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Cute Mutants #1

Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride

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My name is Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif, and this is my life.

I always wanted to be an X-Man. Except people and me never got along, and apparently you need social skills to run a successful team. Cue Emma Hall's party. One hot make out session with the host herself, and I can talk to objects like my pillow (who's far too invested in my love life) and my baseball bat (who was a pacifist before I got hold of him). Now there's a whole group of us with strange abilities, including super hot ice queen Dani Kim who doesn't approve of how reckless I can be. The bigger problem is a mysterious mutant causing unnatural disasters, and we're the ones who have to stop him. Except trying to make a difference makes things blow up in my face and the team's on the verge of falling apart. Can I bring them back together in time to stop the villain from taking revenge? Have I mentioned I'm not a people person? Magneto help us.

418 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 27, 2020

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About the author

S.J. Whitby

16 books119 followers
SJ Whitby lives in New Zealand with their partner, as well as various children and animals. They are predictably obsessed with X-Men and spend too much of their free time writing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for Hsinju Chen.
Author 2 books217 followers
June 9, 2021
Content warnings: transphobia, homophobia, hate crime, racism, sexual assault (one off-page nonconsensual m/f kiss), bullying, violence, blood, death of... prominent object, death of minor characters, dismembering, earthquakes

Sometimes, I try to match the tone of my review to the voice of the book so that they give off similar vibes, but I could never achieve the level of joy this story brings. Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride is a very queer (reps: lesbian, pansexual, transgender, etc.) and very racially diverse (reps: Korean, Kiwi-Chinese, etc.) version of X-men that is incredibly funny, quirky, and ridiculously good. If you want an exciting and fun read, definitely check this out.

Dylan Taylor (~17, pansexual, grey-ace? kind of genderqueer?) is a loner at Brookside Girls’ High. She discovers her ability of talking to objects after kissing tech wiz Emma Hall (17, Kiwi-Chinese, demisexual?) at the latter’s seventeenth birthday party because of a game app, much to the displeasure of her boyfriend Lou Patterson (~17, trans). After encountering a freaked out Alyse Sefo (17, Pacifika) in the bathroom, a safe haven really, the pair decides to find the others Emma had also kissed that day, including Bianca Powell (~17). Together, they form Cute Mutants, a reminiscent of New Mutants in the X-Men comics Dylan loves so much. But there is still this powerful, hot ice queen Dani Kim (~17, Korean) who refuses to participate in their shenanigans. And also, an evil force (22) is on the loose, because what is a superhero drama without a villain?

First off, I love the snarky tone and the incorporation of internet slang in the narrative. They bring so much character to Dylan. Told in her first-person point of view, there are a lot of random inner dialogues that are oh-so-relatable, including her questioning whether she is merely hallucinating when conversing with objects. Despite the superhero aspect, many things in Mutant Pride are very realistic yet often not dealt with in books, and I love every bit of them. I love that Dylan’s “Parent” is shortened to Pear; I appreciate the unfortunate fact that Lou is a transguy stuck in a girls’ school, because this happens in real life when parents aren’t supportive. Throughout the story, some of the characters try to figure out their sexualities and gender identities, but these were never the focal points. There are a few comments about how Dylan feels that her body isn’t right and Emma trying to understand if she is ace. I think these will be explored more in the sequels. I also love how all their superpowers are basically the embodiments of their insecurities but powerful.

Mutant Pride also deals with a lot of in-group jealousy and the kind of hurtful language teenagers throw around. Most of the members are sort of morally gray and that makes the story even more thrilling. With an almost 100% queer cast, there is also at least one sapphic relationship blossoming in addition to an established one. The main developing romance is a sweet ice-queen, almost hate-to-love one and another is a potentially budding romance I inferred from context. I hope to see more of these sapphic lovers as well as well-handled relationship changes.

Since Dylan can talk to objects, her power also brings out her appreciation for previously inanimate things. These feelings are not explored in depth but play an important part in the story. The Cute Mutants are essentially a bunch of high school teens seeking belonging while fighting for justice, and apart from Pear, most of their parents seem to be highly negligent if not abusive toward their children. The gang is their found family, and who doesn’t love a wonderful found family story?

If you don’t like vulgar slang mixed in your book, this one isn’t for you, but you are definitely missing out. This book has its fair share of it and it works like charm. Everything is random and weird and so good. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed or grinned so much while reading. Ever.

Whether or not you are familiar with X-Men, Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride is nerdy, hilarious, and incredibly entertaining. It ends on a slightly sketchy note but not exactly a cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading Cute Mutants Vol 2: Young, Gifted & Queer , and I cannot wait.

I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jessica (Odd and Bookish).
581 reviews787 followers
February 24, 2021
I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (MTMC Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

Omg this book!

First off, I loved all the characters. They were each so unique and I loved seeing them come together as a team. My favorite was Alyse (aka Moodring). I loved how supportive she was of Dylan and the whole team.

The story was well thought out in terms of both the external (dangerous villain on the loose) and internal (identity, friendship, love). There was a good balance between the two.


I also really loved all the geeky references thrown in. Since this is a book about mutants, there are numerous references to X-Men. But there were also references to other geeky things. For example, there were a couple of references to Avatar: The Last Airbender (one of my favorite shows).

Lastly, you gotta love all the queer representation in this book. Dylan is pansexual. Dylan’s parent is non-binary and goes by the name Pear (such a clever name!). Lou is transgender. The list goes on and on. In general, it’s rare to find queer representation in superhero stories ,so the fact that there is so much in this book means a lot.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fun and queer superhero story with a lot of heart.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,527 reviews208 followers
September 22, 2021
Reread for the September Wick & Jane Bookclub on Instagram, the theme was Indie Author!

I have spent the past 10 months yelling about these queer mutants and how much I love them. It's unreal to come back to the first book now, but I absolutely loved this reread. Is it possible to love these mutants more than I did the first time?

Dylan is one of my favorite MCs of all time, I relate so much to her brain and how she experiences the world. And seeing her find this adorable found family makes me so ridiculously happy and I just AM SO GLAD THIS BOOK EXISTS.

I post about this series basically all the time on IG, but this is me yelling for the 100th time to GO READ THIS!!

The whole series is currently 99 cents on kindle (sale international) so find them here.

And the spin off, which you should read between books 4 and 5, is also on sale here.

Rep: questioning pansexual female MC with anxiety, trans male side character, Kiwi-Chinese questioning asexual female side character, bisexual Pacific Islander female side character, lesbian Korean female side character, sapphic female side character, biromantic asexual nonbinary parent side character in a relationship with a woman.

CWs: Graphic: Blood, cursing, gore, injury/injury detail, mental illness (anxiety), violence. Moderate: deadnaming/misgendering, dysphoria, medical content, self harm, bullying, sexual assault, racism, general queerphobia/queermisia, transphobia/transmisia. Minor: car accident (crashes into a building and a tree), suicidal thoughts.

Thank you to Caffeine Tours & the author for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I loved this book so much 😭😭😭. This book is easily in my top ten of the year, and it's tied with Felix Ever After and Sword in the Stars for my favorite book of the year. There's honestly no way to choose between these three, I loved them all so much. But Dylan Taylor is my favorite character to ever exist, I have never related to someone as much as I relate to Dylan.

This book is kind of like an X-men retelling. Dylan Taylor is an average queer person suffering from social anxiety. When she kisses Emma Hall at her party, she ends up with superpowers. Finding out Emma kissed several other people, Dylan is eager to attempt to form a mutant brigade. When an unknown mutant starts causing havoc Dylan is sure they must take care of him, but is the group really up for it?

Cute Mutants Vol 1 is one of the gayest books I've ever read. Having so many books come out this year with amazingly queer casts has been a dream come true. Also this book is truly disaster squad goals.


I loved every second of this book. From Dylan's relationship with her non-binary parent called Pear, to the found family of the Cute Mutants, the queer normalized society, and the themes of vigilante justice and whether it was right. The best part of this book was the relationship between this group of friends and figuring out how they could make it work, if at all possible.

Before assembling the Cute Mutants, Dylan spends most of her time at home, hanging out with Pear or with her boyfriend, Lou. But Lou has been having trouble at home due to his parents' transphobia. With this new influx of friends in Dylan's life, he is also unsure of his place in her life and starts to get pretty jealous. It doesn't help that Dani Kim, ice queen extraordinaire (and super fucking hot), is also one of the people who has developed special powers. Dylan can't help but be attracted to her charisma, but there's no way Dani could like her, is there?

Dylan also deals with social anxiety, and so many of her thoughts really resonated with me. So much so that I started to wonder if I might have some form of social/generalized anxiety (the answer was yes). Dylan also questions her gender, and it made me feel like she might be a demigirl like myself. I have so much love for Dylan, my heart is exploding.

Then there's Dylan and Alyse, the sweetest friendship I've ever seen. I love Alyse so much and her effervescence. She is just seriously the best, and I ship her so hard with Emma! Emma is an evil mastermind and I would not be surprised if she became an evil genius. Also my ace goddess! Bianca was such a weirdo, but her character surprised me with how much I loved her! Basically, I need more of this squad ASAP.

I don't know if I really said anything besides just spewing my love of this book, but I cannot recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Landice (Manic Femme).
233 reviews412 followers
March 29, 2021
I knew from the quote on the back that this book would be a good time (“This is me, Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif and this is my life.”) and it absolutely delivered! Highly recommend it for when you want a quick, easy read that will make you laugh and smile until your face hurts!

Edit: I originally said the series was on Kindle Unlimited but it seems like just this first book is. Either way, if you have a KU subscription you can read Cute Mutants Vol. 1 now without spending any money on it!

Some things I enjoyed about Cute Mutants:
• Dylan is the biggest fuckin neurodivergent mood, at times I related to her on a spiritual level
• Lots of varied queer rep! Not sure if specific sexualities are given for any of the characters at this point but Dylan, Dani, Bianca, Emma and I think Alyse are all sapphic. Another member of the Cute Mutants, Lou, is a trans guy, and Dylan’s parent is non-binary. So almost every (or actually, I guess every?) main character is LGBTQ+, along with some of the side characters
• Dylan’s nickname for her non-binary parent is “Pear” which is short for parent & it’s the cutest thing ever???
• It’s genuinely hilarious. I laughed out loud multiple times

Incomplete TW/CW list: violence/blood, self harm (as a way to access superpowers), xenophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, references to past sexual assault (non-consensual kissing/groping to be specific). I’m sure I’m missing some but will come back and edit if I think of more!

Massive thanks to the author, SJ Whitby, for sending me a finished copy to review!

Love sapphic books, too? Let's be friends! Bookstagram | Booktube | Booktok | Book Blog | Twitter
Profile Image for Ta || bookishbluehead.
508 reviews27 followers
July 25, 2022
Before I start with my review I want to make one thing clear: This is NOT a graphic novel. There aren’t any graphics in this book. I don’t know why it’s tagged graphic novel, but if you’re interested in this book, just know you’re in for a novel and not a graphic novel.

