Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: February 1st, 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 (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) by Laurie Boyle Crompton is a fun, relatable story about a naive girl who learns that looks can be deceiving and a seemingly boring life can spiral out of control just as fast your phone can send a text message.
Blaze is a fantastically funny, blunt character. You can tell right off the bat that her world revolves around superheroes and comics. The way it's written into her thoughts and dialogue is so natural. My only issue with her charcater was her naivety and gullibility. I mean, c'mon Blaze. Everyone knows that a guy who only asks you out after you send him a dirty picture is probably not truly interested in being your boyfriend after he gets the thing in said dirty picture. But, like I said, Blaze is still a cool character. She's got a very unique personality.
I had no idea where this story was going. None at all. I knew the gist of it from the synopsis, but I honestly wasn't prepared for what I got. This was a story that shows just how bad online bullying can be, and how it translates over into the real world. People at school were actually telling Blaze she should just go kill herself, all because some jerk-off posted a private picture of her on the Internet. A picture Blaze herself didn't even take or send. Basically it's a story about how fast a simple mistake can escalate until its taken on a life of its own. I will say that even though Mark turns out to be a real jerk and should never have done what he did, I did appreciate his regret at having hurt Blaze and the way he tried to stand up for her. But, unfortunately, at that point it's just too little, too late. Besides, I like Comic Book Guy Quentin better anyway!
But I think the best message that comes from Blaze is that you can't always believe the gossip. It's easy to fall into that mindset. That "she's a slut, she's a whore, she's a skank," mindset. But maybe she is really just a victim who made one mistake and it got out of hand? Blaze isn't just an innocent victim. From page one of the book she constantly spewed nasty thoughts and comments about "school slut" Catherine Wiggan, and it was very interesting to see her trying to deal with the same thing once the shoes on the other foot.
One of my favorite things about Blaze, was Blaze's relationship with her little brother Josh, and all of the Soccer Cretins for that matter. They might be obnoxious, unruly fourteen year olds, but they care about Blaze and go out of their way to help her out when she needs it. Their love for Blaze, when everyone else in the world was letting her down, warmed my heart.
Because I was reading an e-ARC I didn't get to see all of the awesome illustrations throughout Blaze, but I would have definitely liked to. While reading it was like I was craving the pictures to go with the story. I wanted to see not the story that I was reading, but Blaze's comic book story, The Blazing Goddess.
Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) was a fantastic contemporary that will leave you with a similar message as The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, but the journey through is much funnier and has illustrations! I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, heartwarming but poignant read.
Here's a look at some of the artwork from Blaze!
© 2012 Anne Cain http://annecain-art.com/
For more about Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) check out these sites!