Monday, February 25, 2013

Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

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Source:  Received eBook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

From Goodreads:

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...

My thoughts:


3 stars - A YA book meant for YA readers

It took a bit to get into this book.  The writing style is kinda snarky and I had to warm up to that a bit.  I did love the sense of humor of Blaze though;  I loved the name she gave the minivan she drove! And the thirteen year old humor from her brother and his friends was funny.  The game of cows was funny.

copyright: © 2012 Anne Cain
I did struggle with the comic book aspect of this book.  It may just not be my thing but I would have loved a little more modern take on the comic books like graphic novels or anima.  The whole comic book thing seems outdated.

As a computer teacher, I was very happy to see the subject of sexting in a YA book.  The lose of control once you push send seems to be lost on many teens.  The idea that most things are never really delete is also hard for them to understand.  It's important to have these types of books out there so they can get the point.

While I finally did enjoy this book, I struggled with Blaze.  She's seventeen but she has this split personality thing going.  She is helping her mother raise her brother to the point of being in charge of soccer practice, dinners, lunches and cleaning but she doesn't seem to resent it the way most teens would.  She seemed to act older than she was here.  On the other hand, she acted very young when dealing with her relationship with Mark.  She didn't get his reactions and she didn't even listen to her brother advice about Mark.  I had a hard time accepting those two sides as the same person.

copyright: © 2012 Anne Cain
I never really felt connected to Mark.  That may have been on purpose.  He is a player and perhaps we weren't meant to like him or really know him.  But I would have liked to know him better, understand his side more.

As I said the pacing was hard in the beginning.  It did pick up but it took me a while to get through it.

I would say this is a YA book meant for YA readers.  I'm not sure adult readers will enjoy it as much.

Laurie Boyle Crompton | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon | B&N  

From the author:

Why My Character is “Comic Book Cool”

Blaze’s character showed up in my mind like Blam! Pow! “Tell my story!” She’s really into comics and is sort of stuck in her life as an outsider, but she isn't ashamed of being a geek. She displays her superhero buttons proudly and is constantly drawing and reading comics.  I couldn't wait to write about her. Of course, working on a project where studying comic books counted as research was a bonus!

My step-father has this Ah-mazing! collection much like the one Blaze’s dad has in the book and I remember staying up late at night reading through stacks of them as a kid. I would try to tell my friends about these awesome characters like the Silver Surfer and Iron Man, and I’d even try to imitate Thor’s Norse God way of speaking. This was before the movies made these guys more mainstream and I was definitely on the fringe with my obsession, but when I’d find another comic book nerd we had an instant bond.

As I was writing, Blaze surprised me when she fought back against Mark the way she did and I knew at that point I could just allow her character to take over. Of course things don’t go as she plans, but no matter what tight spots she finds herself in, she uses comic books to guide and empower her. Readers who aren't into comic books will definitely still enjoy Blaze, but my hope
is that she will inspire them to check out comics for themselves, too!  


  1. I still need to get around to reading this one. Unfortunately I requested it way back in October and didn't get approved until a week before it came out and haven't had time to read it. (At that point I figured I wouldn't be approved so I didn't save time for it) It sounds like an interesting book. I like that it's comic book like. Thanks for the awesome review Val!

  2. I have seen this one around, and truthfully, it didn't stick out to me that much. I'm glad to get some more info about it from you!!!

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  3. Not sure this would be for me. I like the cover though. :)

  4. This one is totally different than I thought it was. I thought about requesting it on NG but never did. Hmm. It seems like there would be things I would enjoy, then others I wouldn't. Blaze sounds like a complicated character. It is nice to see "sexting" addressed, like you said. That's a real thing, and it seems like it just goes unnoticed!

    I recently read THE S-WORD by Chelsea Pitcher, and it hit on some heavy issues in a way I really liked. I think you might like it too, and it's suitable (imho) for older YA readers!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  5. I think I might like this one. I always liked comic books, but hate anime, so there's that. ;-)
    I like the message it gives about teens & technology . Nice review, Val.

  6. Ah, thanks for this review. I really wanted to read this one, but I'm getting tired of YA books that are a little on the young/immature side, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not what I want to read right now.

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