Now that that’s out, let’s begin. I had so much fun reading this book. It has an amazing queer cast and really diverse representation. There need to be way more books like this. The characters are great, I liked our MC Dylan. She grows a lot throughout the story. The other cute mutants are equally amazing.

Like every good superhero, this one features a great villain. But he’s not the only one the cute mutants have to fight. They also have to deal with new feelings, how friendships and relationships can change over time and of course there still are a lot of homophobic and transphobic people in the world, who can’t leave their tiny minds and are the villains in their own world.

This book is a must-read. Volume 1 is part of Kindle Unlimited, at least in Germany, so you definitely should give it a go. I’ll order the other Volumes right away and won’t wait long to continue this series.
Profile Image for Althea.
428 reviews144 followers
September 18, 2020
Cute Mutants Vol. 1: Mutant Pride follows Dylan, an X-Men superfan, who after kissing Emma Hall at her party, wakes up with the ability to talk to objects. Soon she finds out that there are others who went to that party who also developed powers, including her boyfriend Lou and ice queen Dani Kim. However, there’s a rogue mutant-slash-incel wreaking havoc across the city by creating earthquakes. So, Dylan and the Cute Mutants set up a plan to take him down.

I originally found out about this novel through Amber’s review on Goodreads, and immediately put it on my TBR after seeing how much they loved it. However, after hearing on Twitter that it’s a sapphic X-Men but gayer, I knew I needed to have it in my hands, so I ordered it right away! I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews for this novel and I can honestly say that I wholeheartedly agree with every one of them – I devoured this book and have already pre-ordered the sequel!

The writing style is extremely sarcastic and witty and feels very realistic – from the making fun of typos in text messages to Dylan’s sharp quips when talking back to the now sentient furniture! The book was very fast paced and had so much action – I never felt like the plot was lagging, or that I was just waiting for the next action scene to come. I would have loved a little more development on each character’s powers or even more training scenes – especially Bianca – but that’s just because that’s what I love to see in the X-Men movies (why didn’t they put the deleted training scenes in the First Class movie!!). Speaking of X-Men movies, I’m a huge fan and have been for years. Although I haven’t managed to get my hands on the comics (any help with where to start would be much appreciated!), there were so many hilarious references peppered throughout the book, including references to Cyclops being a bit of a killjoy, and Kitty Pryde’s name (and a dog called Summers – adorable)! Every time I read one it just made me beam from ear to ear and brought back all that nostalgia I had when I first discovered the X-Men! There were also a few references to K-Pop throughout, which was something I wasn’t expecting, but was pleasantly surprised by! As a side note – I too get fired up for something big, like a presentation or a rugby match, by listening to Stray Kids, just like Dylan does!

As I mentioned, the plot is very fast paced and full of action scenes. I think the tension was built up really well for each of the bigger ‘fight scenes’ and I think the writing style really lent itself to that – it was witty but still showed the gravity of the situation. While the book made me laugh frequently, there were also some sadder scenes, including one near the end with a certain inanimate (or in this case are they animate?) object, but I won’t spoil that for you! In fact, something I really loved about this book was the objects that Dylan can talk to. I loved pillow and batty and a certain flying car we meet near the end! I loved how pillow was always sighing and expressing her love for Lou while Dylan was kissing him, and every object’s voice was just so well defined and added an extra layer of comedy relief when things started to go a bit darker.

Dylan, our main character, is a bit of an outcast. She lives with her parent, Pear (another side note – such a cute name for a non binary parent which I may or may not steal when I have kids!), is a huge X-Men fan. Her only friend is her boyfriend, Lou, although we see a lot of conflict between the two throughout the book. I really loved Dylan as a main character. She’s extremely relatable, particularly when she’s being too hard on herself when she’s trying her best, or when she’s not quite sure if someone is her friend or not, but she desperately wants them to be! Lou, Dylan’s boyfriend, is trans, which was really refreshing to see! Unfortunately, he is misgendered frequently and is at an all-girl’s school, however, this is frequently challenged. At times I found Lou to be a bit of an unlikeable character – it never felt like he loved Dylan as much as she loved him, and he was incredibly jealous throughout the whole book, and for what seems like no reason. His miscommunication really annoyed me at times but I did like his almost redemption arc at the end!

I really loved the other members of the Cute Mutants! Ice queen Dani is portrayed as your typical hot, popular, bitchy high school girl at the start, but seeing her slowly soften as the book went on made me warm to her, and I loved her character development and how she dealt with her very painful power. Emma and Alyse were absolute rays of sunshine – Emma is the only member of the team without powers but she makes up for it by being a seriously amazing tech whiz and Alyse, despite having quite a difficult power to deal with, always tries to see the best in a situation and always cheers on the team. Bianca is a character I’m dying to know more about! Everything about her is just so mysterious, from her life at school to her relationship and even her power! I can’t wait to find out more about her in the sequels! Every member of the team had the cheesy superhero names which I loved and I also found it hilarious when they forgot to call each other by their superhero names and bickered afterwards as a result! Oh, and did I mention, almost every character in here is part of the LGBT+ community! There is a very slow burn sapphic romance in this book, and I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it’s so cute!!!

This was such a great first book in the Cute Mutant’s series that’s perfect for fans of both superhero movies and books with superheroes. There’s a whole cast of LGBT characters and an amazing found family! The action scenes are high stakes and there’s also some very sweet friendship and romantic scenes throughout. I highly, highly recommend this one and can’t wait for the sequel as the ending set up for an amazing premise!

Check out more reviews on my blog!
Profile Image for Art Hyrst.
697 reviews38 followers
October 29, 2020
Full review available on my blog December 3rd 2020: https://inkandplasma.com/2020/12/03/c...

Thanks to SJ Whitby and Caffeine Book Tours for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review. Click here to see the rest of the tour schedule and find other stops!

Trigger Warnings: misgendering, sexual assault, homophobia, transphobia, non-explicit rape threats, violence, gore, mutilation, self harm (as a way to use superpowers).

This book was an absolute revelation to me, honestly. I’ll admit to knowing almost nothing about it when I applied for the tour – queer superheroes was enough for me to know – and I went into it not knowing what to expect. My new favourite series is what I should have expected. I finished this book at 2AM after realising far too late that I couldn’t possibly put it down and instantly ordered Volume 2 as a treat to myself. Volume 2 is now staring at me, waiting me to finish writing this review so I can read it all in one greedy go.

The humour in Cute Mutants is spot on and the tone makes it an easy reading delight, at times I was trying not to wake up Tal with my cackling laughter in the middle of the night. I’m so attached to Dylan and the rest of the Cute Mutants and part of that is because they felt so real to me. Not to mention, several scenes from this book are currently living absolutely rent free in my mind. If you’re sick of hearing me shout about this book, take the hint and read it – you will definitely be shouting about it too. The writing feels very comic booky without being gimmicky, so it really did feel like a superhero story to me. If you’re a little nerdy (or, like me, a lot nerdy) you’ll love this book for its casual references to pop culture that enhance the story without taking you out of Dylan’s narrative. There’s a Buffy reference at one point that was as hilarious as it was brutal – and that’s as much as I’m saying without giving away the context.

I loved the breadth of queer identity in this book. Trans, nonbinary, pansexual, queer, asexual, this book is packed full of characters across a range of LGBT+ identities, each with their own distinct characterisations. And while this did touch on a few important LBGT+ issues (misgendering, bi/panphobia) it’s not an ‘issues’ book. Cute Mutants is packed full of queer joy and magic, and I will no longer settle for cishet superheroes, I just will not take it! The characters themselves are beautifully developed and I could read endless pieces focusing on each of them because I love their individual characters as well as the way they fit into the team dynamic. On top of that, SJ Whitby does one of my favourite things in hero fiction by giving each power a huge benefit but a drawback too. No OP powers here, these heroes have specific abilities that are sometimes painful, irritating or embarrassing to use. I liked that they weren’t set up for immediate unrealistic success, either. They had to learn to be a team, explore the limits of their powers, and I think that made for a much more engaging read – not to mention leaving me half in love with the entire cast.

The plot itself is interesting, but I don’t want to talk about it too much because spoilers, well supported by the fascinating characters, and it felt like a whole complete arc. Even knowing there was more to come, and even being desperate to read more, you can definitely read Volume 1 without worrying about being left with cliffhangers and unfinished story lines. I have a new favourite author in SJ Whitby for sure, and knowing that there’s a third volume coming in December and two more next year has me giddy.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,050 reviews21 followers
September 20, 2021
Ahhhh I loved this superhero book so much! It is so funny and well-written! Dylan is such an interesting and unique character and I absolutely love her narration! And the whole crew! The found family! My tiny little queer heart cannot handle this book! I can't wait to read the rest.

All of the characters are so amazing and I love them. I need all good things to come to them in the future books. I need them to continue saving the day and being absolutely amazing just like they are in this one. So SO good.

Content Warnings
Graphic: Blood, Transphobia, Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Mental illness, and Violence
Moderate: Sexual assault, Sexual harassment, Self harm, Bullying, and Racism
Minor: Suicidal thoughts and Car accident
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
639 reviews145 followers
June 29, 2020
I am obsessed with this!! This was very much the girl gang vibe of Birds of Prey meets X-Men, but only after Deadpool got a hold of them. It is a laugh-out-loud funny story that is so much fun to read from start to finish.

It is super diverse in terms of queer representation, and the girls in this will imprint themselves in your heart whether you want them to or not. *whispers* they're that persuasive. The superpowers they get are just so unique, but what makes them so entertaining is how they are used. I bow down to the author and their excellent mind, and look forward to the sequel!
Profile Image for Sarah.
158 reviews
June 27, 2020
Cute Mutants has SO much voice, it is truly a delight to read. Add in the thoughtful queer rep, mental health rep, effortless diversity, and a wonderful found family/squad and you have something special. Definitely a stand-out favorite of 2020 💕
Profile Image for theresa.
302 reviews4,374 followers
November 14, 2020
X-men superfan Dylan Taylor has suddenly got super powers. And sure, talking to objects isn’t exactly X-men material but it’s still pretty cool, even if her pillow is overly invested in her love life. After discovering that she’s not alone in her newfound powers, Dylan decides to unite the others and live out her superhero dreams. And what does every superhero need, even the most unconventional sort? A good villain. Someone’s creating earthquakes around the city and it’s up to Dylan, her gang of teenage misfits and her sentient baseball bat to stop them.

This book sounded right up my alley so I was delighted when the author offered to send me a digital copy. I loved the comic book feel and the idea of useless (but not really?) powers, teen drama and friendship and SO MUCH queer rep! Although, unfortunately, this book did fall a little flat for me.

This book was a fun, quick and easy read. I picked it up for a weekend readathon because it just seemed perfectly bingeable and that’s exactly what it is. Cute Mutants is like a comic book in novel form and full of the same humour, pacing and superhero action. SJ Whitby has managed to combine a premise done a thousand times before - the main character suddenly develops superpowers and must team up with a group of misfits to save the day - with really unique powers, teen angst and a diverse cast of characters into a truly original book and good start to a series. I really loved the casual LGBTQ+ rep in this book - so many (all?) of the main characters were part of the community and so many identities were represented. I particularly loved Dylan’s Pear - her non binary parent, I just thought Pear was the cutest name and loved how supportive they were and seeing queer parents always makes me soft.

