Books Kids Fiction Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities

Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/79/53/9b/_geeks-girls-and-secret-identities-mike-jung-1346634780.jpg
 
4.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
397   0
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 01, 2012
ISBN
978-0545335485
Buy This Book
      

A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut! 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: It's Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent happens to have a crush on. Captain Stupendous's powers were recently transferred to Polly in a fluke accident, and so while she has all of his super strength and super speed, she doesn't know how to use them, and she definitely doesn't know all the strengths and weaknesses of his many nemeses. But Vincent and his friends are just the right fan club to train up their favorite superhero before he (she?) has to face Professor Mayhem again. And if they make it through this battle for the safety of Copperplate City, Vincent might just get up the courage to ask Polly on a date.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 2 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.5  (2)

This has everything that my students are looking for in a book! I love it when books show very clear attempts to figure out what kids WANT TO READ!!! Super heroes are a huge thing now, and this had so much more. A great romance, strong female protagonist, faithful sidekicks, compelling use for Vincent's encyclopedic geek trivia. There are even characters who are incidentally of Asian descent and appear on the cover. Bonus! If this were not enough, the writing was excellent. Even with no explanation for the existence of Captain Stupendous, I was sucked right into the book, and marvelous turns of phrase abound. Isn't Mock Apple Pie a GREAT rock band name?

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Mike Jung GETS middle grade readers

This has everything that my students are looking for in a book! I love it when books show very clear attempts to figure out what kids WANT TO READ!!! Super heroes are a huge thing now, and this had so much more. A great romance, strong female protagonist, faithful sidekicks, compelling use for Vincent's encyclopedic geek trivia. There are even characters who are incidentally of Asian descent and appear on the cover. Bonus! If this were not enough, the writing was excellent. Even with no explanation for the existence of Captain Stupendous, I was sucked right into the book, and marvelous turns of phrase abound. Isn't Mock Apple Pie a GREAT rock band name?

Was this review helpful to you? 
What I Loved:
As a huge fan of superhero stories, I could not resist Mike Jung's debut novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities. Yet again, my instincts for middle grade novels have served me well, because Jung's novel is every bit as stupendous as its main superhero.

Packed with superhero stunts and villainous mayhem, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities will surely delight any and all superhero fans. The tone matches up well with the movie The Incredibles, fun, action-packed, focused on family, and with a little bit of romance on the side. For older readers, Jung throws in cute references to classics of the superhero genre. For example, I noticed a street named after Brian Michael Bendis.

Vincent Wu and his friends run their own (unofficial) fan club for the city's famed superhero Captain Stupendous. Vincent, Max and George are not remotely popular, but they have each other and can comfort themselves in the awareness of their superior knowledge of Stupendous' exploits. Their lives get changed for the more exciting when they learn the secret identity of Captain Stupendous...and he's not anyone they ever would have expected.

Vincent, Max, and George make such a convincing group of nerdy friends. They squabble, have their own sets of inside jokes, tease each other mercilessly, and, most importantly, have each others' backs when need arises. The inclusion of Polly is my favorite part, because she shows them how powerful girls can be, even though they have trouble believing that at first. Polly totally rocks, and I love the wonderful message that Jung sends about strength through her character.

Vincent's parents are largely absent during the book, divorced and both busy with their jobs, father as a genius inventor and mother as school superintendent. However, despite their lack of physical presence, there is no doubt of how much they care for their son. They call him and check on him, and do their best to protect him. Perhaps most touching is his relationship with his mother's boyfriend, Detective Carpenter. He treats Vincent with respect and honors his opinions in a way Vincent hasn't ever really felt from adults, which helps him open up in this new set of challenges.

Serious messages aside, this book is almost entirely hilarious. There's the awkwardness of first crushes, the superhero/villain banter, and plenty of gross scenes, including one rather spectacular one involving a lot of vomit. Young readers will no doubt love all of these things. To top it all off, there's a scary robot and a bunch of epic battles. What more could you ask for?

The supervillain plot follows well-tread lines, and will not be shocking to older readers. Really, though, the focus is not on the supervillain, so much on heroism and how size doesn't really matter when it comes to defeating the bad guy. Though a bit anticlimactic, the showdown with the villain is hilarious and fitting. Just know that this isn't one of those stories that ends with the defeat of the villain.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Nothing. I think this is a perfect book for the target audience.

