Review: SUPERHEROES SUCK by Jamie Zakian

Young Adult Urban Fantasy

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Welcome to Gemini City, where super-battles disrupt rush hour, insurance claim adjusters rival rock stars, and villains stash the souls of murdered superheroes inside little children. It’s been ten years since Shay Sinclair’s parents were murdered by a super villain, leaving she and her sister to fend for themselves. Now at age sixteen, Shay has something that villain wants. Something he needs. After a chance encounter with a superhero in a stairwell, something awakens in Shay, something that could get her killed. Max Steel has spent the last ten years searching for one particular soul. Now, a coincidental run-in with Shay Sinclair leaves Max closer than he’s ever been to everything he’s ever wanted. But Max hits a brick wall when he goes after her. Unlike other girls her age, Shay isn’t into superheroes. So, if Max wants to win her over and be reunited with the soul inside her, he must get creative. He invites Shay into a seductive world of fame, glamour, luxury, and epic battles with villainous foes. Now that Shay’s in the mix with superheroes and crazed villains, everyone wants a piece of her. A super villain wants to devour her soul, a superhero wants to love her, and Shay just wants to go back to her normal life. It’s not like in the movies. In real life, superheroes suck.


I don’t read a lot of YA, because it has to be so dark as to really be written for adults before I can usually enjoy it. Ms. Zakian is the exception to that rule because she has the knack of writing teens as they really think. Something that is so rare in this industry. I *always* buy her books for my tween, who also loves them. And as usual, the author sucks you into her world easily with her stunning, brilliant prose. The characters are truly written how young adults think and respond to things, so I really appreciate seeing that in YA. Most YA lacks that, being written by, on average, 40 year olds who think completely differently from a teenager. Some of the choices Shay makes are exactly the choices I made as a kid, so to see that on page was pretty powerful for me. With the author’s signature fantastic pacing and well thought out, quirky sense of plot, this is definitely a must read if you like YA like it should be written and if you like Superheros. It’s a fantastic book. The author nails the confusion a teenager would feel given the circumstances in the book, and honestly? I really loved that she exposed the way kids who experience trauma tend to grow up a bit faster than adults around them expect or approve of.

Another win for Ms. Zakian.


READABILITY: 5/5 I read this one quickly, as I usually do with Ms. Zakian’s work. Her voice is phenomenal.

ARCS: 5/5 Well thought out plot that made sense in the world as it’s written.

CRAFT: 5/5 As usual with Ms. Zakian’s work, I can rarely find anything that needs editing.