While this is a fun YA book about superheroes and the people who date them, it also brings up some relevant points about obsessions with celebrities. Switch out the superheroes with movie stars or singers and some of the issues that come up in this book can easily be seen in today’s society.
Claire is a fangirl, no doubt about it. (She has good reason to be, up to a certain point.) She follows the Chicago branch of the Warrior Nation superhero team obsessively and keeps a journal with her WarNat notes on her person at all times. When we meet her, she’s trying to find the secret base to win a coveted internship with the superheroes. That’s been her dream almost her whole life – to work with Warrior Nation.
Bridgette is an artist who is dating the superhero Vaporizer. They were high school sweethearts before he turned to the hero life, and Bridgette loves him, but she’s not so sure she can handle being a superhero’s girlfriend anymore. He’s never around to support her, and his superhero life seems to come in front of his own, which includes her. Plus, she’s tired of getting kidnapped.
Claire knows how nasty the WarNat fanbase can be, because she’s a part of it. But when she starts getting involved with a new hero, she sees how fame can impact a relationship. And it’s not good. Fame can ruin a relationship very quickly.
Now, I’m in a Discord server where we talk about hypothetical situations some of our favorite superhero characters can get into, and it’s all well and good because we know the characters aren’t real and there’s no harm in it. But what if they were real people? If online forums were coming up with strange situations for real people to get into, and then having that become cannon in their heads? It happens all the time. There’s RPF (Real Person Fanfiction) out there about real people, not the characters they play. People obsess over their favorite celebrities and become possessive of them. (The K-Pop fandom will find you and wreck you.) That’s bad enough for the people themselves, but what about their non-celebrity friends and loved ones? To know that some rabid fangirl would happily rip your hair out because she feels like your boyfriend belongs to her, he just doesn’t know it yet because they’ve never met? To know that men are fantasizing about your girlfriend or sister, and maybe even drawing their fantasies for other people to see? (I mean, it’s probably not great for authors to see that happen to their characters either, but at least they aren’t real people.)
This is a fun look at the lesser-seen side of superheroes. There’s drama and romance and humor. (There’s a LGBTQ+ relationship, and it’s not an issue! I mean, there are issues in the relationship, but that’s not one of them!) There are situations that make you think, and there are times you think you know what’s going on, but you doubt yourself anyway, because maybe you’re wrong. And there are more realistic reactions to some of the situations than you typically see in either YA or superhero books. So if you like superheroes, give it a shot!
This fulfills the CBR12 Bingo square of “Violet”