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Junior Hero Blues

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s…well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibi
ebook, NineStar Edition
Published March 29th 2021 by NineStar Press (first published November 7th 2016)
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J.K. Pendragon I definitely have plans for one, but I can't promise it will be any time soon. Thanks for your question!…moreI definitely have plans for one, but I can't promise it will be any time soon. Thanks for your question!(less)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Perry Moore's Hero
Shelves: queer
Actual Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Junior Hero Blue introduces us to Javier, a lanky, gay teen and part-time super hero who struggles to survive high school as well as life and death fights with superheroes turned evil.

Kid turned superhero, trying to keep his double life secret while juggling his superhero responsibilities and everyday life - It's a well-tried story, but one that's still immensely popular. This book reminded me a lot of Perry Moore's novel Hero, which also features a gay protagonist
Shawna (SugoiShawn/SugoiReads)
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to review an advanced reader's copy of this book.

I struggled with how to rate this book. Everything about this book was nearly perfection (the characters, the plot, the superpowers), but I despised the writing style. The main character was supposed to be a 17 year old boy but instead it felt like I was reading about a 12 year old kid. The writing was very childish and I hate how the narrator kept addressing the audience and how the narrato
Ije the Devourer of Books

This was great fun!

I shall ignore the fact that the main character thinks 50 is 'old', because at 17 everyone over 25 is old. I can also ignore this because Junior Hero (Javier) is such an endearing character and this is a really great story.

It starts off quite simply with Javier otherwise known as 'Blue Spark'. He is a Junior Hero in the city of Liberty. Junior Heroes are young people who have discovered that they have special powers. They get to assist the Senior Heroes who act as the city gua
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*ARC received from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This was so much fun to read! Through its young narrator, whose voice is genuine and hilarious and oddly compelling, we get an inside look on the least glamorous side to being a superhero (or, rather, one in training, whose job seems to be the dirty work- while the actual, official superheroes are all about PR and giving orders, without getting their clothes too dirty themselves).

Javi's story is relatable and e
Lisa The Novel Approach
I’m always looking for new books in the LGBTQ+ YA space, so I was excited when I saw that Riptide Publishing was launching a new YA imprint. J.K. Pendragon’s Junior Hero Blues is one of Triton’s first titles, and if it’s a good representation of the quality we can expect from them, then I’m very optimistic about their future books.

First, a little cover love…I want to give a shout out to Michelle Fairbanks, whose work I haven’t seen before, and who absolutely nailed the cover. I love the color sc
Wendy F
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I was honestly really excited to read this book. I think I have a fascination with YA Superhero novels, as apparent by my love of Renegade X. I love how you can play with current events in a fantasy element, which I know you can do in most genre’s, but there’s something almost accurate when you play with the black and white world of heroes and villains.

Anyway, that concept plus the idea of an LGBT main character, is what drew me to Junior Hero Blues. Javi was an unpopular gay kid at his school,
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-e-things, queer, sff, lgbtq
This was a fun and entertaining YA superhero story. I quite liked it. It's very YA in tone (certainly older-kid-appropriate) and definitely more of an action story than a romance. I loved the diverse cast and it's cool to have a gay immigrant superhero story. ...more
Danii Allen
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, 2020-popsugar
Read as part of the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2020, to fill 14) A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name.

Oops, didn't exactly mean to read this all in one day, but sometimes these things just happen.

I really enjoyed this. I love that it started with the relationship, rather than culminating in it, because so much queer fiction is entirely about the gay guy getting the guy and when that's just the given first step, it leaves room for so much more, whilst still allowing there to be a
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc, genre-sff, genre-ya
Let’s see. Junior Hero Blues wasn’t a bad book but I wish it had been different in several aspects so I would have been able to enjoy it more.

My main issue—or we can call it a preference—is that there was way more superhero stuff going on than romance. If I had to say it in numbers, there’s maybe 25% romance and 75% superhero action. I generally do not like to read too many action scenes because I think they work better in a movie than a book, so I was bored and skimmed several scenes in the fir
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally a believable, entertaining, not-too-cliche superhero book! And with a gay main character! If you like the new Ms. Marvel comics then you'll like this. Like Kamala Khan, Javier Medina deals with balancing family, school, romance, and being a new superhero called Blue Spark.

Javier is hands down the best thing about this book. He's really, really funny, witty, self-deprecating, down to earth, selfish at times, gets scared, loyal, and feels like a real person. He's gay, but it's not the thin
It's nice to relate to the superhero that, in his secret identity, is all awkward and socially backward. Clark Kent has nothing on Javier Medina. (Plus, we all know Clark's just an act.)

Javier is a great character. And this book was well-written. In an interesting foreshadowing hitting you over the head kind of way. But it was a great story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Riptide Publishing for a copy in return for an honest review.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good, adorable and fun read. MM teenage romance between hero and villain. Pretty great story. Lovable characters. Quite exciting plots. I enjoyed Javier and Rick a lot. Hope to see the sequel soon.

4.5 Stars
Since the author decided to introduce his readers to a story already in progress, it’s only fair for me to do the same in this review. That (figurative) “chip on his shoulder” that they mention in the book blurb has migrated a bit further south and is implanted somewhat deeper. And that’s just one of Javier’s problems.

