Hi everyone! Today I’m back to review the most recent novel of the master of ridiculous and somehow endearing shenanigans, and personally, outright my favorite author, Tj Klune! This time around, with his young adult debut, The Extraordinaries.
Title: The Extraordinaries
Author: Tj Klune
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Previous book: –
Following book: title yet to be announced
Genre: Romance novel, Science Fiction, Gay Fiction, Superhero fiction.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Nick Bell does not think highly of himself, he has ADHD which, even though his best friends Gibby, Jazz, and Seth keep telling him that doesn’t make him any lesser he still doubts sometimes.
Especially, with his dad, with who he carries a wonderful yet, sometimes strangled relationship ever since the death of his mother.
Nick Bell does not think highly of himself.
But that doesn’t keep him from trying to be something more.
After all, they live in Nova City, a place where two of the most famous Extraordinaries, people capable of feats that defy imagination, roam around, saving innocent people, and defeating the bad guys.
And when he bumps into Shadow Star, not only a hero but, the guy who Nick has a massive crush on, he decides that he will become an Extraordinary himself, to help him defeat Pyro Storm, Shadow Star’s greatest enemy.
But the truth is, that life is not black and white like Nick wants to believe…
Once again, Tj Klune delights us with his hilarious and goofy sense of humor as he simultaneously makes us cry at every given turn.
As always, this book carries heavy queer representation which, although it’s always remarkable and present in each and every one of Klune´s books, I think that this time it´s actually more important to highlight because it comes in a way that I had never read before in a YA book but that we certainly needed: Queer Superheroes.
Because not all strong men want to save their girlfriends from falling off a cliff or whatever ridiculous danger they might put themselves on, sometimes, they want to save their boyfriends too. (same goes for every possible gender and sexual orientation, just trying to prove a point here 🙂 ) And it was about time that something of the sort was shown in the industry, now more than ever.
Also, he also tackles mental health in a painfully and yet hopeful way with Nick’s ADHD. We see how he struggles hard, sometimes he thinks he´s not good enough, others, that he´s just going nuts. But there´s also hope, that he will overcome this, that he will become a hero regardless. That is a valuable lesson of this book, we all can be heroes, we just have to find our own way to make it work. We are all so different, and we should cherish it in every opportunity. There´s no such thing as being “invalid” or “damaged” we are what we are, with our weaknesses, as well as our virtues. We just have to learn to see them.
On the other hand, we also get to see his relationship with his father, which is much present in the book, and as a teenager myself, I think that I can say that I understand what it´s like. Both sides care too much and yet, they can’t get the other to understand how they feel. As a teen, it´s hard to get your parents o get you, to understand that we only mean well, even if we make mistakes and mess up most of the time. And yet, we, teens should learn to see and understand our parents too.
Because when it comes to parents and children, there are no heroes.
This book does well in reminding us of that.
Within the book, we also find it´s share of plot twists, although they were much too well foreshadowed not to get them before they happened.
However, as much as I enjoyed the book, there were a couple of things I didn’t like.
I know that all of Tj´s main characters are oblivious as hell by default, but I think that Nick Bell crossed that line; there were times that I just needed to put the book down because it was infuriating how he didn’t realize what was going on right in front of him. Usually, I roll on with the obliviousness because, in some way, I find it somehow credible that the character doesn´t realize outright what it´s happening but this time, I think it was stretched for far too long for its own good. He could´ve realized much sooner.
And finally, sometimes the characters were a little bit childish for their age (especially Nick) but I think that was well within their charm so I didn’t mind too much.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read, it’s definitely not my favorite book from Tj (I fear the lightning-struck heart stole the throne of my heart a long time ago) I do loved the book and overall, I think it was necessary. Someone needed to write a book like this and I’m glad that that someone was the great TJ Klune.
I have high hopes for the second installment, I really think that once the obliviousness has been wiped, I will love it completely.
Can´t wait to see what Tj Klune has in store for us next.
Hope you enjoyed the review and that you found it useful for your next read!
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