Friday, September 13, 2013

Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blaze is sick of being invisible.  She's been playing pseudo-soccer mom to her little bro (and his band of friends), and generally sacrificing her social life to pick up the slack ever since her father took off to New York.  She's a comic book geek, named after comic-hero Johnny Blaze of Ghostrider, and dreams of publishing her own comic books someday.  Until then, she's sidelined on the soccer field drooling over Josh's coach Mark, a hottie that goes to her school.  When Mark finally takes notice, Blaze is stunned... and psyched!!  This is her chance of shedding her invisibility and actually having a boyfriend.

When Super-Virgin Girl takes over and almost ruins things with Mark, her friend sends him a "sext" of Blaze to try to get his attention.  Blaze is humiliated, but it indeed gets Mark to want to see Blaze.  After hooking up in her soccer-mom van, Mark fails to call again.  And Blaze, looking to warn other girls of Mark's player ways, writes a comic book featuring Mark as the villain.  She's flying high for a while, but then Mark retaliates by releasing her "sext", and the invisible life Blaze lived before is suddenly so far away.  As she tries to endure relentless bullying, she wonders if she'll ever get back to normal again.

The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the awesome main character.  I loved that Blaze was this self-proclaimed comic-book geek, who secretly enjoyed hanging out with her little bro and his band of kooky friends.  I appreciated reading about a girl being into comic books, as I rarely ever see girl characters like this in books, but it rocks!  I liked Blaze's whole attitude about life and her vulnerabilities too.  All she wanted was a boyfriend, and unfortunately she looked in the wrong place.  She made a ton of mistakes and embarrassed herself along the way, but she really was just a girl who wanted a boy to like her.

I must say that I loved the drawings sprinkled in throughout the book.  It was like getting a glimpse into Blaze's head and really helped with the story.  And being from Pittsburgh, PA, I was appreciative of the Butler setting (which is like 1/2 hour North of the 'Burgh).  So, we have a kick-ass heroine, a cool country setting, and pretty drawings thrown in.  What's not to like?

Now we get to the issues this book delved into.  I really felt bad for Blaze during the bullying phase.  And the fact that she was basically all alone in dealing with it was a little heartbreaking.  It reminded me a lot of Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown- the way everyone reacted so harshly over a picture!  I know high school is melodramatic, but those kids were ruthless.  It made me glad I grew up in an era where cell phones were pretty much gigantic and not capable of taking pictures at all.

So yeah, a totally enjoyable, fun book that will make you think about all the dumb stuff you did for the sake of trying to woo a guy (at least it did for me, and yes I did just say woo!).  I wouldn't say it's a book that changed me, or even is one that's going to be super-memorable as time goes on, but as far as main characters and fun 12 year old boys go, this one rocked it!

OVERALL: The story of a comic-book girl's struggles with family problems and living with mistakes.  I loved the quirky characters in this book and the strong, but vulnerable Blaze.  I was expecting more of a revenge book, but I got more of a coming-of-age feeling out of it.  It's worth reading, but it's not mind-blowing.

This Book Contains:
  • Comic books!
  • Butler, PA (a Western PA town)
  • Farm animals
  • A crew of prepubescent soccer boys
  • Bullying
  • Sexting
  • Comic book drawings
  • The Blazing Goddess
  • Comic-Con NYC

My Rating: 2.5/4

How I got this book: I won this in a giveaway!  Thanks Chey @ The Hollow Cupboards
Date Published: 2/1/2013


  1. great review! Blaze sounds like such a fantastic character and you're right, not many girls are into comic books and take pride in it :P

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. I'm glad you got to read this. I had fun reviewing it - I used comics. It's here: