Cover Image: Super Adjacent

Super Adjacent

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Member Reviews

This was such a cute book! I loved the story line and I will for sure be reading it again!
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers and for providing me with an arc for an honest review.
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Whether you are a fan of Marvel, DC, or both...this is the novel that you'll definitely want to at least give a chance. It is great for superhero fans and even people who are not big on superheroes can appreciate this book.
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I first was intrigued by the cover when I saw this book. I'm a fan of superhero stories. I love reading comics and watching the big blockbuster movies that are inspired by them. Seeing that this book was all about superheroes just not the ones with the superpowers was what caught my eye.
When we think about superheroes we usually think about the heroic part of their lives not what happens when they get home to their partner. Super Adjacent is all about the other half of the dynamic duos and what they deal with on a day today. Can you imagine in the age of Twitter and Instagram what type of comments Lois Lane or Mary Jane Watson would get?
I really loved that Crystal Cestari focused on the characters of Claire and Bridgette instead of their superhero partners. The book is told from the girls' perspectives. It showed us an aspect that not a lot of comic book stories looked at yet. I could see this being done in comics too. They are at two very different places in their lives. Claire at the start of an internship at Warrior Nation and a relationship with the new warrior Girl Power. She is still in her honeymoon stage with it all but she'll learn soon that everything is not just the hero saves the day. As for Brigette, she has been in a long-lasting relationship with Warrior Nation's hero of the hour Vaporizer. She knows too well how it all goes, she'll always come in second. I thought they were both were very strong characters and so interesting to follow along on their journey. There's usually a voice I prefer in books with multiple points of views but I have to say in this one I enjoyed both equally. I was really invested in both their stories.
Super Adjacent was such a fun book. It had geeky references which you know I always love and had a ton of banter too. I really loved Crystal's writing style and now want to go back and read more of her books. The pacing of the story was just right very similar to a comic book in terms of action. I don't think I would change anything at all.
This book was such a surprise and I am so happy I got a chance to read it. If you like books like Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl, I think you would love this one as well.

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion, Netgalley and Fantastic Flying Book Club for providing an eArc in exchange for an honest review.
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The thing you need to understand going in to this is that Super Adjacent is not a superhero book.
I love superhero books. I devoured The Reckoners series, plodded through thousands of pages of Super Powereds, and reread Greg Rucka’s No Man’s Land every few years. I even put Super Adjacent on my “superhero” shelf on Goodreads.  But that’s not the core of this book.  This book is about relationships. (My brother has just completely written off this book.) 
Super Adjacent is an excellent, nuanced look at the complications of being in a relationship with someone who has a self-sacrificing job.  It’s a book about the stuff that arises when you begin to put a job you’ve always dreamed of ahead of the concerns of your mother, or prioritize seeing a new girlfriend over seeing your bestie.  The main focus is on two couples—one straight, older, and on the verge of breaking up, and the other late highs school/early college, f/f, and new.  The context is superheroes, but I could also see a version of this focusing instead on cops, firefighters, EMTs, or FBI agents (etc., etc.). 
I enjoyed this book, but it didn’t blow me out of the park. Again, I think I was looking for a good superhero fix, and this wasn’t it.  I enjoyed some parts: LGBT representation without it being a plot point, complex characterization of the main characters and their partners (e.g., a person isn’t evil just because they break up with you), and the major mystery was fun though I did see the twist coming.  I struggled with others—as other reviewers have mentioned, the summary notes the heroes are all kidnapped… but that happens about 60% of the way through the book.  Overall, pretty good but not what I thought it was going to be.
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This book was such a treat to read! It was thoroughly entertaining and did a fantastic job portraying many impactful messages. It sucked me in immediately. Even with the fantasy elements (I mean there are super heroes), I felt like I didn't need a ton of world building to visualize the setting since it was set in modern day Chicago.

Claire is 17 and trying to land an internship with Warrior Nation before her senior year in high school. When it finally happens, she's almost too starstruck to to function. Then there's Joy, the newest Warrior and Claire's accidental acquaintance. She's spent her entire life preparing for this. To be part of the team that supports the heroes. It's everything she's ever dreamed of. Until it isn't.... could her life dream go down in flames?

Bridgette is tired of being known as, and hated for being, the girlfriend of the city's most eligible super hero, Matt. She's constantly fighting to be her own woman only to have Matt's fame get in the way... again. She's finally had enough and calls it quits with Matt and Warrior Nation. But it seems that life has other plans for her. Bridgette and Claire find themselves as unlikely alliance (and friends), when all the Chicago chapter Warriors suddenly disappear.

SUPER ADJACENT it told through two female POVs, which can often be confusing, but I didn't find myself getting lost in who's voice I was reading. There were enough references to keep it straight. I felt like Crystal Cestari touched on so many current issues and I found the way she addressed them to be very meaningful. Parts of this story felt a little rushed or maybe even a little juvenile if that makes sense? Almost verging on a Middle Grade novel. With both queer and straight romance, lots of action scenes (because superheroes... DUH), and a good moral, everyone can find something to like about this story. Overall I enjoyed this read and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and quick read.
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I enjoyed Crystal Cestari's last book series so I was excited to see a new book coming out from her! This one is also set in Chicago and has some element of magic or paranormal. In this case, there are characters with superpowers that work for Warrior Nation; they're not in hiding or anything.

Claire has always wanted to work with them and finally lands her dream internship with the organization. A romance blooms between her and the newest recruit, Joy aka Girl Power. The other main character is Bridgette. She has spent years dating Vaporizer and playing second-fiddle to his superpowers, so she's ready to move on from being associated to the organization.

The story centers around these two girls as they have to rally together and save the city when all of the WarNat heroes go missing. This plot point really didn't begin until around the 50% mark so I personally am wondering why it was in the book synopsis? I kept waiting for it to happen in the earlier chapters. Either way, there was some nice buildup of the relationships (how Claire and Bridgette meet, how Claire and Joy spark a relationship, how Bridgette and Matt end their relationship, etc.) before the rest of the novel kicked off.

The ending genuinely surprised me! I got caught up in a red herring for sure, so I didn't see it coming. I also think - without spoiling anything - the very end of the book (where we leave the main characters) surprised me a bit as well. It felt realistic, smart, and right.

Like her Windy City series, I did think that these read a bit young for the age of the MC. I think they're incredibly wholesome and innocent, which is why her books have continued to remind me of Disney Channel shows or original movies. In other words, she's working with the right publisher!
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I picked up Super Adjacent because it reminded me of My Hero Academia, with a determined but non-super protagonist, desperate to get into the most renowned organization in the area. Here the similarities end, as this story focuses entirely on two protagonists who are not super.
This was a cute story, aimed at the younger YA audience, and a fresher take on super hero stories.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from The Fantastic Flying Book Club for a blog tour. All the following opinions are my own. 

Rating- 2.5-3 stars

I really loved the premise of this book- I mean, come on! A story about superheroes where we follow the sidekicks instead? And then we watch them save the day!!? IT WAS SO COOL to even think about! But, I think, this led to me having really high expectations and I was let down by what the book ended up delivering. 

We mainly follow two characters in this story- Claire, who is a young girl super obsessed with Warrior Nation which is basically like S.H.I.E.L.D. in this world, and Bridgette, who is a superhero's girlfriend and is sorta fed up with everything related to Warrior Nation. They were both fun characters in that cute-contemporaries-with-no-stakes kind of way, but also, they seemed to have really similar voices and that bugged me a bit. They are basically the two narrators of this story so the similarity in the voice of them both just confused the hell out of me! It didn't feel like having both perspectives was necessary throughout the story, too. It was all just a bit off, tbh. 

Another thing that bugged me was the pacing of the novel. Through the first 64% of the book, NOTHING HAPPENS! The plot only starts taking off in the last quarter, and i don't even feel like anything important happened in the first three-quarters of the book. This would really be totally justifiable if the character work was intricate, but it was pretty average for the most part, if not worse. People changed too easily, things either got conflicted or resolved too quickly. The villain, despite attempts at making him seem otherwise, did feel really cartoon-y to me. Also, you could totally predict the twist from the first moment the possibility of it was introduced (remember Megamind?), and it was extremely cheesy, too, lol. It was all a bit too television soap opera-y for my taste. 

