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Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)
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Not Your Sidekick

(Sidekick Squad #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  7,918 ratings  ·  1,633 reviews
Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervilla ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published September 8th 2016 by Duet Books
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Mars R The main character is bi, and one of the friend characters is trans.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  7,918 ratings  ·  1,633 reviews

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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

Ok, I'll try to be more coherent now.

I think this book is fully deserving of 4.5 stars (damn you, Goodreads, for not giving me half star options!) and I am utterly in love with it. I am a sucker for superhero stories that are against the norm, stories that embrace silliness in superhero tropes and manage to make those stories new even if the conventions are the same. And this book is everything I wanted it to be.

This felt like such a step f
may ➹
3.5 stars

Not Your Sidekick follows a Chinese-Vietnamese girl named Jess, as she navigates being the daughter of two superheroes and feeling like a shadow to her family’s successes. On top of that, she uncovers a sinister secret about the world she lives in while also dealing with her crush on a cute girl.

Going into this book with lowered expectations really saved this for me. I really wanted to love this, but I knew that this was going to be a book on the more fun, entertaining side, rather than
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Let me introduce to you my new favourite book.

Not Your Sidekick is one remarkable, superpowered book. It has everything that I want in a book: it has superheroes and supervillains, a lovable Asian protagonist, gorgeous friendships, and heart-melting crushes. Though the pieces of Not Your Sidekick may sound familiar, Lee has crafted a beautifully cohesive story that puts a refreshing spin on the increasingly hackneyed superhero narrative. Needless to say, I was enthralled by this book.

Nobody may
I so very much wanted to love this book. I love the concept -- teenage mutant superheroes, with lots of different identities represented! -- but I did not love the execution.

The worldbuilding was wildly inconsistent. We've got an earth where all the countries are different, where much of the world is uninhabitable, where people with mutant powers now fly through the air and save people, where robots have personalities and everyone has hologrammatic wrist devices. But the social norms are pretty
✨    jami   ✨
Something about superhero girlfriends hits different. Jess and Abby I lov u

3.5 starts, rtc
Faith Simon
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Y'ALL. Where has the gay superhero universe been all of my life??
So I've been hearing this book absolutely hyped to high heaven since it was released, by any reviewer or booktuber you could possibly think of. So naturally, I was a bit skeptical going into this, thinking that I would probably find this to be way too overhyped and end up not enjoying it as much as everybody else, or worse, my high expectations would completely ruin the story for me. Neither of these things occurred, for which I a
Jun 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, lgbt-read
This one was everything I wanted and more!
Jess and Abby are definitely my new favourite couple and the story blew me away. It's really not what you would think at first.
I'm about to start book 2.

“How can you like me?” Jess says. “You just—you started hanging out with me after I told M I liked you!”
“Oh, come on! I told you to ask me out!”
“I didn’t know you liked girls!”
“I do!”
“Good! I do too!”
The kiss is wet and quick.
4,5 🌟

That was so cuuuuuute!!! Superpowers, an unexpected internship with your crush, and taking down the government? I freaking love it!!!


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Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

I’ve had this book on my TBR for the best part of a year because it’s one of my friend cw’s favorite books and she’s always raving about how good it is, I also got the ebook around a couple months ago and while I was planning to pick it up right away, it’s safe to say I got distracted but I finally read it and I DO NOT REGRET IT. It is so so good, such a fun, quick read that has important underlaying themes
Ngoc Diep
This book was everything I need in my life.

Jess Tran is a bisexual Vietnamese-Chinese young adult trying all her life to find the superpower that is meant for her. Having parents as well-known superheroes and a sister who basically succeeds in life, Jess feels the massive pressure on her that she's disappointing her family. One day, she stumbles upon an internship that sounds just perfect to her but she ends up finding out that the company is owned by the supervillains... Well, at least, she is
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review was originally posted on Happy Indulgence! Check it out for more reviews.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I love superheroes and books with Chinese characters, so it was a no-brainer to pick up Not Your Sidekick which was also our Name of the Book Club June book of the month. Spanning a world where superpowers are common, and superheroes and villains rule the streets, the book follows a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese heroine called Jess in her quest to discover herself. Initially, Not Your Sidek
I really wanted to give this five stars for what it was trying to do. For the most part, it succeeded. The characters are absolutely wonderful, the tone of the book is light and warm, the overall premise is quite fun. Unfortunately, there were some plot elements that didn't quite work as well as they could have.

