Kacey's Reviews > Super Adjacent

Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari
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really liked it

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was not affected by the free copy.

I really like superhero stories, and this one is no different. Reading this reminded me a bit of comics in general, and a few titles specifically. I don't want to name them and accidentally spoil things for people. I think in this book, my main criticism is on the world-building. It is done pretty well, but it opens up a whole can of worms that isn't addressed. I get why these questions aren't answered based on our two perspectives, but the plot made me question it in the first place. For example, how do they decide which super-powered people can make the cut into the Warriors? Who came up with those rules in the first place and why? Why do there only seem to be chapters in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City? What about other large cities like Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas and so forth? If you have a super-power but don't make the cut, what happens if you decide to save the day anyway? Why can't the heroes decide on their own hero names and costumes? I could go on, but you get the idea.

I also feel like Claire's grail diary is a very dangerous item. She basically records everything she sees and hears about the heroes, and as far as I know the thing still exists at the end of the novel. Especially considering the villain conflict of this book, it just doesn't seem smart to have a comprehensive book detailing every hero's strength and weaknesses.

I'm on the fence about the villain and the motivations. It does feel understandable why everything happened, and maybe the whole point is how basic the motivations are for some of the characters' more morally ambiguous actions. Speaking of which, I did like that there's moral ambiguity, that not everyone does what they do purely to save lives and be a hero. But I also feel like the villain went to an extreme that felt a little off. But that's just my thought.

Most of this story was very nice and fun and didn't take itself too seriously. But at the same time, it did a fantastic job of showing all the grief and worry that comes from someone who loves a superhero. A lot of it was similar to someone who loves a civil servant like a police officer, firefighter, military person, etc. I really liked them showing the good and the bad of this line of work and the personal toll it can have on everyone involved. It also made me think of those who date celebrities-- the lack of privacy, the cameras everywhere and having to keep up a certain public face, the way fans talk about them on social media. Which I thought was also done well.

Surprisingly, I don't really have any complaints about the romance. Yes, the romances do play a part in the story, but didn't really feel annoying to me like in most YA. Both of our narrators go through believable ups and downs in their respective relationships. I liked both the sweeter moments and the ones with our narrators questioning what they want and how they can work on those goals. It's actually pretty great and refreshing that a YA romance is not as important as life goals.

This is just a great book illustrating the hardships of dating someone in the spotlight and with a dangerous job, and a call to be a hero of your own story.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 30, 2019 – Shelved
October 30, 2019 – Finished Reading

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