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Not Your Backup

(Sidekick Squad #3)

by
3.90  ·  Rating details ·  886 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Emma Robledo has a few more responsibilities that the usual high school senior, but then again, she and her friends have left school to lead a fractured Resistance movement against a corrupt Heroes League of Heroes. Emma is the only member of a supercharged team without powers, she isn't always taken seriously. A natural leader, Emma is determined to win this battle, and w ...more
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Published June 4th 2019 by Duet Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  886 ratings  ·  180 reviews


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Claudie Arseneault
This isn't going to be a regular review. I've been too closely involved with the aro & ace rep in NOT YOUR BACKUP to really do that, honestly. But I will tell you: I love this book to pieces, I love Emma, I love the way it twines her questionning and her relationship with Bells and the whole dismantling a government conspiracy, and I love how her aromantic and asexual experience is deeply rooted in who she is. ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
My full review can be found on my blog, The Quiet Pond.

Friends, this series is just getting better and better. I absolutely loved Not Your Backup and I know all of you are going to adore Emma.

- Follows the Sidekick Squad as they work together to take down the corrupt League of Heroes. This book centres on Emma, the Latinx teen part of the Sidekick Squad!
- I really loved Emma's perspective. I loved Jess's because I related to her struggle as being part of diaspora and her heritage, but I love Em
...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received an early copy of this book for the blog tour in exchange of an honest review

Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders

CW: sci-fi violence, off page minor character death, internal shame though aroace questioning.

If you’ve been following my blog for a couple years you know how much I adore THE SIDEKICK SQUAD, I started up loving Not you Sidekick and then fell more in love with this series through Bells’ perspective in Not your Villain. So imagine my delight when I got accepted to
...more
Laura (bbliophile)
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
This book has some of the best ace rep I've ever read and I love it so much for that. ...more
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
3,5 stars
Thank you to netgalley and interlude press for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion in anyway.

The third book in the Sidekick Squad already. Not Your Backup is yet another fun installment. I will say that this book had its positive and negative for me which made me not quite love it. Even though I wish I could because it has so much important bits in it.

Let’s start with the positive. In this story Emma is our main character. One I didn’t
...more
Mora
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm sitting here and thinking: do I want to go personal in this review?

The answer is no.

But I'm just going to say this book means a lot to me and I did cry. The conversation between Emma and Sean is excellent and is, in fact, the reason I cried.

Representation is important, y'all
...more
rachel ☾
#1) Not Your Sidekick ★★★★☆
#2) Not Your Villain ★★☆☆☆


quick thoughts:

• i really adore this cast of characters, but especially the main Sidekick Squad
• lee's writing is so addictive. it's fast-paced and action-packed. i marathoned this series v easily
• idk what it is about the world-building but i find it almost impossible to visualise the settings and fight scenes
• this had the most incredible discussions about aromanticism and queerplatonic relationships
• i have a terrible feeling jess & abby's
...more
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Now opening the Sidekick Squad official fan club, please feel free to join.

Not Your Backup is the third book in the Sidekick Squad series, this time following the POV of Emma Robledo, a Latina and aro/ace main character, with the same badass and loveable crew, along with a few new faces.

Something I've noticed about this series is that I love each book more than the last, and I have adored this series from the start. So, consequently, Not Your Backup is definitely my favorite of the series so far
...more
Mila
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
This is my least favorite series installment so far, the first book was the best, in my opinion, and now it just goes down. I'm not that invested in the plot anymore, a bigger gap between book two and three may be the reason why. And I'm still not keen on Emma as a POV character, nothing really draws me to her personality. However, this was a quick read, some parts were actually exciting and well-written and I also don't want to drop the series right before the final book. ...more
Natasha
2.5/5

idk if my issue was i didn't reread the first two, I was so... bored. Like really bored. I will read the last book but this instalment was boring for me.
...more
Anniek
I've loved Not Your Sidekick and Not Your Villain, and while the first book is still my favourite, Not Your Backup is definitely the most relatable for me. A big part of this book consists of the main character, Emma, questioning her (lack of) romantic and sexual attraction.

"...there's that feeling that's always been in her heart, that maybe the way she loves someone might not be the same way they want to love her."

I especially loved the talk Emma had with one of Bells' brothers, where he tells
...more
Lia
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aspec
4.5 stars! LOVED the aro/ace-spec rep and talk about queerplatonic relationships which is way too rare in fiction tbh
Mae Crowe
This series is consistently quite good, and I'm so here for it! (That being said, I'm ready to read something different for a little while. I'm not really cut out for reading a series all at once anymore.)

Not Your Backup was my most anticipated of this series. There's not many books with aspec characters, and there certainly isn't many that explore the questioning process, especially with another well-developed plot in play. Not Your Backup easily fills that gap, and I'm really excited about it,
...more
kate
This series is such a joy to read, truly the epitome of a mood booster.

