The Girl Who Would Be King
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The Girl Who Would Be King

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  524 ratings  ·  120 reviews
A novel about two teenage girls with superpowers and radically different agendas, destined for a collision that will rock the world.

Separated by thousands of miles, two young women are about to realize their extraordinary powers which will bind their lives together in ways they can't begin to understand.

Protecting others. Maintaining order. Being good. These are all import...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by 1979 Semi-Finalist, Inc (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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David Green
Being a graphic-novel story told in a young-adult prose, The Girl Who Would Be King is a difficult book to categorize. Considering it's also a frustratingly bad story told through a wonderfully entertaining narrative, it turns out the book is difficult to review as well!

Two girls receive superpowers after the deaths of their mothers. Haunted by the tragic car accident that took her mother's life, Bonnie Braverman vows to use her powers to help people. In contrast, Lola LaFlame proactively obta...more
I've spent most of the night trying to sort out how I feel about this book, and I think the gist of what I've come to is "disappointed". I was really psyched for The Girl Who Would Be King. I'm a fan of the author's podcast; she seems like a sensible, gender-aware woman, and I was super-excited by the idea of a female-positive YA superhero book that could avoid all of the traps that make this genre so frustrating.

Also, that is an amazing cover. I mean goddamn, Stephanie Hans should do every cove...more
Seeley James
The Girl Who Would Be King — by Kelly Thompson $2.99 E

This book is better than Hunger Games. A hell of a lot better. More exciting, more innovative, more fascinating. And yet Traditional Publishers won’t touch it. Why? Because it doesn’t fit their formula. It has no genre, no shelf at B&N, no section in the library. It doesn’t fit neatly in a marketing plan.

They can’t handle it.

But you can.

The Girl Who Would Be King is not a Young Adult title. It’s not an action adventure, or a thriller or...more
Jessica Andersen
I really enjoyed this book. It is told in first person by two different narrators. The switch between the two is noted by a small symbol, but once you're a little ways into the book you don't really need those markers. The voices are pretty different from each other.

The story is about two girls, one raised by a disinterested mother, the other raised in an orphanage from the age of 6. They both discover they have something that makes them more than other people. They can run faster, they're stro...more
Last night, as I neared the end of the book, my girlfriend asked me what I was reading. I told her and said "I'm not sure I like it." That was around 90% through. Now I've finished and I'm still not sure I like it. I think it was an entertaining story, but the flaws might override that.

I didn't realize it was self-published at first but it explains a bit. I think there's an ellipses in every other sentence, which gets really obnoxious. The suspension of disbelief went too far for me. Very minor...more
Oct 03, 2012 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook, 2012
What a weird week, finishing this and Divergent. On one hand you've got a mercilessly marketed NY Times bestseller, on the other a Kickstarter-backed YA-ish novel that didn't find a publisher.

One note about the differences: In Divergent, Tris has a weird relationship with an older dude in a position of power who smacks her around in public, then confesses the leavings of his wounded soul in private. In this book, you have two separate female protagonists--granted, both slightly older teenagers-...more
In case you don't know, I am what you would call a superhero fan-girl, and I love all things comic book related. Unfortunately, while I've read my fair share of comics, I haven't read that many actual novels about superheroes - only Perry Moore's Hero and Superman: Last Son of Krypton by Elliot S! Maggin. That's why I was beyond ecstatic to hear about this book while browsing through Kickstarter.

The Girl Who Would Be King tells the story of two very different girls: Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeF...more
Projects like this are why I love Kickstarter. The Girl Who Would Be King is a fun, well-written gem of a book, and if traditional publishers had the final word, it never would have seen the light of day. This book is admittedly difficult to classify-- it's a YA book that is somewhat longer and more "literary" than most YA books, and it also contains more sex, violence, and sci-fi elements than are normally seen in YA literature. Instead of brooding vampires, jealous werewolves, or teens struggl...more
This is a story about two girls, one good and one evil, who are destined to fight each other, and since they've both got superpowers it's going to be one hell of a fight. Their names are Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever.

Guess which one is which.

There were a lot of good points about this book. The characters that are meant to be likeable are likeable. Bonnie is a tad dull, but endearing enough. The side characters - Liesel, Ben, Bryce, Liz - just noticed that everyone seems to be either an L or...more
Despite some writing that needed a run through with a professional editor, some insta-love and some logic missteps, I really loved The Girl Who Would Be King. As I expected when I read the summary, it’s everything I want in a story: Two main female leads who end up being the other’s enemy, with the fate of the world in the balance, all told like a comic book in prose form. And let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.

The story shifts between two POVs, Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever. Of the two, a...more
It took me 3 days to finish this book, and honestly it felt longer. Why? There is just so, so very much going on and it's not that it is bad, because it's not, it's just a lot! This book follows Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever in their journeys of self discovery and eventually their ultimate battle, which in a book about good and evil (guess which is which) you totally expect to see. This could be called nature vs. nurture, but there really isn't any nurture for either girl, so it's all instin...more
Wilmar Luna
When I read about the concept to this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I opened the book and read the first paragraph which was entirely in 1st person perspective. I didn't mind that it was in 1st person, but what was starting to bother me was the fact that it was written in the voice of a 16 year old girl. I didn't think much of it, until I continued reading and realized...

The whole book was going to be written in the voice of a 16 year old girl. One boring (the hero)and one annoyin...more
This was an okay read, quiet boring and confusing in areas though.

Bonnie and Lola are completely different from each other.
Lola is power hungry, and kills anyone who gets in her way. She thinks nothing of killing fourteen people, and goes on to kill more.
Bonnie uses her powers for good, defusing horrible situations, and even helping cats stuck in trees.

The story was quite slow in the beginning, and it took 60% to pass for the girls to actually meet.
When they did meet, it did make me interested...more
Hobbes Cat
I f**king loved this book. It was as exciting as the very best superhero comics. Thankfully never going near the flat, boring, self important road of Watchmen and all it's clones. It's a novel that loves superheroes and isn't ashamed of it. I hope Ms. Thompson writes dozens of other books and someone has the guts and smarts to publish them.
A real fun read. Great story from an up and coming author. I'm really glad that I backed this kick starter!
READ THIS. longer review later. but seriously read it. now.
The Novel that Reads Like a Comic Book!

Bonnie Braverman and Lola LaFever are two young women, both orphans, standing on the threshold of adulthood. Though they don’t know it yet, they are two halves of the same whole: an ancient and powerful force, passed on down though the matrilineal line, which bestows upon its possessor (or possessed, as it were) god-like powers. The descendants of one blood line are driven to save, protect, and nurture; the other, to kill, destroy, and dominate. Their oppos...more
Let's be real, the likelihood of me disliking a book about super ladies with god-like powers was pretty slim, but The Girl Who Would Be King didn't disappoint.

TGWWBK follows Lola and Bonnie; two sides of the same insanely superpowered coin. Where Lola is dark, dangerous and without guilt, Bonnie is honest, good and feeling. Lola uses her powers to murder and steal, Bonnie becomes a superhero. And of course, power is toxic; Lola is hell bent on killing Bonnie. But um, neither of them can die.

***Dave Hill
Dec 09, 2012 ***Dave Hill rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: comic book fans, mythology students, philosophers
Shelves: text
A remarkably good first novel by Kelly Thompson, this is a book of two young women, polar opposites of good and evil, learning they are possessed of awesome (even "super") powers, and what they do about it -- and about each other.

Thompson does a great job of describing both characters paths toward the final climax -- learning of their abilities, limitations, acting out on their inner impulses, learning of the dark (and the bright) aspects of what they have, and the heritage behind them ...

The "g...more
This was fantastic. I was part of the Kickstarter for this and I am so happy that I made that decision so many months ago. When I read a little bit about the two girls before the book was finished, I was sure I'd be more drawn to Lola. She seemed to have the snarky strong girl traits that I love...a la Cordelia Chase. But as I read I was so astonished to realize that I didn't really prefer one over the other. Sure, one is mostly good and the other is mostly not, but both were full characters wit...more
An interesting, pulpy take on superheroes and fate, THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING is a fun beach read.