However, I did struggle with several aspects of this book. The writing and narrative styles were a lot to adjust to and I found myself overwhelmed after the first chapter. It did get easier to read as the book went on but I found the stream of consciousness narration annoying at times and it was full (like at least one on every page) of pop culture references that I found a bit cringey and I worry will lead the book to not age well. I also found some of the drama between the characters repetitive and unnecessary and that it detracted from the story and the romance unconvincing. I didn’t connect much with the characters in this volume but I hope that the sequels will bring more opportunity for that.

Overall, I loved the premise of this book but struggled with the execution. A lot of the key elements of this book weren’t to my taste which unfortunately meant that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. However, it was a good start to what appears to be a unique and diverse series and I am excited to see where the Cute Mutants take us next.

I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

*Thank you to the author for sending me a copy, this hasn't affected my review and all opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for kory..
1,058 reviews117 followers
February 13, 2022
disaster queers sort of kind of saving the world, what’s not to love

content/trigger warnings; ableism, earthquake, transphobia (on page and recounted), kissing, bullying, gendered slur, social and generalized anxiety, racism, violence, f slur, sexual assault recounted, d slur, slut shaming, panphobia, acephobia, blood, self-harm, death, hospital, injury, gore, dismemberment, misogyny,

rep; dylan (mc) is pansexual, genderqueer (not specified), and has social anxiety. lou (li) is transgender. dani (li) is lesbian and korean. alyse (sc) is bisexual and pasifika. bianca is queer (not specified). emma (sc) is demisexual and half-chinese. ness (sc) is biromantic, asexual, and nonbinary (they/them pronouns).

— team of queer superheroes who are kind of fucking chaotic disasters and don’t know what the fuck they’re doing but hey at least they’re trying
— casually queer as fuck (in the “everyone’s queer because lots of people are queer actually and we tend to find each other, instead of being one lone queer who barely speaks of queerness in a group of nonqueers” way)
— the importance of and focus on friendship!!!!! we love to see it!!!!
— social anxiety rep!!! (pansexual rep and social anxiety rep in the same character!!!!! i’m living!!!)
— angry main character who is desperate to belong
— super supportive and charming friend group
— powers that are really random and seemingly useless but kind of cool and unique
— genuinely funny and sweet and i don’t have the time to be emo over pillows and bats
— lots of comic, buffy, and gilmore girls references
— the writing style is what i can best describe as “internet-casual”

as always, pan quote: “pansexual.” / “he thinks I like girls, when as far as I’m concerned, I like people.” / “You’re pan, right?” “Maybe. I don’t really worry about labels. Like I don’t feel like I’m really a girl, but I don’t know what I am instead. My body doesn’t feel right, and if I could be an alien or a ray of light, I probably would. But I don’t know. I feel like I’m just me.”

notes: dylan says she doesn’t know if she can claim queer, and bianca is like “you’re dating a trans guy” and “like, you’re pan, right?”. dylan mentioned being pansexual earlier in the book, so bianca could be referring to that, not just making that assumption because her boyfriend is trans. but idk. it still kind of made me pause.

the way lou treated dylan and kind of took out his internalized transphobia out on her and had some toxic jealously and paranoia wasn’t really dealt with in a way that i think it should have been. it was very quickly resolved for the sake of the plot. and the dylan/dani thing was underdeveloped as hell and i don’t buy it. i don’t like the use of “baby gay” either.
Profile Image for Leta Patton.
34 reviews10 followers
September 3, 2020
This book.


I feel like I need to preface this with stories set in contemporary times with contemporary locations are not my usual go-to. Nor are books about people with superpowers. But OH BOY did I love this book.

First, I absolutely love the way it was written. The voice is SO unique and distinct and fresh. I was laughing out loud from page one and didn't stop the entire book. Something about the author's writing just draws you in and you find yourself reading for two hours straight without even realizing time has passed. It's clean, pretty, easy to follow, and EXTREMELY clever.

And the characters!! Dylan has to be one of my all time favorite protagonists. I connected with her journey so much and found myself rooting for her and wanting her to succeed SO BAD. I was so invested in everything she was doing, and I really appreciated that she had very obvious and natural flaws that she needed to learn from and grew a lot as the book progressed. She was an extremely believable protagonist and that made me like her even more.

Aside from the main character, I loved every single other character as well. From shy Lou to fierce and beautiful Dani to kind and encouraging Alyse, I was invested in EVERYONE'S lives and it's so rare for me to read a book where I'm rooting for EVERYONE. I even became attached inanimate objects!!!

The friendships were phenomenal, the romantic relationships were fantastic (omg the end kiss AHHH) and the story in general was so incredibly heartwarming. I was smiling throughout and laughing and making giddy faces at my book because I loved it so much.

I can't wait to follow this amazing group of queer kids through all the journeys they will take in subsequent books!! I would follow these kids to the ends of the earth (though tbh they would probably be annoyed by me because they are SO MUCH cooler than I am)

This is an ABSOLUTE must read.
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,873 reviews694 followers
October 23, 2021
I've seen so many raving reviews of this series and it intimidated me a little, so I put off starting it for a while. This was exactly as fun and queer as I was hoping, though, and I loved all the X-Men references!
Profile Image for Melancholic Blithe ⚡.
213 reviews37 followers
December 15, 2020
There's always an uncertainty for me while writing reviews because I always start with squealing about how amazing the book is and all. And frankly, for this particular book I am all squeals. To say that this book was amazing is so underrated because it was so much more. I mean what do I need more than an extremely queer read with an amazing diverse rep which is cute, fluffy and deadly, action-packed at the same time? The next installment, of course!

