LGBTQIA+, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee | Review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

In a distant future after a disastrous solar flare a big percentage of humans have developed a gene which gives them superpowers. Jess’ parents are well-known heroes in her small town, always keeping the villains in check and Jess wants nothing more than to help do good. Unfortunately, she doesn’t present with any powers. Instead Jess starts working as an intern at Monroe Industries which she then finds out is run by the local villains.

What I think about it

So many bookstagrammers were showing off this book and saying how awesome it was and of course I had to get it. I went all out and bought book 1 and 2 immediately. I love the covers with the OG squad, Jess, Bells and Emma.

Ok, here comes why I adored this book. I’ll make a list again because I love so many things about this book.

The covers

Once I’m rich and have a mansion and a huge library I will get those books as physical copies. Until then they live on my e-reader …

The characters

Not Your Sidekick has a lovely diverse cast with an Asian main character who is bisexual. The squad is made up of Jess and her best friends, Bells and Emma. Jess’ biggest wish is it to be able to fly just like her parents, the local heroes who go by the name of Smasher & Shockwave. Unfortunately, Jess is not presenting with any powers and she only has little time left before she turns 17 and there has never been anybody who developed powers after that. I liked the squad dynamic the three of them had going on. Very comfortable with one another, movie nights and teasing. Just the way I like my friendships.

The story

Books with bi main characters

Solid world building in my opinion. Years after a disastrous solar flare people are have advanced when it comes to technology but not so much that the story feels too futuristic. There are AIs and robots who help around the house but only rich people can afford the newer models who have more features. The world is full of meta-humans who have various superpowers and not all of them use them for good. This is how villains and heroes came to be and have been the main focus of the media ever since.

Jess finds it hilarious to work for the Mischiefs who are the sworn enemies of her parents – a small rebellion. After all, the Mischiefs never hurt anyone, they just play elaborate pranks so Jess doesn’t see any harm in working at their company. But once more and more villains disappear and even the Mischiefs seem gone Jess and Abby uncover an evil plot that could change everything.

Abby and Jess (slight spoilers ahead, skip paragraph!)

Don’t get me started on this absolutely adorable couple! I was awwww-ing whenever they were being oblivious, well Jess was mostly oblivious but this friends to lovers was so pure! I loved it even more because Abby works for Monroe Industries which we find out is run by the local villains, Mistress and Master Mischief. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who Jess’s mysterious co-worker M in the metal suit is but I didn’t mind. It made it even better, I think. It also wasn’t very hard to figure out who Abby really was but I thought that while Jess has no clue about any of these things, the reader figures out everything real fast and I wanted to yell at them to just kiss already! ❤ Too adorable.

The setting and writing style

You can tell this story is probably for a younger audience, maybe 12-14 year olds, the drama is dramatic but nowhere near as dark and angsty as in YA fiction. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit more light-hearted yet fun and full of action! It had some Kim Possible vibe what with Jess and her squad taking on evil. There is still some good vs. evil going on and a lot of action but without the gore and the heaviness that books targeted at older readers so often have. I can’t wait to start the second book! ❤


Funny, witty, adorable wlw relationship and a lot of action. Not Your Sidekick takes a diverse cast, good plot and solid world-building and spins this amazing story of superheroes and villains. I loved the characters who were very much three-dimensional, especially Jess! She and Abby are the coolest! The atmosphere of the book is relaxed and (thankfully) lacks the angst that YA so often has – need a reprieve once in a while. I can’t wait to start the second book! ❤


  • Author: C.B. Lee
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Duet Books
  • Release Date: September 8, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781945053047

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