I absolutely loved reading from Emma's perspective. She's a somewhat anxious perfectionist with a heart of gold who just wants to do right by the ones she cares for (which is pretty much anyone who's been wronged.) However, with the stakes being so high, this care and loyalty leads to her putting a huge amount of pressure on herself to get things 'right' and prove herself to be worthy of helping, even without powers. I absolu
...more
Rachel
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

After leaving high school to help the Resistance full time, Emma is still struggling to feel like she’s a member of the team. All her friends are meta-humans or, in the case of Brendan and Abby, super geniuses. While they’re training to battle the League or building cool new tech, she’s relegated to boring administrative tasks. But Emma knows she capable of more.

Emma is the
...more
Ace
Oct 31, 2019 marked it as release-2019  ·  review of another edition
Not Your Sidekick ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Not Your Villain ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
...more
Iris
4.5 stars

hi I love Emma I love this book I love this series

also I cried
Enne
5 stars
TW: internal shame about ace/aro questioning, violence, government tracking, discussion of non-consensual medical experiments
Rep: Hispanic questioning aroace female MC, Creole trans boy SC, Vietnamese-Chinese-American bisexual female SC, lesbian SC, minor older queer couples, minor aroace SCs, minor queer SCs


The Writing
A common theme with C. B. Lee books is that I never pay attention to the writing because I'm so distracted by the rest of the book and how good it is that I forget to
...more
prag ♻
Jan 17, 2019 marked it as need  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ace-spec
it's telling that y'all are sleeping on this series with a sapphic lead, a trans lead and an ace-spec lead

cover reveal and excerpt here: https://bookriot.com/?p=252127 I'M SO EXCITED
...more
Cai
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly? I read most of this book on a cross-country plane ride to visit my parents, and I almost cried twice over seeing the phrase “queerplatonic relationship” in a published novel. It was kinda embarrassing. But also, this is the best/most relatable aroace rep I’ve ever read. We get to see Emma figuring her stuff out, and I think that’s a valuable and potentially reassuring thing to get to see in a novel. Plus, basically everyone in this book is queer – there’s even a brief and very casual m ...more
USOM
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a review copy from the publisher as part of the blog tour. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

As I said I've been invested in the Sidekick Squad series for a while now. When book two, Not Your Villain, was released, I quickly binged book one and haven't looked back since. I will always admired C.B. Lee's commitment to diversity in a world where its characters are appreciated, loved, and celebrated for who they are. I can't think of a better book
...more
Isabel
*fists hit the table* MORE
Ceillie Simkiss
I LOVE EMMA ROBLEDO SO MUUUUUCH.

Full review to come ;)
Lee
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi, lgbt
The Resistance is continuing to fight against the league. As a leader, and the only member without superpowers, Emma is determined to come up with ways to defeat the League and get the word out about the lie. As the battle gears up, Emma finds herself trying to find her place in the team and determined to prove her worth.

I was thrilled to read this book. I had fallen in love with Emma throughout the other two and Not Your Backup made me fall more in love with her. She is a character that I rela
...more
Xan
Content Warnings (view spoiler)

Not Your Backup is the third installment in
...more
Kajree Gautom
The third book in the Sidekick Squad tells the story from Emma's POV. I read all of the released Sidekick Squad books and I think I liked this more than the second one. While Jess had a very fun voice, Bells' POV fell short for me. But Emma was fun, even though she isn't my favorite character. I could relate to her so much.

Emma doesn't have any superpowers and when they all try to team up with the adults in order to reveal the corrupt government, she is often left behind. And in the midst of it
...more
Kaitlyn
I was provided a free copy of the book for its blog tour. See full review here.

Surprisingly, this book took the longest in the series for me to actually want to pick up. I felt hesitant to read it because Emma’s characterization felt flat for me in the other books—she really did feel like a backup—but after seeing the title for this, I knew I had to get my hands on NYB. Fortunately for me, it blew all my expectations out of the water and gave me a glimpse of the world of the Sidekick Squad from
...more
Joyfully Jay
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars


The stories feature a host of characters of color, and a variety of gender identities and sexual orientations. I love that even the side characters are widely diverse, including a Muslim reporter and a poly threesome. I appreciate how Lee really incorporates such a wide range of diversity and it all flows so seamlessly in the story. This is particularly important in a young adult series like this one, and this is probably one of the most overall diverse series I hav
...more
Devann
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

actual rating: 3.5

As with the second book in this series, I just felt that this book moved a little bit slower than I would have liked [although at least here we don't spend a third of the book doing a recap, which I why I rounded up instead of down]. I guess I just feel like the characters should have made more progress at this point [something that Emma and I seem to have in common], but I suppose it kind of makes sense for the first three book
...more
Kogiopsis
Sep 14, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-stuff
While these books still definitely have a certain charm, this one sort of left me... bored? Each book's individual arc is about its focal character's self-discovery, but there's also the ur-arc of, y'know, trying to overthrow the corrupt government, and VERY little progress is made on that front. To a degree I appreciate the element of realism with regard to how hard it is to create change, but from a storytelling standpoint it sort of drags; it doesn't feel like these characters ever have a not ...more
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Other books in the series

Sidekick Squad (4 books)
  • Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)
  • Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad, #2)
  • Not Your Hero (Sidekick Squad, #4)

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