Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right? After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City's mightiest hero (and Nick's biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he'll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
Ugh. "The Extraordinaries" is one of my most disappointing 2020 reads. Might have something to do with the fact that I was so excited to read it after reading the first chapter preview. Mostly has to do with the extraordinarily bad timing of this book's release. It has to do with
Nick was a sweet if clueless sometimes teenage boy with a great cast of friends. I didn't know whether to root for him or not in his quest to gain super
TJ Klune is an author to watch for sure!
Overall, it was a funny, lighthearted and unapologetically queer book!
Highly recommended for a fun read!
Thank You to NetGalley and
This is the first book of TJ Klune that I read, and if I remember correctly, this is his first YA release - he did a good job! The Extraordinaries has a little bit of everything. LGBTQ characters, including a badass lesbian couple, we have superheroes, ADHD representation, and well rounded, unique characters.
I loved the friend dynamic of Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz. They're all there to support each other no matter the topic. Which is great, because some of the things that Nick did in the book annoyed me so much. Here his friends are doing everything they can to support him and he'd be very self-centered about it... even doing something that, in all honesty, I don't see anyone doing older than ten, much less sixteen, because of how stupid it was. He remained frustratingly oblivious on a lot of things and it goes from being realistic to just plain stupidity.
The reveal is hinted nearly all the way through the book and I guessed it for the most part, which is what I think Klune was trying to do. There are quite a few twists that I wasn't expecting so that made the novel exciting.
Overall, it was a good YA debut novel. I've already got the sequel on my lists to look out for.
*Thank you BookishFirst and Tor Teen for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
Nick is written amazingly as
Michael Lesley does an awesome job reading this book. I loved the different voices he did for each person. I think his voices made me laugh even harder. Everytime he talked for Owen I felt like he was trying to do a Christian Slater impersonation. So good.
I think everyone should read this book or at least listen to the audiobook!!!!!
Now, I love Klune's brand of cracky humor, and his books have a special place in my heart, so I can in no way be objective about this.
(And if I'm trying for honesty here, plot wise this isn't really all that original, and I did roll my eyes a couple of times, but the good still overshadowed the cliched. Also, there was enough self awareness for it not to get obnoxious.
Some of the characters write and read fanfiction. In fact, the author does a great job of melding ff.net and ao3 styles.
I'm actually looking forward to the next book in the series.
ETA: Just read through some of the other reviews. The novel does frame police in a very positive light. I agree. Some of the lines made me uncomfortable and were particularly tone-deaf in a book read in 2020. And yet. The novel is written from the POV of a white boy. His father is a cop and the chief of police is a close family friend; naturally, the kid is very pro-police. Nick is also completely oblivious to what is happening around him, and that can definitely include police brutality. Part of Nick's character arc is to begin to see nuances between good and evil. By the end, he's questioning what it means to be a hero as well as how heroes are constructed and portrayed in the media. In the next book, I hope that Nick will expand his new critical thinking skills to re-evaluate his hero-worship of the police. (The epilogue lays the groundwork for this future distrust of the police.)
Superhero teens with secret identities.
The story surrounds a cadre of likeable high school friends complete with LGBTQ romances.
One of the main characters also has ADHD.
There are lots of secondary characters whose sweet
First in a series.