You know what we need? Books about anxious superheroes.
This was such a fun read 😍And I’m going to go ahead and call it CUTE too, because the title does not lie. Cute Mutants Volume 1: Mutant Pride is about a teen X-Men superfan who gets powers and discovers she’s not the only one. Now she’s part of a group of queer superheroes struggling to control their powers, defeat the villain and, most difficult of all, make friends.
I’m interviewing the author below and I have a giveaway too so read ooooon. There’s also a giveaway over on my instagram!
THANK YOU TO MTMC TOURS FOR HAVING ME on the tour!
My name is Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif, and this is my life.
I always wanted to be an X-Man. Except people and me never got along, and apparently you need social skills to run a successful team. Cue Emma Hall’s party. One hot make out session with the host herself, and I can talk to objects like my pillow (who’s far too invested in my love life) and my baseball bat (who was a pacifist before I got hold of him). Now there’s a whole group of us with strange abilities, including super hot ice queen Dani Kim who doesn’t approve of how reckless I can be. The bigger problem is a mysterious mutant causing unnatural disasters, and we’re the ones who have to stop him. Except trying to make a difference makes things blow up in my face and the team’s on the verge of falling apart. Can I bring them back together in time to stop the villain from taking revenge? Have I mentioned I’m not a people person? Magneto help us.
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository | Blackwell’s | Goodreads!
SJ Whitby lives in New Zealand with their partner, as well as various children and animals. They are predictably obsessed with X-Men and spend too much of their free time writing. Add Cute Mutants Vol 1 & Cute Mutants Vol 2 on Goodreads!
This book is an explosion of queer, socially anxious superheroes who are super geeky and super do not know how to save the world.
It was such a fun read, with all those fantastic superhero trademarks we’ve come to love 🥰 Then add in Dylan Taylor’s self-depreciating sarcasm, social anxiety, tumblr jokes and fandom references, and you’ve got X-Men but…a little more disastrous. It’s the kind of book that tosses rules to the wind and adds in texting and freak out spirals and the awkward parts of friendship and just…being a teen.
I loved how the powers were unique! Dylan can talk to objects, which sounds like just a quirky power. But she can also ask them to do things for her. So imagine everyday objects becoming sentient, doting on Dylan, and rushing to fulfil her every whim. It’s like telekinesis but cuter?! (The title strikes again 😪💛 So perfect.) Then there’s inner demons bursting from chests, shapeshifting depending on mood, power controlled by pain, lighting up when you get turned on. It had so many 😂
There’s also so much loving queer rep. Dylan is pansexual (and maybe ace) and her parent is nonbinary. Dylan’s also dating Lou when the book starts, who is a trans boy still stuck attending the same all-girls school as Dylan and struggling with his problematic parents. The other girls on the team fall into the queer spectrum too. There’s also questioning and doubts too, which I love seeing in books because it’s hard to know sometimes. And the emphasis on friendship? [chef’s kiss] Here to see the cautiously leaning on each other and finding that friendship is a thing to treasure.
Basically pick this one up if you want a quirky superhero romp!
There’s a violent villain, and explosive scenes, earthquakes and moral questions about passing law and judgement. The team dynamics were so fun. And Dylan’s struggle with making friends and struggling to keep them felt so real. As someone who also has social anxiety, I did love this rep 😭 Dylan found her PEOPLE, but she didn’t have to suddenly “get better”.
Dylan is funny and flawed and dynamic and awkward, a compelling heroine and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Hi SJ! Thanks so much for chatting with us today 💛 Can you tell us a little about CUTE MUTANTS’ journey from first idea to published novel?
I wrote this during a dark time for my writing. I’d just applied to AuthorMentorMatch and my backup novel was in tough rewrites, and I was feeling pretty down about things in general. So I decided to write exactly what I wanted, dumping the goofiest, nerdiest, queerest (and hopefully funniest) stuff that I could on paper. When I posted snippets of it to Twitter, the results were far more enthusiastic than I hoped, and it spiralled upwards from there. I decided to self-publish because I write fast, and I had a lot of ideas for these characters, and I wanted to tell their stories on my terms. So far, it’s been an incredible journey and I’m excited to see what’s next.
I’m so glad you kept writing and Dylan’s story came to life 😭💛 I love the fandom and meme references throughout the book! What are some of your favourite fandoms and which ones get mentioned?
The obvious ones are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and X-Men, both of which are HUGE influences on the book. The original pitch for Cute Mutants was X-Men, but make it gay(er), and I find the Buffy tone creeps into everything I write because I’ve watched it so many times over the years.
Honestly fandom life ftw. What are your favourite vs least favourite parts of the writing process?
Can you introduce us to Dylan? Who she is, what she looks like?
Dylan looks somewhere between Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool and extra-gay Kristen Stewart. She’s awkward and shy, but she loves fiercely and she wants to do the right thing. Even though she’s always considered herself a loner, she might be about to learn a few things about herself.
This combination though 😌👌🏻 It is excellent and I can see it. Also…any chance you can tell us a few secrets about the sequel?
The sequel is actually OUT and the third book comes out on December 8th (like I said, I write fast…) As far as Book 2 secrets go, they’re going to have a rather unexpected time at superhero school, they’re going to discover they’re not the only mutants in town, and Dylan is going to have some problems with authority. She’s also going to make a new object friend.
The way Dylan’s objects become friends and protect her was one of my favourite parts 😭 Hyped for the sequels!! And lastly…was any chocolate harmed in the making of this novel?
Thank you so much for stopping by, SJ! This was so fun and can’t wait for everyone to read Cute Mutants! 😍
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if you could talk to objects, which one would you talk to first and what would you say? also is Cute Mutants on your TBR? 👀