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Secondhand Origin Stories

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest's superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the inj ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published 2018 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-review
(Content/Trigger warning: It should be noted that there are instances of ableism, systemic racism, and misgendering as well as content involving other sensitive issues in the book. However, these instances are addressed and corrected later on. Still, proceed with utmost caution.)

As someone who’s been waiting for the sequel to Disney’s The Incredibles for more than a decade now, I was more than eager to dive into the lives and relationships within the Sentinels. And I was certainly not disappoint
Secondhand Origin Stories is about the children of famous superheroes who want to help people as well – and as the title says, this is truly an origin story, where the “real” superhero fights only really happen towards the end. It is a very character-focused novel about both blood and adopted/found family, about growing up in the shadow of your famous parents, and even about the unrightful imprisonment of many Black people.

This book was emotional, funny, with an all-queer main cast, and I think
Claudie Arseneault
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie, lgbt, fantasy, asexual
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this in exchange for a honest review.

I had a hard time getting into this story at first, but once the writing style grew on me, it became hard to stop (I missed my metro stop while visiting Montreal because I was too engrossed!). What grabbed me most were the characters: complex, relatable, awesome and diverse, both the crew of teens and their parents/uncles grabbed my attention and kept me turning pages.

(cw discussion of audism)
There is a character who becomes
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Secondhand Origin Stories is a superhero fiction that doesn’t simply include tight suites, godly strength, and world-saving; instead, it’s a journey of four young people who try saving the world while discovering themselves—a good, diverse representation and straightforward mention of unfortunate social issues is an extra candy on Halloween.

The story revolves around four main characters: Opal, Isaac, Yael, and Jamie. I think that should seriously be the only thing I should mention about the
Ceillie Simkiss
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was delightful!!!!
Read my full review here!
Sam - Spines in a Line
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the author and Shealea for organizing the #SHOSPH book tour! Find more reviews and features by following that hashtag on Twitter and see more of my thoughts at https://spinesinaline.wordpress.com!

When I saw that this book was about superheroes, I was intrigued. When I heard it had diverse representation, I immediately signed on for the tour. I was really happy to find that the rep in this book wasn't just for show; it's clear the author really cared about how they approached this repr
Shelumiel Delos Santos
I received a review copy from the author which in no way swayed my opinion about the work.

Heavily character-driven, Lee Blauersouth’s Secondhand Origin Stories is less a superhero novel and more a novel about a dysfunctional family of superheroes. And that makes for a more compelling narrative.

The book follows four teens; each having something to prove, all wanting to protect their family. There is Opal, who has always dreamed of becoming a superhero and joining the Sentinels. Issac, who has bee
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a very ambitious book, as regards the core themes: the way superpowers intersect with race and ability, the physical and mental strain of being a superhero, and most importantly, growing up with superhero parents and the expectations it entails, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. It has a lovely cast of queer and disabled characters from different backgrounds. It could be more polished, though, in terms of information reveal, introducing characters, and plot holes. Still, three stars becaus ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Secondhand Origin Stories tells us about second-generation superheroes on both sides of the divide. We have Jamie, Issac, and Yael, who grew up seeing their parents and/or idols saving the world on television screens, who were raised in the highly-guarded Sentinel Plaza, and who trust the Altered Persons Bureau as being the ultimate good guy. On the other hand, there’s Opal, who as both a black woman and an altered faces discrimination that the “tower kids”, as she eventually comes to call them, ...more
shri (sunandchai)

First of all: I'd like to thank Lee Blauersouth for so kindly sending me the ebook of Secondhand Origin Stories!

So I read this book back in the beginning of November when I was working 10 hour shifts providing IT support at a children's hospital in Edmonton, so I read it in a flurry AND made the mistake of not writing any notes during or afterwards. I've tried to sit down to write a formal review whenever I got the time since then, but admittedly don't remember enough detail to do my usual Plot
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I honestly don’t know where to start — there are too many great things going on in this book.

First, let me introduce you to the squad.

Opal Flynn. A black altered girl from Detroit whose dream is to go to Chicago and become a superhero. Jamie Tillman-Voss. The younger daughter of the leader of the Sentinels, Lodestar. Issac Tillman-Voss. Jamie’s older brother. Like Jamie, he doesn’t have altered genes. But has a great and brilliant mind, and has multiple patents under his name, and he’s not even
Jennifer Linsky
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was one of Lee's beta-readers for this (see, that's my name, right there in the acknowledgements! 8) mostly because I read a lot of Superhero Lit (seriously, at least a third of my 2017 reading list) and I was fascinated by the concept of a non-binary heroine and other things Lee was saying about the writing.

