Friday, January 10, 2014

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) by Laurie Boyle Crompton [Review]

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)3.5 out of 5 Robots!
  


Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: February 1, 2013
Paperback: 320 Pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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...
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Oh boy.  Ok.  So here's the thing.  There are parts of this book I really liked.  At the beginning it kind of bops along as your standard contemporary YA romance.  Blaze (named by her comic book loving father after Johnny Blaze of Ghost Rider fame) is your average, albeit geeky, small town girl with a penchant for imagining herself as a comic book heroine.  I felt Blaze was a very real character.  I liked that while she was a self-proclaimed geek, she wasn't unpopular or looked down on because of it.  I also loved her relationship with her family.  I also thought it was very real, especially when things start to crack on the surface a bit.  I especially adored her brother and his friends.  They were perhaps my favorite part.  Laurie Boyle Crompton can certainly write teenage boys well and make them completely believable.  She definitely has her finger on the pulse of complicated family dynamics.

So then that leaves the stuff I didn't like.  Blaze really frustrated me though the second half of the book.  Her reaction to Mark's rejection seemed incredibly immature.  I was so frustrated with some of her decisions I wanted to throttle her.  Her friends were no better.  I was truly aghast at their behavior sometimes.  Actually, what bothered me even more was Blaze's blaise attitude to the things that they were doing.  "Oh la di da, that's just how they are...". Pshaw. I also thought Blaze really needed to take a good look in the mirror and realize that about half of her problems were her own.

But the biggest issue I had was with the so called "slut shaming".  Blaze looks down on a fellow classmate because she is rumored to be slutty.  And she says it so casually and matter of fact.  It really rubbed me the wrong way because I would hope that Blaze would be a more evolved than this.  Also, when she invites Mark to a party she is relieved he didn't show up with some "slutty girl".  Oh my god.  Can we please stop with this?!  Just because a girl is dating the person you like, DOES NOT MAKE HER A SLUT.  I am so tired of seeing this in YA.  It's bad enough in the real world that we don't need to perpetuate it in books.  And while I'm on my soapbox, Blaze does some "morally questionable" things herself.  What makes her any better or any worse than these other so called "slutty" girls?  It frustrates me SO much.  And the way the school population turns on her is extremely unsettling.  So one hand, I applaud the author for going there with some of these hard issues like sex, bullying, sexting, etc.  But at the same time, I felt she was perpetuating the problem by having Blaze feed into the slut shaming frenzy (even when she is a victim of it herself!).

So where does that leave me?  I was alternatively charmed and repulsed by this book and I'm not even sure where I stand with it.  I think if you are at all interested in this book you should read it to form your own opinions.  Your mileage may vary.






2 comments :

  1. It's always difficult to find books like this - this pretty much sums up my complicated feelings on Defy at the moment. And..ugh. There is nothing that sets me off quite as much as slut shaming in a book. (Defy has those moments too. And those are actually the least of my issues with it haha)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, Defy is getting trashed in the reviews. I would love to read your thoughts on it!!

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