Title: Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publishing Info: January 10, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 2, 2013
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...
BLAZE was a really nice contemporary. I wasn’t sure if it was going to actually lean towards superhero or if it was strictly contemp when I first picked it up so I’m kind of glad it was the latter. It was definitely a very different read and kind of refreshing — Blaze’s voice isn’t shy, as you’d expect of a “typical comic book nerd”. She’s witty and came across as kind of a tomboy to me, despite her affinity for pink. She’s definitely a voice that I don’t hear that often so although things like fart jokes were kind of annoying to me (just never found them funny…), it was definitely enjoyable hearing something different.
I’d definitely say this is a book for older teens. Blaze doesn’t censor herself — not so much for cursing, but there are many sexual references and situations that occur in this book and Blaze certainly makes a few leaps and bounds as far as her sexual maturity goes. She puts herself in a lot of precarious situations, but it was also interesting to read because at some point in time, I’m sure a lot of us have been there. It gets a little uncomfortable, and Blaze doesn’t make things easy on herself, but I do like that she does learn a very valuable lesson, albeit the hard way. As intense as some situations may be, it’s really a great message not to follow in Blaze’s footsteps and not to learn things the hard way like she ended up doing.
I think BLAZE ended up being a lot more serious than I was expecting, but I was surprised that I really enjoyed the journey. I feel like the superhero themes help create a lighter feeling when times are tough, as well as being Blaze’s outlet for her emotions when she feels like she can’t go to anyone else. I ended up feeling quite fond of her character and I was so proud at the progress she made with her life!
Blaze: She’s a bit brash at times, but I ended up really feeling for her. God knows a lot of us – whether it’s us or a friend – have been in similar situations of pressure and bullying, and my heart really went out to her, even when she was making stupid mistakes. I’m glad that her character really grew and started to wise up. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes life-altering decisions to decide to do so!
Josh: I really liked her brother’s character. Often, I feel like younger brothers are annoying or embarrassing and sure, Josh embarrasses Blaze sometimes, but you can tell he’s really looking out for his big sis. His friends were the annoying ones so he didn’t have to be.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It definitely felt very refreshing and different from your average contemporary/realistic fiction. I really liked all of the elements that Laurie Boyle Crompton included in this book!