My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think if I was a teenager, queer, or had grown up under difficult circumstances, this book would be like a breath of fresh air, a lifebelt in the sea of turmoil and something to bring hope and a feeling of “normalcy” as it is an encouraging homage to the great superhero stories of the Golden Era of Comic Books.
For Nick, his fanfiction is something vitally important, a connection to the Extraordinary he has a huge crush on and there were lots of “Superman/Lois Lane” vibes in his queering of the relationship between Shadow Star and a character who may be just a tiny bit like Nick.
It’s TJ Klune, so there is all the hilarity and wonderful use of language you’d expect to find in any book from this author. And, because it’s TJ Klune, there’s so many more layers and depth to the story being told.
It’s YA superhero fiction so as a 50-year-old woman, I’m not the key demographic for reading it, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t relate to the struggles Nick goes through in his day-to-day life as he juggles with his best friend (and possible love of his so-far very short life) Seth, his unfailing desire to become an Extraordinary, his ADHD, and his dad’s fears.
The relationship at the heart of this teen romance is just a hug in a sweetie wrapper. The depiction of how the ADHD affects everything Nick does felt honest and true to me even though I am not experienced with the condition myself, I have friends with atypical children and it rang similar to their lives.
It ends with a cliffhanger, as this is a trilogy of books being published by TOR Teen, and it didn’t surprise me as this is basically your typical Sci-Fi/Fantasy superhero book – but queered up, which I absolutely love. I love that this book will be on the shelves of all the major bookstores not hidden away in some online only corner of the internet.
I love that a big five publisher, (and the most respected name in Sci-Fi/Fantasy publishing in the industry), picked this series up and is putting all its considerable weight behind it. For any teenager wondering if they’re ever going to see themselves represented in a superhero book, The Extraordinaries is that book.
ARC kindly received from Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review