for them.

The only issue I had with this book was that the ending was a bit abrupt. I was hoping for a little bit more time to sit with the author’s resolution but it was suddenly over! I suppose that’s a good thing – I mean, I would have been happy if it continued so I was definitely enjoying it. There’s plenty of resolution in terms of the plot, so don’t worry about that. I just wish there had been some more time for the ending to sink in.

This was such a fun book and I will miss Javier! I will definitely pick up future publications by J.K. Pendragon.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) bullying, death/deceased family member, guns, incarceration, kidnapping/abduction, past trauma, murder, mind control.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon from Ninestar Press via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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