Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)

Laurie Boyle Crompton, Author
Laurie Boyle Crompton. Sourcebooks Fire, $8.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7343-8
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Seventeen-year-old Blaze views life through the lens of comic books (she’s a Marvel girl, and her father even named her after Ghost Rider’s alter ego). With Blaze’s mother working all hours and her father having abandoned the family for an acting career, Blaze is overburdened with responsibilities, and obsessively drawing and reading comics doesn’t exactly send the boys running her way. She’s thrilled when her crush, soccer dreamboat Mark, takes notice of her, but he lives up to his bad reputation, and after they hook up, Blaze has to summon her inner superhero to clean up the mess. First-time novelist Crompton handily establishes Blaze as a diehard comics fan who’s not entirely comfortable in her own skin; her funny-crass interactions with her friends and her younger brother make for entertaining reading. What makes the story truly valuable, however, has less to do with comics than with the way Crompton takes on the practice of slut-shaming—the novel forces readers to reconsider the way they treat their peers, especially girls, over their sexual behavior, real or imagined. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.)
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