Let's start with the good, though: Jessica Tran. I adore this protagonist. She's, 17, she claims her bisexual label, she's half-Chinese, half-Vietnamese, she wants to be accepted by both,
Jude in the Stars
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5* – Jess Tran is a normal teenager (insofar as teenagers can be normal). She’s not a genius like her younger brother nor does she have superpowers like her parents and older sister. She’s average. In order to prove her worth, at least to herself, she applies for an internship at Monroe Industries. Much to her surprise, she gets in, only to find out on her first day that she’ll be working for her parents’ arch enemies. With the girl she has the biggest crush on.

I liked Jess a lot. The daughter
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
4.25/5 –

Not Your Sidekick is so fun and i had a blast reading it. there are so many wonderful elements that made me feel YESSSS – starting with a bisexual Asian MC in a world with superheroes!

my only issues with it were that it felt a little obvious and nonsensical at times. for example, the world is supposed to be set 100+ years in the future, but there were little things that made it feel as if the world hasn't developed much from how it is now. these little things made me aware and took me o
Sabrina Grafenberger
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I wanted to love Not Your Sidekick so badly (and I thought I would because of the awesome premise), but in the end there were too many things that bothered me.

Let's start with what I liked about this book:

+ diverse cast (bisexual Asian American main character, lesbian love interest, trans best friend)
+ friends and family already know that the main character is bisexual and support her
+ cute f/f romance

What I didn't like:

- predictable plot twists
- repetitive writing
- unnatural dialogues
- one-di
Vicky Again
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THIS WAS SO CUTE! I am filled with all the really wholesome goodness, and was totally rooting for Jess & Abby the whole way through. It's kind of obvious and cheesy, but in the sweetest way possible. Definitely a fun read that I'd be willing to rec to middle schoolers too!

Now I'm perfectly poised to read NOT YOUR VILLAIN as my green book in the Rainbow Readathon hehe!

Recommended by CW.
Here are some of my thoughts:
• Cute. Cute. Cute. It’s a chill YA book. I think the romance is better developed than the hero-villain plot. The romance is very cutesie (and I like it). And cheers for LGBTQ+ representation in this book. The plot, on the other hand, is interesting but nothing spectacular IMO. Like, it was a bit too obvious and in-your-face that (view spoiler). I would have liked to see Jess’s story be a bit more foc
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
☆ 3.5 / 5 ☆

I had so much fun reading this book and I honestly wanted to just get through it in one seating.

Jess desperately wants to follow in her family’s footsteps once she discovers her powers and become a hero. The only problem is that no powers have manifested in her yet and it seems to be too late. She resigns herself to living a normal life and decides to find an internship while navigating school and her crush on Abby. She finds a perfect fit, ie paid, in what is a front for the town’s
RoAnna Sylver
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
“It’s a secret identity thing, isn’t it?”
“You could say that.”

* * *

I love superheroes. I especially love superhero books where the writing is lively and engaging, and the marginalized rep is easy, inclusive and positive. I love Jess' drive to find herself and come into her own as a hero instead of standing in her sister's (and parents, to an extent) shadow. I love her resourcefulness and tenacity in the face of opposition and conspiracy from adults, and I love her and Abby's interactions and ch
This is my second reading of the book.
Jess is a very captivating and human character. Her parents are superheroes and her sister is following in their footsteps. Her younger brother is a genius and she is just a normal teenager, who is not excellent at anything and has no powers.
Jess's friends, Bell and Emma are great. And I loved the bond they have together, as well as their little dramas.
Trying to find herself, Jess ends up, as an accident, involved in a great plot that threatens to deconstruc
kav (xreadingsolacex)
I have been trying to find a way to start this review for quite a few minutes now and essentially what I have to say is: 1) it took me way too long to read this incredible novel and 2) I would die for every single member of the Sidekick Squad.