To start with this book, I really loved how the book was unapologetically diverse and made sure that it didn't seem as if it was a forced representation. We meet Dylan who is super awkward and would love to tape her mouth at any chance of conversation. She discovers that she can somehow converse with objects after kissing Emma at Emma's birthday party because of a game app. Through a chance encounter with Alyse in a bathroom who was able to change her appearance based on how she was feeling, Dylan realizes that she might not be the only person with mutant powers. Growing up with X-men as her safe haven, Dylan is super excited about the prospect of having a mutant team of her own. Together Alyse and Dylan find other who have mutants power, which includes Dani and Bianca. Dylan wants nothing more than to gather all these people in a team and make sure that a person who is quaking stuff is dealt with. Dani isn't really keen on this plan and openly says she won't be a part of it. Lou, Dylan's boyfriend, isn't really keen with this plan too.

Aahh, well it isn't really that easy for me to summarize this book but here I go. I honestly loved all the five characters I mentioned above except of course the quaking person. I'll start with saying how come the objects were so freaking smart?? This whole concept of talking to objects is super creepy for Dylan but I love the way she still goes with it. Lou, being a trans boy, is forced to go to an all-girls school because of his unsupportive parents. Throughout the book his struggle in accepting himself and deal with his parents and general transphobia is reflected.
I liked how in some or the other way the insecurities of all characters was shown so naturally. Pear (Dylan's parent) and Dylan's relationship was soo goofy and I loved reading about it soo much. Pear or Ness understood Dylan really well and they made sure to deal with Dylan's social anxiety and insecurities in a positive way. Coming onto other aspects that the book dealt with, there was a found family of misfits that we see in the end. And oh, that was the best aspect honestly. All the characters are soo diverse, there's possibly next to no commonness that you can overtly find between the characters but still they make so much sense together.

Throughout the book we see that the characters try to pinpoint where and how do they belong in the group and in the society. They are questioning their sexualities and gender identity and their interests. There are people who know what they want to do later in life, like Dani and Emma, and others who have no clue, like Dylan. I liked how the characters were so creative, like Lou who was a really good cartoon artist. Furthermore, there's dealings with homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexual assault, troubled past and so much more in the book. It's surprising how all of this was mentioned and showed in the book but it still somehow didn't seem heavy.

Apart from all this, there was the whole concept of relationships that was handled so well! I mean there was this whole instance of Lou being extremely jealous and frankly a d*ck sometimes. We had Dani's ex who gave a hard to to her constantly and then there was the relationship between Bianca and her girlfriend which was kind of different? I mean I still haven't formed an opinion there but alright. The negative and ugly sides of a relationship was highlighted but at the same time the beautiful sides were highlighted too, like Ness and Sarah.

So to conclude, go pick up this book ASAP because it is just too good to miss out on. It does contain lots of slang which some people might not appreciate and lots of references to X-men (there is a guide sort of thing at the end) which might be difficult for people to catch up on if they haven't read it before but I assure you it is SUPER AMAZING!

REP: Pansexual, Grey-ace, Demisexual, Lesbian, Bi-romantic, Trans, Genderqueer, Kiwi-Chinese, Korean, Pasifika, Non-binary...
Trigger/Content Warning: Homophobia, Panphobia, Transphobia, Racism, Sexual Assault (forced kissing), Death, Violence, Hate Crime, Mention of Divorce and troubled past, Bullying, Earthquake, Blood, Deadnaming, Language.

I was provided a review copy for a book tour by Caffeine Book Tours and the Author and this is my honest review.

Profile Image for T.A..
Author 13 books65 followers
December 17, 2020
Disclaimer: I've never been a huge fan of superhero stories. Sure, they're fun, and it's always entertaining to see some flashy action scenes in a movie on the big screen. But unless there's something wildly different and compelling about a superhero story, I just don't care all that much.

Enter the Cute Mutants - a group of ordinary teenagers who suddenly develop superpowers after kissing a girl at a party. And oh my gosh, these kids. These kids have latched onto my soul and carved out a space all their own in my heart. I love them all so much. The star of the show is definitely our woefully socially-oblivious protagonist Dylan, whose first-person narration really set this story apart for me. You want to talk about a POV character with a strong voice, look no further. This character has the strongest, most personal voice, and it carries throughout the story in a way that makes it feel honest and humorous and full of heart. I saw so many of my own teenage fears about fitting in reflected in Dylan's character and I just loved her so, so much. The secondary characters all felt very well-developed and believable as well. Cinnamon-roll Alyse, emotional support himbo Bianca, insecure but endearing Lou, ice-queen Dani, whip-smart Emma - every single one of the Cute Mutants is a valuable piece of the story and the team, and I very much look forward to getting to know them better as the series continues.

The plot was fairly predicable superhero fare in a lot of ways, but I think what set this apart for me was the fact that we got to see the characters make some very real, human, teenager mistakes as they're stumbling their way through this adjustment to their new powers. And then those mistakes have consequences (gasp!) that are all explored in a very realistic and emotionally impactful way. No one here is a totally cool and competent hero right from the start, and I loved seeing that. Everyone's superhero abilities were really interesting as well. They're awesome abilities, but they each come with some pretty significant trade-offs that raised the stakes of the story and added to the conflict. There's a nice little reveal in the epilogue that sets us up for Volume 2 nicely, and I'm hoping we'll get to dive into everyone's powers a little more and understand how they got them and why.

