I mentioned in this post that I signed up for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge over at The Hobbitsies, and I am so stoked to have a reason to read more current books. I always get so behind on my TBR list–reading 2011 debuts in 2012, 2012 debuts in 2013. Anyway, this is my first debut read of the year! BLAZE (OR LOVE IN THE TIME OF SUPERVILLAINS) by Laurie Boyle Crompton.
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…
One word, over and over: voice voice voice voice voice! Crompton gives us a comics-obsessed girl who talks and thinks like a comics-obsessed girl. There are lines from old comics, superhero references galore, and even some beautifully drawn comic frames that showcase Blaze’s talent. If anyone was confused about how to imbue their novel with voice, I would throw this novel into their TBR pile.
Voice aside, though, I have to be honest. Blaze didn’t necessarily appeal to me at the start of this story. She was a bit judgmental and some of her choices were tough to understand. That being said, I ended up really liking her by the end. Blaze comes into her own and–what do you know?–her story is all about getting past those same traits that I didn’t like about her.
Mark the Shark is the villain here, but he’s anything but one-dimensional. There are hints at other sides to his character, and I think Crompton did a great job making me actually feel a little bad for the guy who posted a half-naked pic of the MC on the Internet.
I wish we’d gotten more of Quentin, aka Comic Book Guy, but what we did get I thoroughly enjoyed. Messy hair boys always do it for me 🙂
Are you doing the 2013 Debut Author Challenge? Have you read BLAZE yet?