Original review here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=33932.
While I was expecting a story with teenage super heroes battling to save humanity from destruction (duh, I didn’t read the blurb), I got what could best be described as today’s formulaic YA storytelling that’s all the rage. Girl has crush on gorgeous guy; guy finally notices girl and asks girl out; girl remains aloof and naïve as guy takes advantage of her and ruins her reputation. Then, of course, everything goes downhill from there and girl’s absentee mom finally makes an appearance. Granted, Blaze
doesn’t follow the exact recipe for a YA novel with its humor, initially interesting protagonist, and a few great side characters, but it is pretty close. I’m more ashamed at reading this than other books I’ve hated, and can’t recommend it to anyone. The ideas within Blaze
can potentially influence an impressionable mind, and I pray to God no 16-17 year old thinks, “This is how to get a guy to like me,” or worse, this is appropriate behavior for a revenge plot after reading the book. The one positive I can possibly pull from this horrendous mess is the danger of taking a rumor and spreading it as truth. Initial Thoughts
Blaze seems like a cool character, but she’s a bit on the selfish side. She doesn’t listen to her younger brother who obviously knows more about her love interest than she does (hello, foreshadowing!), so there’s no surprise to find something is off with the handsome soccer stud, Mark. Oh No She Didn’t!
The comment she makes about the one black character, Stu, making Blaze feel “hip and urban” is off-putting. I contemplated quitting this novel and leaving it on that note. To say I was pissed off is putting it mildly. It may not seem like a big thing to most people, but it gives you the notion that the author was trying to make Blaze the all around exceptional character because she knows the one black guy at her school. What does that matter? And how the hell does having a black kid come to your house make you feel urban? It’s not only racially biased, it’s insulting!WTF Moment
One of the uneventful turning points in the novel is when Blaze is labeled a slut because of a sext that should never have happened. You feel Blaze’s shame and mortification but truth be told, she’s such an unconvincing character I didn’t care about her troubles after a while. I was hoping her getting a little bit of her own medicine would teach Blaze to be kinder to people, yet that doesn’t happen. In fact, nothing much does surrounding the events that befall Blaze, and I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit. Typically, the point of a character reaching a crisis is to teach them a lesson or show growth. I hope for too much.Realism Lost
Her mom’s reaction to finding out about Blaze’s predicament in is not realistic. Bad enough her mom’s absent because of work (it happens for single parents, I get that) but the woman doesn’t even have the mom vibe going on. She reads more like a cookie cutter for the typical Mary Sue protagonist. I would have liked it if Blaze’s mom raised some hell and demanded reparations. And I don’t understand the ease with which things are “resolved” here. Why doesn’t anything happen with respect to the picture of Blaze on the Internet? Her mom and principal both find out about it yet don’t do anything to stop the website it’s on or go after the perpetrator for putting it online in the first place. Then, there’s the moment Blaze realizes what’s being done to
her has been done by
her, yet she feels no remorse. Instead, she considers how bullying might make one contemplate suicide. Seriously!?! The book touches on a serious topic yet does nothing to show its repercussions. The author drops the ball here in a major way. I Almost Lost My Lunch
I’m totally disgusted by the turn of events in this novel (especially Blaze losing her virginity. I can’t even…). The story goes off on such a vile tangent that I again wanted to stop reading. Nothing is realistic nor does it make any sense. This is not a fantasy novel so a little realism is to be expected. It’s Not All Bad (ha, ha!)
Most of the characters are underdeveloped and lack substance. Now, while I enjoyed the scenes with Josh and his friends, I kept wondering why the author makes her secondary characters more interesting than her protagonist. They’re smarter too, but I would never believe a 13 year old boy could be more mature than a 17 year old girl. However, I’ve been proven wrong on this point. A few grammar errors stick out, but that’s to be expected with an advance copy.Not With A Ten-Foot Pole
Stay far away from this one, young people. Eighteen or older for Blaze
(if you dare), but I honestly urge you to keep this one on your Do Not Read shelf. It made me wince more than once, and roll my eyes enough to roll them out of my head. The first quarter is the most engaging part of the novel, other than the awesome cover. The ending is so far-fetched I wanted to scream. Did the author even research anything about Comic-Con? But it’s fiction, so what can you do? Not read it is my suggestion. Seriously, run away screaming. I was provided a copy of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks for an honest review.