I have no interest in reviewing books, but I love sharing the joy when I find a great one. Today I want to talk about Mike Jung‘s debut middle-grade novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities [Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon], recommended for ages 8-12, but easily enjoyed by everyone.
Excerpted from the official blurb (with spoilers extracted):
Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous’s No. 1 Fan, but even he has to admit that Captain Stupendous has been a little off lately. During Professor Mayhem’s latest attack, Captain Stupendous barely made it out alive – although he did manage to save Vincent from a giant monster robot. It’s Vincent’s dream come true… until he finds out Captain Stupendous’s secret identity.
Things to love about this book:
- The fast-paced dialogue between Vincent and his two best friends.
- The way the book plays with the tropes of superhero stories, comic books, and movies.
- The author’s clear passion and joy for this story that shines through on every page.
- The great diverse cast and the diversity of working family units.
- The wonderful plot twists.
When I looked at the (amazing) cover, which features Vincent, his two male friends, and a GIANT EVIL ROBOT, I couldn’t help thinking, “Where are the girls?” Well, let me tell you right now that there is a wonderful girl in this story who plays a pivotal role in saving the day. She has her own character arc and really comes into her own by the end. She was one of my favorite parts of the book.
The Advanced Reader Copy contained only sketches of the amazing artwork by Mike Maihack that is sprinkled throughout the book, and I can’t wait to buy a brand-new hard cover so I can ogle the final art. There’s one particular picture near the end that I would love to have on my wall.
Not convinced? Here’s what I said in my (first ever!) blurb for this book:
GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES by Mike Jung is a joyful, action-packed ode to comic books, friendship, and the many faces of heroism. Spandex and super-villains have never been this funny. Captain Stupendous and Mike Jung have themselves a new fan.
Go forth and read!