{Review/Giveaway} THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME by Danielle Banas

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Tires screamed as the van sped around the corner. It hopped the curb, and the vehicle jolted, the back door swinging open, spilling a sack of priceless artifacts--paintings, sculptures, anything and everything the thieves could snatch from the Morriston History Museum. Not that it mattered. They would be apprehended quickly. They always were.
(Page 5, US ebook edition)

"Heroes don't destroy things. They help. I want to help people."

Even if you aren't a big fan of superhero books, you're going to enjoy THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME. The setting is super contemporary and the book is more about school and family and relationships and life with a side of heroes. It's very palatable if you aren't a fan of the genre. And if you are a fan? It's just as much fun!

Abby isn't a superhero and she has no desire to be one. Her brother is secretly Red Comet, the most dashing, swoonworthy hero out there. Her best friend is obsessed with Red Comet, which is kind of weird since, you know, he's her brother. Abby just rolls her eyes when it comes to the superheroes of Morriston and isn't as impressed as everyone else. She'd rather spend her time nabbing the lead in this year's school musical, Hall of Horrors. When she gets into a bad situation on the way home from school, a masked, nameless vigilante saves her. The next day, he helps a homeless man. Is there a new superhero in town? But wait...did he just burn down city hall!? Is he actually a villain? Abby isn't sure. The media names him Iron Phantom, and he starts popping up more and more in Abby's life. He swears he isn't a villain and that he's being framed. But can Abby believe it? She feels a connection to him and enjoys their conversations, but if she believes him, it may mean her dad, the Morriston Mayor, is involved in something dastardly.

This book was just so much fun. Every time I had to put it down, I was sad and wanted to get back to it. I really loved all the scenes where Abby and Iron Phantom were together. Their banter was fantastic and you could feel a real connection between them. Abby convinces herself that Iron Phantom must be someone she knows in real life, and settles on her co-star in the school musical Hall of Horrors because they have the same hair, same eyes, and same build. It makes her trust Iron Phantom even more, even when the rest of the world is calling him a villain. In and out of the mask, Abby and Iron Phantom always had the best scenes, and I love how their time together was ramped up in the back half of the book.

There was also a great emphasis on family I wasn't expecting in the novel. Abby's brother is a superhero, but he's also just this ordinary, everyday dorky, lazy teenage boy. She loves him, but it's crazy to think he could be this swoonworthy superhero. Her dad is pretty involved in her life as well, which I love seeing in a YA novel. The fact that he is the mayor and something big is going down at City Hall adds an interesting twist to the mix.

Also, how did I not know that a large chunk of this novel centered around a school musical? I LOVE books featuring musicals, especially original in-world shows. When we meet Abby, she is excited to be auditioning for Hall of Horrors, and a lot of the novel takes place at rehearsal. I love this contemporary spin brought to the world of heroes, and how knowing someone in real life may add to feelings elsewhere. Plus, a musical setting!!! Much like with ROOMIES, a recent adult novel from Christina Lauren, I wanted to know more about the in-book musical. Christina Lauren kindly sat down to do a guest post exposing their show for me to run on BroadwayWorld, and I wish I could read something like that for Hall of Heroes as well.

The book wrapped up well and had no cliffhangers, yet I wish we could keep going forever. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Abby and Iron Phantom. I thought the way the finale played out was interesting and the stakes were higher than I expected them to be, yet I appreciated the way not everyone came out unscathed, unlike many other books with battles, be they comic or otherwise. I was excited to see Goodreads state this is the first book in a series, though no information is released about future books. Are they companion novels featuring other superheroes where Abby and Iron Phantom make cameos? Are they further journeys involving the duo? I want to know!


About the Author

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( Kissing; an actor kisses the MC while licking her teeth and touching her butt; she thinks it's gross and it isn't a sexy kiss. )
Language: PG ( A "holy shit." Mentions that her brother may have been "in some girl's bed" and that a superset is crushing "his manhood." Side comment that girls were lined up to "offer up their virginity" to a superhero and that there was a lot of "cleavage" in the area. But no sexual innuendo or comments and no heavy swearing. )
Violence: PG ( A little bit of battle knock-around and a gun pointed at someone's face, but nothing graphic. I think the most graphic thing is knocking someone out with a wooden plank. )
Other:  --

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This is a really great, eye-catching cover if you like comic book style novels! The moment I saw it, I wanted to know what it was about and TBRed it immediately. When that happens, the cover has done its job!

I saw that suit and that title and had to know more immediately. I also really like the font for SUPERVILLAIN and the way it is aligned on the cover. Very eye-catching!


O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Danielle Banas
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Macmillan / Swoon Reads
Received: For Review
Amazon |  B&N | iBooks | Kobo 

As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well… super. 

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind. 

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life. 

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black. 

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes. 


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