Not Your Sidekick – wow! Not your sidekick is a superhero-themed novel featuring a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese protagonist, a trans character and a F/F romance written by an own voices author. The description instantly captured my imagination. It’s a fun, gripping and empowering read – read on for my full review of this superhero story.
Not Your Sidekick Synopsis
Not Your Sidekick is set in Andover where superheroes are an actual thing. We follow Jessica Tran who has no superpowers despite having hero parents.
She decides to start an internship to help her get into college. However, it turns out it’s for a supervillain and is with her secret crush. What starts as something to get work experience uncovers a dangerous secret plot.
Jessica Tran was relatable and well developed. Her obsessing about whether her crush is into girls or not is very relatable. As a lesbian, I’ve been there many times. She gets a lot of development in the book and you really see her confidence grow. Her crush Abby Jones is confident, smart and incredibly supportive to Jessica. The romance between the two was absolutely adorable.
The world building
While it didn’t have the most extensive world-building – it’s still enjoyable. It doesn’t have an info dump at the start of the book as with many YA books. Instead, the author kept adding tantalising pieces of information about the world the book is set in. Character development is the focus in the book. All the characters were pretty well developed – even the side characters.
The plot definitely had some predictable elements but it felt intentional to me. It very much felt like a Sky High esque plot but instead, it let a bisexual, biracial girl take centre stage. The under-represented characters gave a fresh twist to some predictable superhero tropes and they truly shone.
The only issue I have with the plot is the pacing – some parts of the plot definitely felt rushed. However, overall the story was an enjoyable and refreshing spin on a superhero story.
This book deals with so many issues and still manages to be a fun, entertaining and lighthearted read. It deals with a bisexuality, use of pronouns and Jessica’s cultural identity. The book also deals with Jessica’s struggle feeling like a disappointment to her parents.
Overall, it was a fun, entertaining story and a refreshing take on the superhero genre. The romance is adorable and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
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