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Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Cover of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
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Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who...
Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who...
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Description-

  • Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.

    All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who draws comics.

    What she gets is her very own arch-nemesis.

    Name: Mark Deninger, aka Mark the Shark

    Occupation: Soccer star and all-around lady killer

    Relationship Status: Serial ater

    Group Affiliation: No loyalty

    Known Superpowers: Anti-girlfriend force field, breaking hearts

    Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillian-style, but what he doesn't know is how geek girls always get revenge.

    #GeekGrlzRevenge

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    Hear me X-Men! No longer am I the woman you knew!

    I am FIRE! And LIFE INCARNATE!

    Now and forever... I am PHOENIX!

    -Jean Grey, The Uncanny X-Men #138

    I am soaring free.

    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.

    "Dude, you should see a doctor or something," Andrew calls from the back, his voice muffled through the T-shirt held over his nose. "That is totally not normal."

    I glance in the rearview mirror and see Ajay look up from his perpetual video game to smile proudly. "You guys like that one?"

    Josh sucker punches Ajay, and the two of them start wrestling in the seat behind me. Bash! Block! Kick!

    Over his T-shirt-mask, Andrew catches my eye in the mirror and we share a look of hopelessness.

    Meanwhile, the horny freak to my right is busy ogling my cleavage. Again. I take a hand off the steering wheel to yank up my T-shirt's neckline. "Dylan, if you don't stop staring at my rack you're never sitting shotgun again."

    Josh immediately stops his backseat battle with Ajay and leans forward to cuff Dylan's shaved head with his palm. "Dude! That's my sister."

    "Ow! I was looking at the dashboard," Dylan lies as he adjusts his glasses. "Just checking how much gas we've used."

    Josh, Andrew, Ajay, and I respond with a sarcastic harmony of, "Riiiight," and, "Sure," and, "We believe you."

    Dylan scrambles to make his lie more elaborate by blaming all of global warming on the lousy gas mileage of my 2002 Grand Caravan: the mild-mannered minivan also known as the Subatomic Superturd of Steel.

    I lean further out the window. The jolt of fresh air is a welcome change from the toxic cloud festering inside the minivan. Plus, it helps erase the sense that I've just been violated by Dylan's vulgar mind. Please do not let me have a starring role in some near-future wet dream.

    I try imagining a superpower that would reduce my attractiveness to pubescent boys, while inversely making me more alluring to über-hotties like the cretins' coach, Mark. Putting out is likely the missing plutonium to that puzzle. I am, after all, the Amazing Su-per Virgin Girl! Fully flowered! With chastity of steel!

    Not that I'm all that virtuous. It's pretty easy to say no when no one's even asking for it. I never took a vow of purity, but I have a nun's reputation anyway. It hasn't done much for my ability to snag a boyfriend, but I don't really want to use all my time and energy working on a sluttier image.

    My dad gave me a cool name, Blaze, but my life is so unexciting that my name is more ironic than the soccer ball magnet I stuck on the back of my minivan-my failed attempt to create visual irony. The universal soccer mom badge suits me too well to be ironic.

    I finally pull Superturd into the parking lot, where all the other minivans are wearing their soccer-ball magnets in a non-ironic manner. I've barely...

About the Author-

  • When she was 17, LAURIE BOYLE CROMPTON painted her first car hot pink using 40 cans of spray paint. This turned her into an overnight icon in Butler, PA. She now lives near NYC in Queens, but maintains a secret identity in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found tromping through the forest. Visit www.lboylecrompton.com

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 10, 2012
    Seventeen-year-old Blaze views life through the lens of comic books (she’s a Marvel girl, and her father even named her after Ghost Rider’s alter ego). With Blaze’s mother working all hours and her father having abandoned the family for an acting career, Blaze is overburdened with responsibilities, and obsessively drawing and reading comics doesn’t exactly send the boys running her way. She’s thrilled when her crush, soccer dreamboat Mark, takes notice of her, but he lives up to his bad reputation, and after they hook up, Blaze has to summon her inner superhero to clean up the mess. First-time novelist Crompton handily establishes Blaze as a diehard comics fan who’s not entirely comfortable in her own skin; her funny-crass interactions with her friends and her younger brother make for entertaining reading. What makes the story truly valuable, however, has less to do with comics than with the way Crompton takes on the practice of slut-shaming—the novel forces readers to reconsider the way they treat their peers, especially girls, over their sexual behavior, real or imagined. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2013
    Geeky girl with absent father and quirky hobby meets unsuitable boy, then realizes Mr. Right has been under her nose all along. Blaze's self-centered father, a caricature, left the family to become an actor, leaving her with only her name (from Ghost Rider's Johnny Blaze) and a love for classic Marvel Comics. Now, Blaze spends her time ferrying her 13-year-old brother Josh and his farting, breast-ogling, gay-joke-making friends to and from soccer practice. She has a crush on Mark, Josh's soccer coach, but their relationship fails to progress until Blaze's friend snaps a picture of Blaze trying on lingerie and sends it to Mark's phone. After a confusing and pressure-filled sexual encounter and Mark's subsequent brushoff, Mark posts the half-naked photo on clunkily named Facebook stand-in FriendsPlace, and it goes viral. The resultant bullying is harsh but believable, and it's satisfying to see Blaze channeling her hurt and anger into making comics and redecorating her Superturd of a minivan. Less impressive, however, are some of Blaze's asides to the reader ("Stuart is one of only three black students in our school....I feel somewhat hip and urban having him here at my house") and the frequent subtle digs at girls being high-maintenance, stalkers, actual sluts and brainwashing feminists. Timely subject matter and an adequate romance, but nothing super. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-Blaze is a comic book fan and draws them herself. She's a "soccer mom" for her younger brother, driving him and his friends to soccer practice, where she crushes on Mark, the boys' coach, and he is starting to show signs of interest. Blaze and her friends try on sexy lingerie at the mall, and a friend takes a picture of Blaze and texts it to Mark. He gets the wrong idea about her and takes her out. She loses her virginity to him on their first date, and then he never calls her again. Blaze gets her revenge by making Mark the Shark a lead player in a comic book. But when he posts the picture of Blaze, things go horribly wrong and she becomes a pariah at her school. Crompton offers an interesting perspective on how a rumor can affect its victim. Blaze is a likable character, and the snarky dialogue will hold readers' interest.-Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, CO

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Seventeen.com "One of the most relatable anti-love stories we've come across in a while. Plus, the comic book drawings inside are awesome!"
  • RT Book Reviews "Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) is at turns funny, cringe
  • worthy and heartbreaking . . . Don't miss out."
  • Publishers Weekly "First-time novelist Crompton handily establishes Blaze as a diehard comics fan who's not entirely comfortable in her own skin; her funny-crass interactions with her friends and her younger brother make for entertaining reading . . .the novel forces readers to reconsider the way they treat their peers, especially girls, over their sexual behavior, real or imagined."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Effective portrayal of Blaze as a girl who is more than merely the sum of her problems and bad decisions . . . Readers trying to balance life's responsibilities with a desire for independence or those struggling to navigate teen life online will likely find a kindred spirit in Blaze, while comic-book fans might enjoy seeing the art form infuse a non-graphic narrative."
  • Read for Your Future "If I had to describe Blaze, the book, in one or two words, I would simply say GIRL POWER!"

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Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
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Laurie Boyle Crompton
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