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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Andover...

where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated.

Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship only it turns out to be for the town's most heinous supervillain.

On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there's the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious "M", who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

©2016 C.B. Lee (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Not Your Sidekick

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best book I've ever read, amazing narration

trans girl here, and this story has given me 18 years of extra life by being so cute, charming, awkward, badass, meaningful, and just unafraid to say exactly what it wants to say. I highly recommend this to anyone in minority communities and tired of having to settle for seeing themselves only vaguely reflected in popular media, and especially to anyone in the lgbt community who's tired of having to face constant homophobia, transphobia, and other general bigotry in the stories our community tells. Of course telling stories of that pain is important, but this book manages to be authentic with its lgbt characters without containing potentially traumatic content that far too many of have faced irl, which is really nice when said content can send you into a depressive episode or is otherwise difficult to experience in media that contains it.

I'm so, so excited to continue this story in the next books!

4 people found this helpful

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Fun super hero romp

Sci fi with lgbt representation. Love it, it's very sweet and good. I love the characters and the tropes are very entertaining

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Listen

I was all in on this one. The pain of not living up to the family business of super powers. Definitely a hidden gem

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great concept, ending was...okay

Overall, I really liked this book. I loved how it served all sorts of representation without feeling forced at all. I enjoyed the world building, and the way the world grew up around me.
The only reason this isn't a five star review, is the ending.
tbh, it feels like this book just sort of...stops. Nothing is resolved, and I feel like even though Bells has his own story, Jess' story deserved a better conclusion.

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amazing superhero story

this was an excellent superhero story about a young woman discovering and finding
confidence to be herself. there are a lot of little twists that play out very well.
The narrator can be quiet sometimes but this is only a problem if you're listening on speakers. I highly recommend only using headphones when listening to this book. I can't wait for part two!

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    3 out of 5 stars

YA superhero romance done right

The plot was all very obvious, even giving away most of it in the synopsis. I found myself constantly looking for the twist that would flip my planned plot line on its head, but it never came. Normally I'd be unhappy with this but the story was such a cute little adventure that I quite enjoyed it. I would compare this to rereading a favourite novel and seeing all the little hints you missed over the first time around. With the twists being so obviously telegraphed, I was able to enjoy the minor details the whole time.

The characters were also... cute. No one is amazingly unique, or perfectly fleshed out, but they're all fun and enjoyable. A few of the minor characters wound up seeming a bit flat, but even those were forgivable with the main two being so likeable.

I don't really want to pick at any one thing to improve the book since I think that altering it in any way might destroy the delicate balance it has struck with me.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was how it talked about sex and gender. Instead of being a defining characteristic about them it's usually just mentioned in passing and never a big deal. This is personally how I feel it should be treated and am happy whenever I notice it.

In the end I would recommend this story to any fans of young adult fiction or superheroes.

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Plot's predictable - til it twists! Fun & original

I enjoyed the first few chapters of the novel while feeling like I knew exactly where it was headed (the secret identities of some of the superpowered characters, for instance, can be seen a mile away)......but then, gradually, the plot steered itself in directions I had no idea were coming! A cute but simple but cute story suddenly became much more complex and interesting. The common-to-fiction powers of flight and super-strength, for instance, are joined by a couple powers I've never seen in superpower fiction. Characters who seemed straightforward reveal new layers. And the whole premise of supervillain vs. superhero battles being consumed as entertainment, which is interesting in its own right, becomes even more fascinating as more facts about those battles are revealed.
This novel a fun read (/listen) all the way through, but it also ends up exploring serious themes like racism, media consumption, what counts as criminal behavior, and government control.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love at front cover!

when I first saw the cover of the book I knew this would be an amazing book. The dynamics of each character stood out awesomely and I could relate alot to Jess, awesome book, awesome story, definitely a most read.

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Great story and great read

The main characters have a distinct sound which is nice. The story itself has some twists you'll see coming but you're supposed to. Feeling you knew those distracts from some other surprises later. Story is fun, switches well between serious and silly.

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I Was Too Harsh First Time Through

I was too critical of the book the first time, most of that is because I had just returned to reading/listening to published books and the one before this was my only reference point (that book I recognize now as a very long novel and not a good comparison because of the completely different genre). While there are many predictable points during it and some of the writing feels a bit shaky. I found myself enjoying it much more the second time. There are so many subtle hints about one particular thing that it's amazing that I missed it completely the first time through.

While I will admit the rest is predictable (as like with most comic book or superhero books and arcs), it is a good read and I think it will be one I will come back to again and again. As I wonder if there were other details that missed.

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 07-26-18

Heroes & villains-politics of an alternative world

So many superhero stories are coming out currently, for toddlers to primary schools, adults of course, and here's an example of an upper-teenage read. It's an 'alternative reality' scenario, where powers have developed in an X-Men-like way, with the history the heroes a minor plot threading through the story.

Before teenagers turn 17, any power you have will manifest. Jessica is desperate for any she may have to appear, being the daughter of two superheroes. But try as she might, none seem latent within her. In the shadow of a heroic sister as well as parents, Jessica scouts around for a job and finds a rather mysterious one that means she'll be working for a rather questionable boss. For her world also contains villains...

Add to the mix Jessica's crush on her co-worker and fellow high-school student, Abby, and we have a teen fledgling-relationship story mixed into a superhero/villain set-to.

I preferred the first half to the second, at least until near the end when the action picked up - I think the middle may have sagged a little as I was listening. The world of the heroes is a good one, lots of detail through Jessica's school reading assignments, a cute crush story with two girls (for a change) handled naturally (some lovely scenes as they work together on a school project with feelings under the surface), and a growing understanding in the reader of the situation with heroes and villains and how their world sees them.

Jessica is sympathetic, a teenager surrounded by powerful, confident family members and looking to stand out in her own right. The eventual plot is actually a good one, and my full attention returned when it picked up.

The narrator of the audiobook is appropriate enough, a bright and youthful female voice conveying Jessica's vulnerable but spirited persona. It wasn't a long read. I'm not sure I'll continue with the rest of the series, but I am glad I gave this a listen. Brought a new dimension to the superhero canon.

I would recommend this to ages 14 and above. The relationship content is fairly mature but there is nothing unsuitable graphic.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-21

good, but very predictable

If you want a solid story to relax to and enjoy, this is the perfect book, but if you are looking to be amazed with unexpected twist and turns, this is not it fam.

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  • C. Jones
  • 08-22-20

loved it, original, funny and well written.

It draws cleverly from all the established stereotypes of super hero stories and has a lot of fun coming up with a new and original twist.

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  • Foxy
  • 07-30-20

Good superhero story

I think this book would suit young adults, there was nothing graphical in it. If you like superheroes this is the book for you.

This story focused on the superhero story and Jessica’s crush on Abby, there was no coming to terms with sexuality which I think was nice for this story as it didn’t need it.

I enjoyed the narration, it was easy to follow.

You have to listen to book 2 to follow on the story as it didn’t finish in book 1.