This book is genuinely one of those lightning in a bottle, pure perfection type stories. There is so much here that I could rave about for days on end. An LGBTQ superhero YA romance with a neurodiverse main character who loves fanfiction?! Nick Bell, I adore you.
The story takes place in Nova City, where Nick Bell attends high school by day, where he has some struggles with his ADHD and the aftermath of his mom's death, but in his spare time follows his true passion of writing about (and obsessing over, not that he'd readily admit to it) the city's resident superhero Shadow Star and his nemesis Pyro Storm, known as Extraordinaries. This eventually leads to Nick deciding he wants to become an Extraordinary as well and making a hilarious multiple step plan to do so. His friends (BFF and maybe more Seth, adorable ladyloves Gibby and Jazz, and ex-boyfriendish/somewhat friend Owen) contribute in various way in his mission, which ultimately culminates in quite some twists and turns and self-discovery and a jaw-dropping bit of action at the end.
TJ Klune has created such an amazingly rich world with thoroughly developed and diverse characters. I felt like I was riding the train to school with Nick and his friends or sitting at the lunch table with them. I felt like I was right there in all the action on top of buildings and bridges. The tone and atmosphere of the story was so lighthearted and fun. The energy was high and the action (especially involving the Extraordinaries) was as good as any blockbuster superhero movie I've loved. This was pure entertainment and also gave me a really great emotional payoff as well.
I loved that Nick was surrounded by supportive people who clearly love him. This was a book all about acceptance. The relationship between Nick and his dad was one of my favorite things. And his best friend Seth...oh Seth, you perfect little cupcake. There was a delicious slow burn of realization of feelings on Nick's part. These two made my heart so happy and also broke it a little bit in some moments. They have such a pure and wonderful connection.
I got the feeling that this is just the beginning of Nick's story, as there were some definite questions left up in the air and QUITE the twist at the end. I really hope we get to visit Nova City once again and learn and grow more with Nick.