Also, can we talk about this cover for a minute? How amazing is that artwork? This was another one of those books that I picked up 95% based on the cover. Sometimes that works out for me and sometimes it doesn't, but in this case, the story inside is just as gorgeous as the cover. The covers for the rest of the already-published books in the series are fantastic as well and I'm super excited to read them. One minor thing I did notice when I was reading the eBook (Kindle) was that some of the text message exchanges in the book were blocked out for me with ??? symbols. I'm assuming there were maybe emojis there or something that didn't translate to the eBook version of the story, and it was mildly annoying to miss out on some of that context. But not a big deal overall, and I still enjoyed the story very much.

If you like superheroes or if you just want to read about a bunch of queer kids blundering their way through using their new powers to stick up for what's right, this is definitely the book for you. I loved it and I will definitely be continuing with the series.
Profile Image for Evidently Bookish.
51 reviews15 followers
December 11, 2020
actual rating: 3.75 rounded up to a 4

quick lil after finishing review:

this book was so much fun. it's like a completely nerded-out version of Misfits. i loved the queer found family aspect, it made me soft. i loved a) the fact that this group of girls and a trans boy all got their powers from kissing a girl [not a spoiler, it's on the back of the book lol] and b) Dylan's power was just so interesting -- i've not read or seen anything like it before. SJ has me out here caring way too much about objects like a bat *ahem ahem* if u know u know

i don't have a huge amount of knowledge about the x-men canon which is referenced often in the book but apart from a few missed opportunities, it didn't really affect my reading experience -- i think this would be super rewarding if you *are* really invested in all of that background!

there were some flaws that had my rating fluctuating up and down throughout the book. namely the writing style; it's chock-full of pop culture references to the point where it's almost like purple prose. very Lorelai Gilmore-esque. the streams of these references with indulgent inner monologuing made it a bit of chore to read at times. *BUT* on the other hand, there's some incredibly well written passages in this book -- i'd read parts and turn around going "this is some GOOD shit"

in summary, CUTE MUTANTS is just pure fun. it's pure entertainment with a fantastically diverse cast of characters. i have no doubt that the books will continue to get better and i'm excited to see where the story goes.
Profile Image for Laura.
11 reviews
June 27, 2020
This is the found-family superhero book I've always wanted. The characters are smart, witty, vulnerable, and real. The superpowers themselves all have wonderfully unique twists to them, some of which had me laughing out loud. I'm so glad more books are coming in this series, because I want so much more of everything this book offers.
Profile Image for Elinor.
1,303 reviews32 followers
December 28, 2020
okay. that was awesome.
- queer queer oh so queer
- so very geeky as well
- so much fun
- action ! superpowers ! a team of misfits superheroes !
- a groupchat
- memes and gifs and soft bitches squad
- sapphics
- did i mention it was very queer ?
this is everything i need in this world.
1 review1 follower
June 27, 2020
This book owns my whole soul.

The cast of characters? Everything

The level of queerness? Off the damn charts

The chaos? Cannot be measured

Honestly, what else do you need in a book?
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
July 23, 2022
Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride will most likely be the cutest book I will read over this weekend. I absolutely adored each and every character. Not sure if I have a favorite right now but I do have my eyes on a few possibilities. Will definitely have to get the next book because I need to know what's going to happen next.
Profile Image for Melissa (thereaderandthechef).
532 reviews176 followers
November 19, 2020
*This review can also be found on The Reader and the Chef. Thanks to MTMC Tours & the author for the review copy. All thoughts are my own.*

Aaaaaah!!! All I want to do is fangirl about Cute Mutants?! This amazing superhero novel is fabulously queer and SO FUN. It follows Dylan who is self-proclaimed incarnation of the burning dumpster gif. We can assume that on the good days, she is this:

cute burning dumpster gif

but on the bad days, Dylan is pretty much this:

cute burning dumpster gif

But we love Dylan with her fantastic humor and obsession with all things geeky, particularly X-Men! And she dreams of being part of a superhero team with mutant powers, which accidentally comes true after she kisses Emma Hall whose kisses apparently give people powers??? And now Dylan, her boyfriend Lou, and a bunch of her classmates have mutant powers, and it’s Dylan’s mission to be part of a friendship circle that uses their powers for GOOD.

Cute Mutants Vol 1 is an excellent intro to this world and I absolutely loved all the characters! The super powers or abilities each character gets are strange but intriguing, like being able to talk to objects (Dylan’s), changing your appearance based on your mood, or channeling your fears into a black hole in which 3 shadow creatures feed on to do your bidding. These abilities in part reflect their host and I loved seeing each character coming into an understanding with the meaning behind their newfound powers. ♥

And if you are in search of a wonderfully diverse cast of queer superheroes, then you will find it here in Cute Mutants. We have trans & non-binary characters, as well as bisexual, lesbian, pansexual and ace rep. It’s pretty great and you are in for a treat!
Profile Image for E.M. Anderson.
Author 5 books125 followers
June 30, 2020

I adored this book. The voice was FANTASTIC - so humorous, but also sometimes it DESTROYED ME with feelings. I love the entire cast, especially even the prickly, difficult ones. Dylan was so well-written: characters who are down on themselves, especially in a first-person viewpoint, often start to feel whiny and annoying, like "okay I GET IT, you suck and woe is you," but I really sympathized with and related to Dylan's self-esteem issues.

The queer rep is A+. The cast is diverse. The humor is top-notch. The various inanimate-but-sentient objects were unexpected and awesome.

And I love, love the way the author forces the characters to struggle with questions of morality. Often, in the superhero genre, one of two things happens: either the hero kills the villain but it's fine because BOY WAS THAT VILLAIN VILLAINOUS, or the hero doesn't kill the villain but the villain conveniently dies anyway by, like, falling from a collapsing building, or maybe the hero tries to save the villain but the villain lets go out of sheer spite and dies anyway. Boom. Hero's heroic qualities 100% preserved, villain dead and unable to ever cause any harm again.