And then there was the overwriting. There were just so many unnecessary similes, metaphors that weren't needed, descriptions that didn't need to be there! It really took me out of the story a lot, slowed me down and hindered my reading experience. Some of the descriptions were repeated way too often; Matt, for instance, was always described as having "mocha hair", "chocolate eyes" and "caramel skin". And it got tiring really quickly. Like, these descriptions showed up, like, three times in the SAME chapter. I wasn't mad at anything per se, in the book, mostly because everything was kind of funny, except this. xD THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO DESCRIBE BROWN, PEOPLE! JEEZ!

Anyway, all that aside, I still kinda enjoyed reading the book? A few parts were funny, the book was definitely really light and easy to read, and didn't seem to take itself too seriously, which was great. There was a cute queer relationship thrown in there which was actually cute, if a bit rushed at the beginning. It was overall not the worst. And I think it can be a really fun escape-read if you're willing to just shut your brain off for a while and not worry about anything and sorta coast through the book. What I'm saying is, I think this can be a great book for someone out there, for sure, but it just wasn't the best for me, is all!
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Claire is a lifelong WarNat fan who is looking to win an internship with the superhero team. Meanwhile Bridgette, tired of being neglected by her superhero boyfriend, is ready to leave him. After Claire starts dating Girl Power, she gets advice from Bridgette on dating a hero. The world of superheroes from the alternating viewpoints of two girls in relationships - one beginning, the other ending - with superheroes. There’s a contrast between Claire’s wide-eyed fangirl and Bridgette’s frustration with the disruptions in her life caused by her superhero boyfriend. Cestari deconstructs various superhero tropes like the significant other in distress in a light-hearted manner, yet underneath there is a serious message about finding a work-life balance. Claire’s realization about the realities of hero life and the dangers of dating a hero is a satisfying arc. Also Claire’s frustration over her boyfriend, Matt’s job as Vaporizer is relatable as she often feels she plays second fiddle to his superhero life. Overall this is a fun look at superheroes from the perspective of the non-superpowered people who live adjacent to them. Fans of C. B. Lee’s Sidekick Squad series would enjoy this book.

Thanks NetGalley for providing an ARC for this book.
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I am very much happy with this book. I adore the characters and the LGBT+ representation is amazing. I don't usually love, love those types of books. But this book kinda changed it. I cannot wait for everyone to read this book and get to know Claire, Joy, Bridgette and Matt (and also the entire Warrior Nations).

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy LGBT+ books and superheroes. 

(Full review on my blog soon...)
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My students are going to love this book, I look forward to putting it on my shelves.  The story has a good pace and keeps the reader entertained.
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There was much to like about this book, but there were also a few things that I really didn’t like. It was a fun and pretty fast read, with a lot of heart and two main characters that most people will be able to relate too.

What I Liked
The juxtaposition of the two narrator’s story lines. Claire is just beginning her relationship with a superhero and Bridgette is four years in and wondering if it is all worth it.
The budding romance between Claire and Joy. They were really sweet together and I was pulling for them to get together.
The fact that the story is told by two people who do not have super powers, but are affected by that world on a daily basis.
There were some pretty funny bits, like when they first reveal Joy’s superhero costume and Claire points out that she can’t actually fight in it. Or like when Bridgette talks about how she has lost count of the number of times she has been kidnapped.
The emotional toll of always being in the public’s eye through news and social media. I like that we got to see it from a super fan’s point of view (Claire) and through someone who constantly lives with the hate (Bridgette)
I also really liked the realistic nature of Bridgette’s and Matt’s relationship and that it didn’t get wrapped up with a happy ending, but rather a hopeful one.
What I didn’t like
The whole mystery of who was behind the kidnappings and other evil things that were happening in the background, just didn’t work for me. I knew who it was almost instantly even with all of the red herrings that kept getting tossed at the reader along the way.
I really did not like Joy’s super hero name: Girl Power. Really?! Anything else would have been better than that!
It wasn’t super important to the story, but it might have helped the plot a little bit if we had been given a bit more history on Warrior Nation, how the superheroes get their powers and how they get selected to be in Warrior Nations. It might have helped explain the villain’s motive a bit better.
Final Thoughts
This was a fun and light read. It is a more character driven story with the emphasis on what it was like being in a relationship with someone who is in the public eye almost constantly. The emphasis on friendship and family was also nice to see along with the romance and a little bit of adventure thrown in.
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This book was the addictive, geeky superhero book of my dreams! 

