Hey everyone! Today I’m coming at you with a non-spoiler review of Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee. I read it recently and highly enjoyed it!
Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.
Let me start with talking about the plot. It is so fun and adventurous. We get to discover a whole new world, after many disasters wrecked parts of the earth. The world-building was done very well. It was nice to see all the green, futuristic things Lee came up with. As for the plot itself, we start out by learning more about Jess, her environment, her family and friends,.. That was done very well. Soon, things happen and curveballs are thrown. The plot got very adventurous! It was constantly moving and I was always entertained. There weren’t any moments of boredom!
The narrative gives a refreshing spin and the classic superhero story. The conversations about the line between good and bad and the many blurred areas, were really interesting. Jess, the main character, isn’t the classic hero. She doesn’t have any of the traditional superhero powers, despite having parents and a sister who do. Still, she’s really strong, kind and resourceful. She can definitely kick ass. I loved her as a protagonist!
Speaking of the characters, they where amazing! They all had complexity, an impressive depth and memorable voices. They all stood on their own. I absolutely adored the gorgeous friendships in this book. There is great value put to them and I oh so appreciated that! There aren’t enough YA books that focus on good friendships.
The romance between Abby and Jess was so fluffy and cute. I loved to watch it develop throughout the book. These ladies will seriously melt your heart. They support each other, have fun together and both care so much! The romance was built on a good friendship with mutual trust. It was so heartwarming!
When it comes to the representation, I thought it was done very well. Jess is bisexual and Chinese-Vietnamese American. The book is Own Voices.
Jess often feels as if she’s not Chinese enough in certain situations and not Vietnamese enough in others. It’s awkward when you’re not quite one but not quite the other.
There are tons of characters that are POC. There’s also a trans character. (He is the lead in the sequel Not Your Villain!) I read several reviews by bisexual and/or Chinese Vietnamese reviewers and they agree that the rep is really good!
Overall, I highly enjoyed this! I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend it! I picked up the sequel straight away and I’m loving that one too!
Have you read Not Your Sidekick? What did you think? Have I convinced you to pick it up?
That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post! See you next time!
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