{Review/Giveaway} BLAZE (Or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

The #GeekGrlzRevenge Tour can be followed on Twitter.
Guest posts, reviews, and giveaways abound!  Look for another
stop on A Backwards Story in February!!!

Did you see Laurie Boyle Crompton's guest post,
Why My Character is “Comic Book Cool"
last month? 
Check it out now!

Keep reading for a review AND a giveaway of BLAZE!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Hear me X-Men! No longer am I the woman you knew!
I am FIRE!
Now and forever...I am PHOENIX!

My astonishing future hurtles toward me with supernova force.
The open road ahead is bursting with the promise of All New Adventures! and the wind Whooshes! with the sound of... 
"Fire in the hole!"
"Oh my God! A-jay!"
The groans hit me a split-second before the stench, and Bampf! I remember: That's right.  Soaring free isn't really my thing.
My thing is driving my thirteen-year-old brother, Josh, and his friends around in a turd-brown minivan.  I am the eternal chauffeur to a gang of Soccer Cretins.  Make that totally-disgusting Soccer Cretins with reeking emissions issues.
(Page 1, US ARC edition)

From the inside cover spread featuring Blaze's own comic-book style artwork to the first chapter quoting a memorable moment from X-Men comic book history, it's immediately clear that BLAZE (Or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton isn't your typical YA contemporary novel.  Crompton is also unique in the way she combines elements from a moment many girls experience into something lighter, though still as serious as books with darker undertones.

BLAZE interior art sketch
© 2012 Anne Cain
Blaze is named after Johnny Blaze from the Marvel Ghost Rider series.  With a name so unique, you'd think she'd be quirky and popular, yet she's content sitting on the sidelines with two good friends.  Her dad took off when she was younger, leaving behind bins of classic Marvel comics that Blaze is obsessed with, feeling connected to her father when she reads them.  Her mom works long, odd hours, leaving Blaze to shuttle her younger brother and his friends around.  She's trapped in a world full of farts, burps, and out-of-control boy hormones.  The only thing that makes her life as a "Soccer Mom" better is the fact that she can oogle her brother's hot coach, Mark.  When he becomes interested in her, Blaze is over the moon and goes out of her way to impress him...which results in devastating consequences.  Now, Blaze must overcome bullying and ridicule at school, and seeks the perfect way to get back at Mark...through her comic book alter-ego, Blaze the Blazing Goddess!

What happens to Blaze is devastating, and reminds me of just how cruel teenagers can be to one another today.  Two scenes in particular involving two classmates, a misunderstood female and an introverted male, particularly stand out in my memory.  Granted, none of Blaze's turmoil would have happened if she hadn't made bad decisions, but learning from your mistakes makes you a stronger person, especially when you're young.  That being said, Blaze's strength in overcoming her embarrassment and everyone's cruel words and fueling them into her own thing give a sense of Girl Power! to BLAZE.  Blaze is so unique and talented, and learns to find her own voice despite all of the mistakes she makes in life, and that's a strong message.

I like the way Crompton peppers the book with comic book Whams!, Bams!, and Ka-Pows!, as well as the way Blaze sees the world through comic-book tinted eyes.  I can relate to that, because I often see the world through characters and moments myself.  She fuels much of what she sees into her comic book The Blazing Goddess, where her alter-ego is everything Blaze wishes she was.  Readers who have siblings (especially brothers!) will commiserate with Blaze as she shuttles around her pre-teen brother and his smelly, annoying friends, while still seeing how much she loves her brother despite everything.  While at times it seems Blaze has two different voices that come through the writing, one more immature than the other, this might be due to the way she devotes so much of her life to her family, and too little to spending time with people her own age.  It's nice to see Blaze finally start to open up and experience new things in BLAZE despite everything that happens to her.  She's not afraid to take control of her own destiny and sticks by her decisions, even ones she regrets, and the message that resonates is a powerful one.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover becomes incredibly meaningful after reading BLAZE, while still being something different and intriguing enough to pick up off the shelves without knowing anything about the series.

I love the way the title, BLAZE, is written using a "comic book style" font, complete with line art, showcasing the way Blaze loves to draw her own comics.  I also like the way the pink in the title (and author's name, too), is picked up from the pink in the model's hair.

And let's just talk about that pink hair a moment, shall we?  Keeping it spoiler-free, the fact that Blaze's blonde hair undergoes a pink transformation in the novel is huge, and I love the way her hair is both colors on the cover.  It's so perfect, and the way it's blown out at an unusual angle like the fire trail of a blazing comet is superb.  LOVE!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Received: For Review

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...
Giveaway ends Feb. 15th!
(This is a repost of the giveaway form from before.  If, for some reason, the coding doesn't transfer, enter here!)


  1. I like that Blaze seems to take control of her destiny despite horrible thing that happened to her.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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