CM doesn't opt for an easy-out. The Cute Mutants are teenagers, which really makes the prospect of potentially killing someone - even a horrible villain - that much darker and more disturbing. There's a lot of argument back and forth as they struggle to determine whether or not it's acceptable to kill someone, even if that person is going to keep hurting people. I couldn't stop reading to see what conclusion they'd come to.

tl;dr A+ humor and strong voice balanced with dark themes and FEELINGs. It's seriously just really good, go preorder it.
4 reviews3 followers
June 28, 2020
There is so much to gush about with Cute Mutants Vol. 1. With a remarkably genuine voice and a unique spin on mutant powers, this is one book you do not want to sleep on.

The MC Dylan is a character you not only cheer for but connect with on a level that gets you laughing, crying and screaming alongside her and her band of Cute Mutants. Each member of the squad brings their own special something to the story that left me feeling nostalgic for the friendship epics often found in manga/anime like One Piece and Fairy Tale. And just like those stories, CM provides a wealth of opportunities to empathize with different coming-of-age scenarios — deciphering one’s sexuality, the complications of gender norms, juggling a changing identity with parental relationships, as well as tackling racism, classism, individualism, and the difference between right and wrong.

Whitby manages to present this host of coming-of-age conflicts in a package of snark, joy, empowerment and friendship. The central plot moves the story’s pacing along while inter-personal discoveries of new budding friendships and partnerships ground the reader in the characters’ experiences. And while some themes surrounding identity carry a ton of weight for those of us still pushing through these lessons ourselves (fellow disaster bi), Whitby’s humor provides a safe (and super fun) space to tackle these larger issues.

If you’re looking for a LGBTQ+ friendly adventure with nods to geek culture and so many ships you’d think you were in a naval harbor, do yourself a favor and pick up Cute Mutants Vol. 1: Mutant Pride. It’s delightful in every sense of the word.
3 reviews2 followers
August 23, 2020
Absolutely adored this. Couldn't put it down from start to finish. I wish I had this book when I was a teenager! SJ Whitby managed to reach inside my chest and soften my hard little heart into something melted and gooey from page one to the end.
I'm already counting down the days until they release book two!
Profile Image for John Kerry.
602 reviews274 followers
November 22, 2020
First off with my reviews I like to take a moment to say one or two things about the cover or design of the book, I have the cover as shown above. I absolutely love it, I think the light colours represent the feel of the book and the setting within and it’s just so pretty.

Cute Mutants Vol 1 Mutant Pride by S J Whitby was such an awesome first installation to The cute Mutant series. I absolutely loved being introduced to new characters. Words cannot describe just how amazing and breathtaking this book was.One of the things that Whitby is best at is making not only her characters feel but her readers gulp down, as well. S J Whitby’s world building is outstandingly extensive.

To conclude my review, which your probably bored of reading by now… I adored this book. I think it’s absolutely amazing and there is so much packed within, I appreciate the level of fun and excitement that is shown, the magical elements. It’s a very detailed world, but as long as you stick it out you will soon understand it and fall in love. I also really loved how unique the book was not only through its plot and its diverse characters , it allows the opportunity to get into the head of all the characters as they attempt to pull of this plan. I would whole heartedly give this 4 stars.

 I have the next book next to me now waiting to be picked up after I end this.

Highly Recommended!!
Profile Image for Andy Perez.
3 reviews4 followers
August 26, 2020
I don't often write reviews. I find that other people have said what's needed to be said, so who cares what I'm saying. But this book right here? This book RIGHT HERE?!

I loved it. Adored it. Gobbled it up and then proceeded to flail about it.

Here's the thing: I don't care about superheroes. Marvel? Ugh. Spiderman? Only tolerated because he's from the greatest city in the universe and my hometown. RENEGADES, by one of my fave authors Marissa Meyer? No thanks.

But Cute Mutants stole my heart. I haven't enjoyed a book so thoroughly in nearly a year. I was smiling, laughing, and getting choked up all in a span of the few hours it took me to speed through this. The characters are thoughtfully crafted, hilarious, flawed, and PERFECT.

This book just invokes a warm, fuzzy feeling you can only get after eating a perfectly gooey chocolate chip cookie, or sitting by the fire reading a book, or listening to rain as it hits your window on a gloomy day while you're snuggling with your dog wrapped in a cozy sweater.

Whether you love or hate superheroes, I promise you will love this book. If you don't, I'll buy you a cookie*.

*I will not buy you a cookie what do you think this is?
Profile Image for nanda.
3 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2020
First things first... where do I sign to become a Cute Mutant!?

I've never really been a sci-fi, hero-loving girl, mostly I read stories about angels and demons, but this amazing story may have enlightened me. It is the most fun and easy-going story, yet filled with raw feelings that reach beyond the paper (or screen lol).

S.J. really did went all out into making the most relatable and loving group of little mutants. Thanks to Dylan's strong and flowing narrative you're hooked with her feelings from the very beginning, understanding and standing on her shoes with wicked accuracy. From her awakwardness, to her fear of putting herself out there, to understanding the depths of her sexuality and identity.

And don't get me started on the powers! I want to keep it spoiler-free, so I won't list them here, but their originality left me intrigued and in a daze. Even abilities that are seen in everyday tv have their own personal twist that simply makes the whole experience and story much more interesting.

For now, simply know that once you enter this world of badass queers, you are in for a mighty and fun ride! Can't wait for the second volumn to come out :)
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