The narrative shifts between the two leads, Bonnie and Lola, hero and villain, are interesting, but Thompson doesn't spend enough time fleshing out the world surrounding them to support the weight and depth we're supposed to derive from them. Not shifting POV as much would have helped. They both hew a little too close to cookie-cutter archetypes, and Lola especially suffers too much from being a sh...more
The goodreads reviews were definitely spot on with this book. It's unlike anything I've ever read before. It's action packed, moving, original and creative. The writing is good and you understand the characters in this coming of age book about two superheroes. At some points you hate the super villain, other times admire her tenacity. You empathize with the good one and root her on in her quest. While it book takes itself seriously there are moments of self awareness and cheekiness.

The mytholog...more
I'm ecstatic.

I'm so happy to have finally read this book after getting the hard copy in December. I'm a sucker for superhero stories since I'm such a huge fan of Batman and Wonder Woman among others. This story follows two girls with extraordinary abilities and their journey. They're driven by two very different things: one saves people and the other kills them. Yet both are intriguing characters with their own struggles which allows for more depth than just good and bad.

Thompson knows how to wr...more
This book is everything I hoped for and more. I loved both Bonnie and Lola, Lesiel and Elizabeth. The main characters and the supporting cast are really strong and lovable, especially Lola, although violent, brutal and truculent and somewhat primal, she is still relatable through her struggles and obstacles and betrayals. I felt genuinely sad for her to go mad and end on her own. The story is action-packed, fast-paced and always enthralling, grounding you for hours at a time just turning pages a...more
Going with the black/white, good versus evil theme of this book, I'm going to present this as a pros/cons list.

-- I loved the premise of this book. Two young women from two lines of conflict and power discover their amazing powers. Each works through this in their own way, and one day they will collide...
-- The characters are great, especially Lola, who is just an amazing villain. Bonnie isn't bad either, but she is nowhere near as compelling. The interaction between Lola and woman she kidna...more
A really fun, well-written book about two young women with extraordinary powers. A coming-of-age tale with lots of punching and teen angst. Definitely owes a nod to Joss Whedon, which author Kelly Thompson knows, as the book is partially dedicated to him.

Thompson takes us inside the minds of these two young women, Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFevre (nice comic booky alliteration there), as they grapple with their abilities, what they mean, and how they're supposed to use them. It's sadly rare to...more
Caanan Grall
I read this book in under two weeks and the last time I read a book that fast was the seventh and final Harry Potter, so at least I know it's compelling! Many a "2am lights out" were had with this book, but I didn't care for the character of Lola at all.

The reason I didn't care for Lola might possibly be the same reason this struggled to find a publisher as a YA book. Half the book is from the villain's perspective (which leaves her unfiltered villainy lacking a moralistic framework), and boy -...more
Shane Smith
Love love love the Girl Who Would Be King, a story about two girls, Bonnie and Lola, coming into their own power- of both the personal and super varieties.

Writing a first person narrative from the perspective of each main character in the same novel is a tricky endeavor. Not many authors are skilled enough to convey clarity and distinctiveness of voice but I'm happy to report that Kelly Thompson deftly accomplished it here. Character development was earned, meaningful and integral to the advance...more
Wow. Calling this a prose superhero novel, while accurate, is too narrow of a view of this book. It is just an excellent story about two girls with supernatural powers. It reminds me of the best of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, mixed with the best parts of Unbreakable (yes, a great origin story), but is so much more because of the characterization of both the protagonist and antagonist. I would call it a young adult novel, but it much more complex, dual-view of both sides and is more about two chara...more
This is not perfect or perfectly written, but it's the most fresh and exciting book I've read in a long time. I picked this up via an Amazon recommendation, so I didn't know anything about its Kickstarter/Indie roots. A reviewer described this as a graphic novel in prose, which is spot on. It's unconventionally structured, but engaging enough that you get totally immersed in the characters and world. I stayed up til the wee hours on a worknight two nights running, one of the best recommendations...more
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KELLY THOMPSON has a degree in Sequential Art from The Savannah College of Art & Design. Her love of comics and superheroes have compelled her since she first discovered them as a teenager. Currently living in Manhattan with her boyfriend and absolutely no pets, Kelly aches for a kitten, or even a goldfish. She has a name already picked out, suitable for either. You can find Kelly all over the...more
More about Kelly Thompson...
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