The Final Verdict:
I highly recommend Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities for anyone who enjoys superhero tales, young and old alike. The book reads quickly, and comes with a bunch of perfectly-matched illustrations by Mike Maihack.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Christina Franke, Editor Reviewed by Christina Franke, Editor December 27, 2012
Last updated: December 27, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (583)

Perfect Superhero Read for Middle Graders

What I Loved:
As a huge fan of superhero stories, I could not resist Mike Jung's debut novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities. Yet again, my instincts for middle grade novels have served me well, because Jung's novel is every bit as stupendous as its main superhero.

Packed with superhero stunts and villainous mayhem, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities will surely delight any and all superhero fans. The tone matches up well with the movie The Incredibles, fun, action-packed, focused on family, and with a little bit of romance on the side. For older readers, Jung throws in cute references to classics of the superhero genre. For example, I noticed a street named after Brian Michael Bendis.

Vincent Wu and his friends run their own (unofficial) fan club for the city's famed superhero Captain Stupendous. Vincent, Max and George are not remotely popular, but they have each other and can comfort themselves in the awareness of their superior knowledge of Stupendous' exploits. Their lives get changed for the more exciting when they learn the secret identity of Captain Stupendous...and he's not anyone they ever would have expected.

Vincent, Max, and George make such a convincing group of nerdy friends. They squabble, have their own sets of inside jokes, tease each other mercilessly, and, most importantly, have each others' backs when need arises. The inclusion of Polly is my favorite part, because she shows them how powerful girls can be, even though they have trouble believing that at first. Polly totally rocks, and I love the wonderful message that Jung sends about strength through her character.

Vincent's parents are largely absent during the book, divorced and both busy with their jobs, father as a genius inventor and mother as school superintendent. However, despite their lack of physical presence, there is no doubt of how much they care for their son. They call him and check on him, and do their best to protect him. Perhaps most touching is his relationship with his mother's boyfriend, Detective Carpenter. He treats Vincent with respect and honors his opinions in a way Vincent hasn't ever really felt from adults, which helps him open up in this new set of challenges.

Serious messages aside, this book is almost entirely hilarious. There's the awkwardness of first crushes, the superhero/villain banter, and plenty of gross scenes, including one rather spectacular one involving a lot of vomit. Young readers will no doubt love all of these things. To top it all off, there's a scary robot and a bunch of epic battles. What more could you ask for?

The supervillain plot follows well-tread lines, and will not be shocking to older readers. Really, though, the focus is not on the supervillain, so much on heroism and how size doesn't really matter when it comes to defeating the bad guy. Though a bit anticlimactic, the showdown with the villain is hilarious and fitting. Just know that this isn't one of those stories that ends with the defeat of the villain.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Nothing. I think this is a perfect book for the target audience.

The Final Verdict:
I highly recommend Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities for anyone who enjoys superhero tales, young and old alike. The book reads quickly, and comes with a bunch of perfectly-matched illustrations by Mike Maihack.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In the first book of this new chapter book series about mystery, travel, and adventure, twins Ethan and Ella must...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The heroine of Where I Belong is back in The Art of Goodbye, a romantic digital original novella about...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom...
 
3.3
 
3.7 (1)
Lucian "Lucky" Spark leads a double life. By day, he trains to become one of the Establishment elite. At...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can't-miss read... Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish's small town of...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK. A...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything. She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Kristen Simmons' fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three. Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Forbidden Library.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Road Roash.jpg
A teenage drummer finds out what life is really like on tour with a rock band in this funny,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
A voyage through Jewish history from Biblical times to today, helping the reader explore Jewish identity and traditions of social...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life's What You Make It
Category: Young Adult Indie
“She’s everything I’m not and everything I want to be.” Sebastian Iron’s life is spiraling out of control. Over...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
When her younger brother becomes victim to Ridgeview High’s worst group of bullies, Peyton Greene sets out to hire the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this sophisticated adventure series by the cocreator...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Meet Layla McKelland: Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair), Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
The skinny on itty bitty kitties, from a real-life Kitten Wrangler! What do kittens eat? Why do they love to...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A gritty, urban New Adult Cinderella story where the princess can do her own rescuing — she just needs someone...
 
4.0
 
3.3 (1)