Review #224 [Blog Tour] // Not Your Backup (Sidekick Squad #3) – C.B. Lee

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Not Your Backup Book Cover.jpg

With more on her plate than the average high school senior, Emma Robledo does the most logical thing: drop out of school. Fighting the corrupt government with superpowered team is definitely overwhelming, especially for someone without powers.

Why this book?: I’ve really enjoyed the rest of the Sidekick Squad series, and I can’t wait for Emma’s side of the story to be brought to the forefront.

I would like to thank Interlude Press for sending me a copy in advance via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was a little worried about where I stood on this series, mainly because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the second bookNot Your Villain. I thought it was badly developed, and it let me down again and again. Considering Bells is probably my favorite character, it was tough for me. Except, Not Your Backup has definitely surpassed my expectations, and brought back everything that I loved about Not Your Sidekick, and more. NYB is as good, if not better, than the first installment in this series.

My biggest problem with NYV is the fact that the story didn’t start until about 40% of the book was past. In addition to that, every scene wasn’t really fit together well, and there seemed to be no development of the plot at all. NYB flips all of that, giving a well-developed addition to the plot in the point of view of a complex and interesting character. I loved being able to hear all of Emma’s internal thoughts, because before she seemed kind of…flat? Being able to get to know her better was probably one of my favorite parts of this book. Lee continued to build on the corrupt government, and just how far some of these people would take it. While a lot of Emma’s scenes were talking, planning, or traveling, there were still some really intense fight scenes that really topped this book off. One of my few complaints about this book is just the fact that the scenes were kind of repetitive (and boring at first), but it doesn’t take long before things pick up.

One of the best parts of this book are the blunt and honest conversations surrounding both Emma’s sexual and romantic orientation, but also on sex and relationships. There was a scene in which Emma and Bells talk about what they want from the relationship, and it was so heartwarming to read. I also really loved the conversation Emma ended up having with an older aroace character. While some of this conversation sounded like they were spouting dictionary definitions, it was still a really well written scene, and I’m so happy that it was put in. I relate so much to Emma and her initial feelings on being aroace, so reading it in a character was so, so special for me.

Every part of this book had a purpose, and it was a noticeable difference from NYV. I enjoyed every scene of this book, some more than others, but it was still a well-developed and interesting read. I really enjoyed this book, as much as NYS, or even more.

Final Rating: ★★★★½☆


Emma’s character is built up so well in this book, but the world is also better developed and we get to learn more about the world building. We get to meet so many more characters, and they all play an important part to the story. Each scene was well-developed and connected expertly. Along with that, Lee continues to add in such diverse characters, and I can’t wait for Not Your Hero.

Would I Recommend?

This isn’t just a superhero story. It’s a story about diverse teens fighting a corrupt government when the adults around them refuse to do anything. All of their identities are so well developed and, though NYV was a little disappointing, this series is so worth reading.

TW for internal shame through asexual and aromantic questioning ad science-fiction violence.

cb_web_smAuthor Bio:

CB Lee is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her works include the Sidekick Squad series (Duet Books), Ben 10 (Boom!), and All Out Now (HarperTeen). CB loves to write about queer teens, magic, superheroes, and the power of friendship.

Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Lee’s first novel in the Sidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.

Not Your Backup Book Cover.jpgAdditional Information:

Published: June 1st, 2019

Publisher: Interlude Press

Page Count: 320

Genre: Science Fiction/Young Adult/Fantasy

Synopsis: Publisher Provided

Emma Robledo has a few more responsibilities that the usual high school senior, but then again, she and her friends have left school to lead a fractured Resistance movement against a corrupt Heroes League of Heroes. Emma is the only member of a supercharged team without powers, she isn’t always taken seriously. A natural leader, Emma is determined to win this battle, and when that’s done, get back to school. As the Resistance moves to challenge the League, Emma realizes where her place is in this fight: at the front.

Purchase Links:

Goodreads | Interlude Press | Mysterious Galaxy | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

Follow the rest of the tour!

27th May: CW @ The Quiet Pond (Introduction) & Harker @ The Hermit Librarian (NYB Review + Quotes/Who Would I Be in CB’s World?)
28th May: Shari @ Colour Me Read (NYS Review + Illustration)
29th May: Fadwa @ Word Wonders (NYB Review + Aesthetic)
30th May: Ceillie @ Let’s Fox About It (NYB Review + Character Interview)
31st May: Avery @ The Book Deviant (NYB Review)
1st June [NYB RELEASE DAY]: Rita @ Bookish Rita (NYB Review + Quiz/Aesthetic)
2nd June: Laura @ Green Tea & Paperbacks (NYB Review + Creative Post)
3rd June: Lili @ Utopia State of Mind (NYB Review + Handlettering)
4th June: Nicky @ Small Queer, Big Opinions (Trilogy Review)
5th June: Kait @ Kaitlyn Gosiaco (NYB Review + Author Interview/Aesthetic)
6th June: Shenwei @ READING (AS)(I)AN AMERICA (NYB Review)
7th June: Janani @ The Shrinkette (Trilogy Review)

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- Avery


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