The version I beta-read was good, but the final version? It's excellent. Most of the rough patches were smoothed out, and everything was knocked into a better final shape. I eagerly hope t
Kimberly (kimberly_reads)
This is such a deeper story than one about the children of superheroes: it’s about figuring out what you want (especially when things you once saw through rose colored glasses are shown in their true colors), fighting for what is right despite it not being easy, and so much more. I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it if it sounds like something you’d be interested in.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an e-ARC for free for a blog tour run by That Bookshelf Bitch. Check out the full schedule here

Before I start the feels train I thought I’d add this warning that Shealea gave us around the time we signed up for this tour. Honestly, I have no idea what this stuff refers to but it was in bold and warnings are important!

"The story involves sensitive issues, such as systemic racism and ableism"

When I started reading this book I had favorites. Since we follow four characters, all of them s
Sarah Strange
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I beta'd this book for the author, and it was honestly so freaking good. Even at an early stage, the characters were complex and the stakes dire. If you're looking for a book that's hella diverse with kickass superheroes, this book is for you!! ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: woke YA superhero fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: Lee Blauersouth
Opal’s father should have been a superhero, but he used his powers to protect a neighbor illegally and wound up in jail. Ever since, Opal has kept her nose clean, excelling in school and decorum, in the hope of being licensed and redeeming the family name. Now she’s headed from Detroit to Chicago to try out for the most famous superhero team, the Sentinels.

Issac is the son of the Sentinels’ leader and the brilliant scientist that created his cybernetic prostheses, allowing the hero to continue h
2,5 stars. I really try to read all the books I buy because DNFing something you were intrigued enough by to spend money on is just a huge bummer... Couldn't do it for this one, I'm sorry. I feel bad for not connecting to it, because the whole premise seemed so close to the "Not Your Sidekick"-series, one of my favorites. And YET.

My main issue was the introduction to the world. Maybe the reason I didn't intuitively get it is because I've never lived in the US, but that just sounds weird. It's no
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I read the synopsis to this book, I was super excited to dive into it. Mostly because it was a book about teenage superheroes and they were a diverse cast, which sounded similar to Not Your Sidekick, one of my all-time favourite books. I really wanted to love this book but I ended up just enjoying it and finding it unmemorable.

The novel was in multiple perspectives, four to be exact, and whilst I ended up not minding it too much and the story linked together nicely despite the change of per
Justine from Novels and Panda
Trigger warning: systematic racism and ableism in the Secondhand Origin Stories. There may be these issues in the novel but it had been corrected throughout the novel.

Interesting premise, superheroes, supervillains? thrown in with a lot of amazingly diverse characters, YES! I am glad my timeline has been blessed by this book.

My gods, my mind is everywhere. Have you seen the world building in this book? It’s captivating. Details were great and then combined with some action sequences. It was spot
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This was quite an enjoyable superhero novel! If you like anything to do with superheroes, then this is worth checking out!

I really liked how much diversity is in this story. I usually don’t point this out when I’m reading a book but I thought the author did a spectacular job incorporating it into the story. It added so many more dimensions to the characters.

I also really liked how character-driven this novel was. I’m a sucker for good character development, and this book definitely delivered on
Terri Jones
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great story. Do you like secrets, personal issues, inner strength, moral questions, intelligence, ideals, reality checks, diverse casts, overwhelming odds, tragedy, family, and superheroes? Read this. The pace is measured, until it gets intense, the relationships felt real, and it is character-driven. They drive the plot, and it is very satisfying. I have a few quibbles, but first and foremost, I'm delighted to have read this.

There's no getting around the self-referencing in third person
LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
You can see my full review here!

*I received Secondhand Origin Stories from That Bookshelf Bitch for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.*

The story involves sensitive issues, such as systemic racism and ableism.

This book was AMAZING. Superheroes with all of the diversity and racial commentary and found families and 8 YEAR OLD ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE’S. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH (just in case you didn't get that from the updates, I'll say it again). I was so surprised when c
I would definitely recommend this one to a younger teen. It's kids (actually older teens) vs. adults/parents for the most part, though some of the adults are on the youngun's side. My main issue is that because the author tried to present you with all of the younger people's POV, rather than focusing on one, it ended up feeling like a very wide shallow pool as far as characterization.
Philippa Lodge
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The author mentioned the book on Twitter and I one-clicked! There were some pacing problems and the beginning had too many points of view without enough differentiation, so it was hard to figure out who everyone was and what was going on. The story, though, is great and the themes and characters develop well. Teenage (future) superheroes!
Barbara Morrissey
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating it 4* in its niche of YA superhero fiction.
That is not my typical niche but I bought this because the author caught my attention on Twitter and I wanted to support them.
Diversity and inclusion is very much the core of this book and on the whole very nicely handled. An enjoyable read.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-books
Thank you Rae for making me read this!!
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases, sci-fi
*4.5 stars*
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Lots of good characters that I was very invested in. I have some uh hm Questions about dr mom's behaviour towards the children that weren't resolved, but overall a really interesting read ...more
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After about a decade drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. Lee loves comics, classical art, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to en ...more

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