Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laure Boyle Crompton & Giveaway

Today, as a part of the tour for Laurie Boyle Crompton's Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), I have for you my review of the book and a giveaway!

3 Stars: A Good Read
Paperback: 320 Pages
Publication: February 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire


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..

This is the kind of book that's slow to warm up. It takes some time for this book to get into the heart of the story. In this time period, Blaze succeeded in losing my support. She's a na├»ve girl who consistently succeeds in ignoring the signs of people's true intentions while simultaneously misinterpreting a smile or a kind word as a sign that a guy's into her. It doesn't matter that the sext photo really gets Mark's attention. She thinks that everything will be all right if only he'd date her. Really, Blaze? Really? I know that she wasn't specifically asking for it, but she seemed pretty happy even after she did it with Mark. Her reaction afterwards, getting revenge, is a bit over the top, especially since she can't expect Mark not to retaliate. Yes, she does want to use the comic strip to warn other girls about Mark's true character, but she would've known if she only listened to her brother.

Still, this is a story that blurs all the lines of good and evil. Blaze is a vintage comic nerd, and the book is sprinkled with lines from different comics, which serve to contrast fantasy with reality. In comic books, we know who the superheros are, but in real life we often need to dig ourselves into holes before we know who we can rely on. Blaze starts off with some resentment towards the boys for having to drive them around like a soccer mom at her age, but they prove to have some character within them. There's also Quentin, the fellow comic nerd with a good heart (and who didn't appear in this book nearly enough). Mark himself seems like a chill guy until he pulls his moves on Blaze and exacts his own revenge on her (in return for the comic strips). Even then, it's apparent that he too has been a victim of sorts and may have his own demons to deal with.

This is a story about a turning point in Blaze's life, and she transforms much over the course of the novel--into a young woman that I could somewhat respect. To top it off, she's got a lot of guts and wits inside. I do wish that we got to see more development of the other characters, especially Blaze's relationship with her family and closer friends. We don't get to see much of the other characters excepting occasions where they play a role in what Blaze is going through at the moment. If we didn't get to see more of the other characters, at least Crompton knows where to place them, be it to deal the most hurt to Blaze or to make the most of a situation to help Blaze mature and learn from her experiences. I especially love the comic strips and illustrations in the book. They're awesome.

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) is about the dangers of the media and social networks, bullying, and the damaging effects of gossip. Despite being a super Virgin Girl and out of the general social loop, Blaze finds herself admitting that she never stopped to question what she heard, and she took pleasure in reveling that she isn't like some of the kids in the lower rungs of the social ladder. It hurts when the world turns against her and she learns about the truth behind some of the characters at her school, but it's a learning experience and Blaze ends up shining like the name that her father gave her. Yes, I'd recommend this book--with a warning that you might not like Blaze very much at the beginning, but she does mature in the end.

An copy was provided by Sourcebooks for review purposes






Giveaway
The publisher has offered a copy of Blaze to one lucky winner.

Open to US/Can only.
To enter, fill out the form below.

14 comments:

  1. great review, can't wait to read this book :)

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  2. I love that the main character grows throughout the story and that it deals with current, difficult issues! This book sounds amazing, thank for the awesome review and giveaway! :)

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    1. Those two points are what made this book for me in the end (besides the quirky comic humor) :)

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  3. I really loved Quentin and Josh and his friends-they were great! I struggled a lot with Blaze's decisions especially since I could predict the way things were going to turn out (i.e. not well). A fun and important read for teens.

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    1. Same here. Blaze acts a lot on bad jugment. I had to remind myself that we all make poor decisions, some are just worse than others like in Blaze's case. Nevertheless, this is a good book to read if only to learn from Blaze and the situations she puts herself in.

      <3 Quentin and Josh & co.

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  4. Great review! I really want to read this! The characters sound great and I love that she changes. Eh, lots of books have slow beginnings but end amazing. (:

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    1. I enjoyed watching Blaze's growth. I hope you enjoy this book! :)

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  5. I absolutely loved this book! While you had some problems with Blaze in the beginning, I loved this nerdy and geeky girl! I was shocked by some of the things that happened. but, I was happy with the end! Great book!

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  6. LOVE that she's a geeky nerdy girl! The fact that she might be a bit naive and makes mistakes isn't a huge issue for me because we all do things that we should've not done.

    Lovely review:)

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  7. Books that take a little while to warm up are usually the ones I end up liking the most! Awesome review :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  8. I think this book sounds interesting. I totally get your feelings on the main character though. What draws me in is the whole comic book nerd thing thats going on!

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  9. I love characters that start off deeply unlikeable- it just means they're more likely to have huge amount of development and maturating, and I'm glad that Blaze succeeds in this regard. Also, I'm a huge sucker for comic books, and the promise of a book sprinkled with drawings and that sort of humor is a huge draw for me :)

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