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee is the first book in a series of superhero novels that follows a brilliantly-crafted group of teen main characters. In this first novel, we fellow Jessica Tran, our Chinese-Vietnamese bisexual protagonist who feels far too aver
Maf (Bookworm Wanders)
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"I hardly think we'll ever be normal , but I heard that's overrated."

Oh my God, I am so in love with this book. I'm so happy I finally read it because it was truly the cutest thing I have ever read. I loved every single character, at first I felt so bad for Jess and just really wanted to give her a hug but eventually I realised she didn't need me hugging her because she has so many people around her who absolutely love her. I literally don't have anything else to say about this because I am
george ☽
the wlw superhero story the world needs

my only slight issue is that it was really predictable and a little cheesy at times? (i'm mostly talking about some of (view spoiler)

but i smiled the whole way through and i can't wait for the next one
Read on my blog.

LGBTQAI+: Bisexual girl main character (#ownvoices), main f/f relationship, trans guy side character (I’m also pretty sure Emma is a-spec but it’s not mentioned in this book yet)
Sex on page: No
Note: Chinese/Vietnamese main character

Pretty much everyone I know has either read this book or is planning to read it, so here I am, officially joining the squad. (Not the sidekick squad, unfortunately, though that would be badass.)

There are never enough #ownvoices bisexual heroines, espe
Not Your Sidekick was so much fun to read. There were multiple things I really liked about the book. The book definitely gave me Sky High vibes, but in a good way. It was a fun story in a world of superheroes.

To start, the world building was fantastic. The author didn't feed you too much information at once but was also able to give a clear understanding of how the world got to where it currently was. It explained how superpowers emerged excellently. I'm not someone who needs these sort of thing
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book seems like a really cute superhero story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet but then gay. And it is exactly that (a little less Romeo and Juliet-like though). But it is also a really badass story about corrupt governments and family and friendship with some morality mixed in. The story starts off with Jess starting an internship at what she thinks is a good organization only to realize her boss is actually a villain (and also her parents' – who are superheroes – enemy). She now has to dea ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
*2.5 stars


superhero secret identity shenanigans = my literal favorite trope of all time, and the premise of this book was basically a dream come true. I'm not kidding when I say that, from the summary, this was The Book I wanted to read. I appreciated all the representation, which felt very authentic (esp asian + bi rep in jess, whose experiences I could really relate to, in a refreshing way) and the dramatic irony re: double identity
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a fun little superhero story with a cute romance between the bisexual main character and her female crush.

Jessica Tran is the daughter of immigrant parents who are the superheros of the town where she lives. Unfortunately, she doesn't appear to have inherited any superpowers herself. She picks up an extracurricular internship to help with her college applications, but it turns out that the internship is with the town's supervillain couple. Also, her long-time crush Abby is working there
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer, young-adult
As Jessica Tran nears her seventeenth birthday, she's starting to come to terms with the fact she doesn't have a superpower, so she decides to get a job instead, a paid internship at a local robotics company, where her crush also happens to work.

The f/f romance is cute (if you ignore the dub-con aspect), and the characters represent a variety of colors, backgrounds, and sexualities, but the world-building is inconsistent and occasionally nonsensical, and the story itself is sloppy even in the fi
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
While reading Not Your Sidekick I tried to sort my thoughts into 'pros' and 'cons' lists. It was difficult to do so because this book was so good I barely wanted to switch from my iBooks app to my Notes app.

But, here we go:

- from a quick scan of reviews; this is great bisexual representation
- I believe this is an #ownvoices novel? correct me if I'm wrong
- Great characters
- Great writing
- great setting
- a trans character is featured and I believe that's also good rep
- s u p e r p o w e
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Sidekick Squad (4 books)
  • Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad, #2)
  • Not Your Backup (Sidekick Squad, #3)
  • Not Your Hero (Sidekick Squad, #4)

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