All of the heroes in the Legion of Liberty, (both full time and junior grade) have been tagged with chips that allow for GPS location if you’ve got the right secret software. Probl
Veronica of V's Reads
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Javier is a high schooler who is out as gay, and loved by his parents who are immigrants from Spain and work hard for their very modest life in Liberty City. About six months back Javier had a freak accident and his body grafted with the energy of an alien life form that had been a Legion hero but was slain in the moments before. Now Javier is more than the weird kid who couldn’t speak English in primary school. He’s now a Junior Hero working for the Legion of Liberty. And, that’s an ac
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was a fun read. If you read YA, and enjoy the fantasy world of superheroes and crime fighters then you're going to enjoy "Junior Hero Blues" by J.K. Pendragon.

It took me a few pages to get used to the writing style. That narrative was great though. Javier's voice was quirky, funny and endearing. It read to me a bit like a film ... the way a character will start off at the beginning of a film talking to the audience. I settled into the style and came to really enjoy Javier's wit and his
Wart Hill
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, arc-2021
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

About halfway through this book, I was feeling a little disappointed. I'd been so excited for it, so hyped, and I saw what I thought was a twist coming from a mile away and I was like well that's kind of disappointing...

But then the main character addressed the twist straight on, commenting on how yeah sure maybe he should've realized it earlier but he was a little distracted and I was like okay, okay, this is not what I was ex
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fledgeling superhero falling for a brainwashed villain? Rick asks Javier out on a date. They get along until they find out each other's secret identity. Javier then works on saving Rick. There is a somewhat happy ending. I enjoyed the flow of the story. The author has done a splendid job to ensure that there aren't any dull moments in the story. I loved the characters ( main & supporting characters). They were all lovely. I liked how the author made sure that the MC did not get what he wanted ...more
Mar 19, 2021 rated it liked it
The idea of a teenage superhero working for a superhero company was really interesting and came with all the usual tropes about having to hide his identity. I liked the character of Rick and Kendall was a great best friend character, I thought their personalities were really great and engaging. I thought the way we got the backstory bit by bit worked really well. I thought the action scenes with Jimmy Black were a bit cliché and the action felt a bit rushed. I didn't find Javier the most relatab ...more
I requested this book on NetGalley after I read the summary, which I thought bore resemblance to one I read last year. I wanted to find out first hand.
And while I wasn't wrong, and the plot isn't the newest thing on the block, Junior Hero Blues is still an entertaining read. The characters are developed, they're diverse and relatable, along with the amazing voice the author used - the narration is what kept me reading. The book is engaging, very fun.
Now excuse me, while I go obsess over J.K. Pen
Mar 28, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Junior Hero Blues in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not going to lie and pretend that this was an intellectual masterpiece, but it was still really fun. It's campy and cliché but superhero books are historically supposed to be that so I think J.K. Pendragon choose a genre that really supports their writing style. We've had so many cheesy straight superhero books so it was really fun to read such a campy queer one.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe even a bit more than 4 and maybe it even cured my slight reluctance regarding YA. Have to write a bit more as soon as I get to a proper keyboard because this is more than some super hero fun with awkwardness and teenage angst, with family solidarity and young love. It's also a tale about what's good even in the face of failure and too complicated decisons. ...more
Shelley Chastagner
4.5 stars for me. This was a wonderful YA novel. There is plenty of action and great characters. I loved that Javier and still kept his human frailties even with his super powers. I like that he kept trying, even when it seemed hopeless. Rick vs Jimmy black was a real Jekyll and Hyde character for me. I loved that his innate sense of good wins out.
All read
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was hoping for one more make out session in the end : p
Javi's and Rick's back and forth problems felt a little dragged out. And the romantic aspect between them coulda been handled better.
I liked that essentially the Organization was evil no doubt about it, but you had to question the individuals. It was p clear in this story, but how many victims were there still?
Estance DH
The characters were not enough fleshed out for my taste, I felt that a lot a heavy & complex questions posed in the book were not treated in enough details, without enough resolution leading to the main character defining his value...
A lot a good, but it felt unfinished to me...
Probably a "it's not me, it's you" issue - superheroes are just not my thing. The story zipped along at a fast pace, but I never really connected with the characters. ...more
I have an obsession with MM superhero & supervillain pairings so I knew I was gonna love this one.
I very much enjoyed it but well i do not give more than 3 stars to this kind of fiction, not usually.
Task: A romance set in the future - 4/5 stars
Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
I received this book for review from NetGalley, and just let me say, I was so excited when this was approved. It breaks the mold from the traditional superhero story, and gives readers a different type of hero to look up to, which is especially fantastic for its targeted audience. The voice is remarkable, and the action was paced well throughout this book, making this a highly entertaining read.

Javier Medina is a Junior Hero in Liberty City, and he's still trying to figure out how to navigate fr
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Meh. I really enjoy super hero books but this one may just be a tad bit immature for me.
I have a love hate relationship with YA books.
Id give this one to my 13 year to read so its way out of my reading range.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #121 Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon 1 2 Nov 04, 2016 12:45AM  

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J.K Pendragon is a Canadian author with a love of all things romantic and fantastical. They first came to the queer fiction community through m/m romance, but soon began to branch off into writing all kinds of queer fiction. As a bisexual and genderqueer person, J.K. is dedicated to producing diverse, entertaining fiction that showcases characters across the rainbow spectrum, and provides queer ch ...more

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