Indigo's Reviews > Heroine Addiction

Heroine Addiction by Jennifer Matarese
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's review
Jun 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: comedy, girl-power, nookbook, romance, weird-science, zombies
Recommended for: fans of the superhero genre, fans of diversity in fiction
Read from June 08 to 10, 2011 — I own a copy

I am always gentler on first outings, and this is a first outing.

The two main complaints I have about the book?

Could've used a bit more firm editing hand for simple things. As mentioned in the status updates, the toilet tank is not a gross, nasty thing. The water in the tank goes into the bowl, and the bowl is where all the waste goes. Small detail, but jarring.

A little firmer editing hand for the narrative. Not the first person present tense. I'm used to first person narrative by now even if it has yet to be something I prefer; and the present tense is a bold choice. But the constant descriptions of Vera's bangs, Vera's curls, Vera's wiggle dresses, Vera's heels -- they grated a little because of how often they turned up.

The rest of my feelings on the book are all glowing praise.

Ms. Matarese takes superhero tropes, turns them sideways, upside-down, and inside out. Then she adds a dash of pop culture references, a clever pun or two, and mixes well with interesting characters on the ordinary and extraordinary side of the supheroes-and-normals divide.

I admit to having started out being disappointed because I thought Heroine Addiction was a book about superheroes. It's really not. It's really a book about a young woman deciding she is who she is, and she is who she wants to be. It's really a book about relationships, love, family, dysfunctional relationships, and friends. It just happens to take place in a world where there are superheroes.

The superhero tropes take the typical Love Triangle trope and tweak it hard. Then the fact that the other person in the triangle is same sex also tweaks the trope harder still. And the options that can be taken for handling one's disapproval of another person's lifestyle are of course wider in a world full of superhumans and superheroics.

Vera is funny and sarcastic, and despite the constant harping on her hair and sense of style, very sympathetic.

Hazel is somebody who is tough on the outside, soft on the inside.

Travis is hilarious, cowboy swagger covering a sharp mind and a sweet spirit.

Troy is oddly charming, despite how pathetic he is, all spindly and awkward, dropping pens and scribbling in his notebooks.u

Morris is charming, and I really, really wish we'd gotten to know more about him. We get hints: he's kind of Elfin, he wears a bowler, he's kind of snooty, and he's a genius that would make MacGyver look like he belongs in a Special Ed class.

Tea and Strumpets is a place I'd go to sit and eat, people watch and write.

Everett Noble is almost a mystery since we only get to hear what Vera tells us about him.

Ivy Noble is not hateable as I'd have expected her to be.

And the villain came as a surprise to me.

The diversity of race (there's a black coroner, a hijab-wearing Indian superheroine, and at least a couple Asian heroes) is marvelous, as is the diversity of lifestyle. It's handled respectfully and tastefully. Another bold choice is that Ms. Matarese does not shy away from the homophobic reactions of the people who are not on board.

So definitely worth a read, and I'd say I'd definitely love to see a little more in this 'verse again sometime soon.


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Reading Progress

06/08/2011 page 11
4.17% "Tea and Strumpets. I'm already amused."
06/09/2011 page 70
26.52% "Hm. Interesting read. Dysfunctional superhero family with scandalous secrets."
06/09/2011 page 81
30.68% "Badass person of color as a doctor. Awesome. Of course, with the heroine as being plus sized and otherwise unconventional this pleasant surprise isn't really surprising."
06/09/2011 page 132
50.0% "Could've used a teense better editing. A toilet tank's water isn't grody,murky and disgusting. It's clean."
06/10/2011 page 212
80.3% "Zombies. I like zombies but this was kinda outta left field. But the denouement is on the way and we've already got the "Morris is a mastermind" pinned down."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Robin I just finished this book & I completely agree. Editing is precisely what I hoped for when reading.

Robin Oh, and, yes, the toilet tank is not gross- that was annoying to me. But I really liked it otherwise & I was also surprised by the villain.

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