I had a little difficulty in the beginning with the perspectives, but once I got into it, I couldn't stop reading. Looking forward to sharing my full thoughts on my blog tour stop in March :)
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More of an LGBTQ+ romance/friendship than a superhero story. Still super cute and a quick read. Perfect for younger teens.
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Super Adjacent was so fun to read! I loved both of the main couples, and also the wlw representation! The super hero aspect of the story made it so fun, and the mystery surrounding the villain was fun, too. I liked the twists that were in the book as well. I would say the super hero world is a bit superficial, but all in all this was a really fun, really sweet read.
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Such a fun book! A wonderfully different look at the life of superheroes and those who love them. 

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a cute, light read. I was intrigued by the "real world" corporatized superheros--the concept sort of takes a backseat to the romances, which is OK. It's nice to see a cute fluffy f/f story, even if the characters also weren't super developed? Sometimes it is enough to read about one superhumanly strong girl kiss one girl of regular strength.
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Thank you Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really adored this book. I enjoy reading  about super hero stories and I absolutely loved this one. I enjoyed the world building and especially the characters. Not to mention the book cover is super cute. Thank you once again. I will be purchasing a few books for my school library so my students can enjoy this amazing story.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Disney Book Group, and Disney-Hyperion for allowing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari. This young adult book will be published on March 17, 2020.

Claire has wanted to work with superheroes ever since she and her mother were saved by one. Now she's landed a coveted summer internship working for Warrior Nation. She's determined to prove that she fits in and can make a difference even if she doesn't have super powers. Things get a little complicated though when she starts to fall for Joy, the newest addition the Chicago Warrior chapter. At the same time, Bridgette is dealing with her own complicated relationship. She's working on building a portfolio to prove to the dean of art school she's transferring to that she's capable and worthy of being part of their showcase. Her efforts are complicated by her long term boyfriend, Matt, who just happens to also be Vaporizer, one of Chicago's four superheroes. Bridgette and Claire end up meeting and Claire seek's out relationship and Warrior Nation advice leading Bridgette to become a kind of mentor. When all the heroes go missing, it's up to Claire and Bridgette to figure out what's really going on and save the ones they love. 

I enjoyed the fact that this book focused on the super adjacent, or the half of the super couple that doesn't have super powers. It looks at the pressures and struggles that they face. Though we don't have superheroes in our world, I still think there's a valuable lesson for the reader about how limelight/fame/popularity can affect loved ones. Even though Bridgette and Claire aren't heroes, they're directly affected by their loved ones' fame. While this book was enjoyable, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It's not quite a mystery, nor a romance, nor an adventure. It has elements of all three, but no single genre really seems to come out on top. I did like that the book had twists and turns and that they mystery plot line wasn't overly predictable. I also liked that the romance line didn't necessarily end happily-ever-after and that instead the relationships seemed more real, emotional, and complicated than they often do in YA romances. This book is a fun, light read and would be appropriate for middle school readers and up.
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3.25 / 5 stars

*Thank you Disney Book Group for providing me with this eARC through Netgalley. 

Imagine dating a superhero. You finally get to meet and date a beloved hero. You are living everyone’s fantasy. You would also always be protected… right?

Bridgette knows what it’s like to date a superhero. It is isn’t all fun and games. Bridgette understands the reality of coming second to the danger in the world. Bridgette craves some normality in her relationship.

Claire is a superhero fangirl. Claire can tell and explain everything that has to do with her beloved heroes. For Claire, working with and dating a superhero sounds like the ultimate experience.

I loved reading the two contrasting POVs of these characters. I was very interested by both characters for most of the novel. I will say that I did prefer Bridgette’s chapters over Claire’s. I appreciated how both sides are shown and explained. Claire is awed by potentially working with superheroes. Bridgette is tired of never being able to spend time with her superhero boyfriend. I found it very interesting to explore this sense of innocence versus experience through these characters.

I thought the relationships were okay in the novel. I did prefer Bridgette’s relationship. I appreciated all the growth in her relationship. 

The plot was fairly well-done. I did find the danger and action to be a little lacking. I would definitely classify this as a more character-driven book.

Overall, it was a good read but nothing extraordinary for me.
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