If you’ve ever wanted a book that could be described as a soft superhero queer disaster, then this one is for you.
It’s like a combination of all those tumblr posts you see about inverting superhero tropes, mixed with odes to fanfiction, and with a good bit of absolute dork mixed in. It’s super funny, but don’t go in thinking too deeply. 😂 Be here for a good time, not an academic time.
It’s basically your traditional superhero story but told by the comedic love interest who just is a disaster on spindly spaghetti legs and extremely self aware of the fact he is, in fact, the comedic love interest and not the hero and he’s a bit put out about it.
#ownvoices queer and neurodiverse
I love this about it. I’ve only read a handful of books with good ADHD rep. (I don’t have adhd, but I trust #ownvoices rep! And being neurodiverse myself, I related to a lot of aspects.) The ADHD isn’t just something that pops on the page when it fits. It’s everywhere, all the time. Nick talks all the time, he has zero impulse control, he is absolutely wholesome as well as clueless and blushing and fun. His brain bounces from one thing to the next so hard and fast. I appreciated how the book followed his spiralling thought tangents, but it’s also worth mentioning it does make the book slow and ambling at times.
But I really wish we had more neurodiverse rep in books so 😚👌🏻I’m happy. Plus it’s super gay.
It reads mostly like a contemporary.
In the background, we have superheroes going off. But the book focuses on Nick’s chaotic life. He has a crush he won’t admit to on his best friend, a sleazy ex to ignore, school catastrophes to sort out. Nick has a really loving dad and their relationship is sweet but also has its ups and downs. And through it all? Nick wishes he was an Extraordinary so he could save his dad…since no one could save his mum.
It also has really epic friendships. Nick’s best friends are Seth, Gibby, and Jazz (Gibby and Jazz are badass lesbians who are so soft for each other and just like to stand and eat popcorn and watch Nick descend into chaos). There’s banter and quips! I also loved how the friends all teased each other, but never mocked Nick’s ADHD. If Nick when on a spiral tangent, they’d tease him, but when it came down to it, they absolutely loved him for being himself. I will be emotional over this.
two things to mention…
(1) I wish they’d been more backstory and world building. I literally have no idea how the superheroes and powers came to be?! Is it just happening in this city? Or the world? And the two main superheroes just fight but like…why.
(2) It is worth mentioning that the book paints the police in a very amicably and positive light. I did read this while the #BlackLivesMatter June protests had begun and it was sobering, reading about these joking police. (At one point Nick gets “arrested” for doing something silly and it’s all jokes with the cops. And all I could think of was his white privilege. The book does not touch on that though.) So it’s hard reviewing this? I think the book is meant to be fun, with a Brooklyn 99 tone, but it inadvertently glorified the police.
Overall this was is just like shoving a fun, wholesome chaotic box of confetti into your mouth.
It’s soft and the relationships will melt you. It is ridiculous. It’s super heavy on cliches and tropes, so if you’re soft for fanfic and you think the comedic sidekick deserves his own story…this is it. Nick Bell is here to be extra.
Thanks Tor Teen for the ARC! The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune is out now.
Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.
Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?
After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
tell me about your favourite superheroes?! 👀(I’m so behind on the Marvel movies I feel bad.) and is this one on your tbr?