Thursday, April 3, 2014

Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain by Richard Roberts

If you had the choice, would you be a superhero or a supervillain. I'm guessing most people will say "superhero", I mean, a lot of people are raised on Marvel/DC comics (I had... Teen Titans so I think that counts). Penelope Akk, the protagonist of this book, and the one asking you not to tell her parents that she's a supervillain, wants to be a superhero as well. The problem is, she's good at being a supervillain.

In a community of superheros and their kids (think of the movie The Incredibles), Penelope is the daughter of two superheroes whose identity isn't a secret. Her dad is a genius scientist and her mom is known as The Audit (I'm sure you can guess what her power is). So when Penelope finds out that her superpower is here, she's more than a little excited.

But as she tries to master her powers with the help of her friends, they end up in a fight with a jerk sidekick and suddenly, they're supervillains, called The Inscrutable Machine. Penelope becomes Bad Penny (and she hates her name), her friend Claire, who has the power of adorableness becomes e-Claire and Ray, the human-turned-superpowered human is Reviled. Penny finds that she enjoys supervillainy, but she does want to turn to the good side.

What I liked about this book was the superhero and supervillain community. Not everyone is a superhero/supervillain, in fact, you can see that LA is totally used to them, but they have this predictable dynamic. There are truce areas and they have a code of conduct. Of course, you can even switch sides. What Penny and her friends do is to shake up the whole scene, which made for an interesting read. Of course, through the course of their destruction and daily lives, a host of interesting characters are introduced.

Penny and her friends are an interesting bunch too. There's Penny, who's clearly mad scientist material. She's totally crushing on Ray (but she doesn't know/won't admit it), which is why she's sometimes jealous of her best friend Claire, who's adorable. Claire is the daughter of The Minx, a literally charming superhero who used to be a supervillain. Ray was the least interesting of the tree, but then again, Penny and Claire are really interesting. The three of them have a dynamic that makes them a very strong team.

This book has strong characters, an interesting setting and inventions that I love. In fact, I think my little brother (age 10) would be perfect for this book, since he loves inventing stuff. Not just my brother though, this is a fun book that I think will appeal to a large age-group; after all, I enjoyed it too.

I hear that there's a sequel in progress and I'm eagerly waiting for it.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.

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