Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1842
Perfect Superhero Read for Middle Graders
(Updated: December 27, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
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.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

1 results - showing 1 - 1
Ordering
Already have an account? or Create an account
March 19, 2013
Oooh, this sounds really good. I enjoy a good superhero story and Polly sounds like a fun character. I'll be adding this one to my TBR. Great review :]
1 results - showing 1 - 1
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world? ...
The Brokenhearted
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and...
Brave Enough
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta...
I Wanna Be Where You Are
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a...
The Moment We Fell (Mystic Shores Series, Book #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nothing good happens when people keep secrets. ...
The Hit List
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to...
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Amelia Fang, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious illustrated middle grade series for reluctant readers starring...
Amelia Fang and the Unicorns of Glitteropolis (Amelia Fang, #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a hilarious heavily illustrated middle-grade series...
Small World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is...
On the First Day of Summer Vacation
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
When school is out, it’s time to celebrate and have...
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (The Questioneers, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An instant New York Times bestseller! ...
Bad Bella
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bella is the very best dog a family could ask...
Dear Justice League
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hello! Justice League here. Ask us anything! ...
Cracking the Bell
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Friday Night Lights meets Concussion in this powerful and important...
Ghosts of Lock Tower
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A haunted tower, an evil ghost, a monster spawned from...
Babies Can Sleep Anywhere
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
What better way to encourage a little one to sleep...

Latest Member Reviews

Tiger Queen
 
5.0
"All Kateri wants to do is impress her father, become the queen she's meant to be, protect her people, and..."
Cracking the Bell
 
4.7
"Isaiah's family has struggled after the death of his sister in a car accident that wasn't her fault. The parents..."
The Haunted
 
3.7
"THE HAUNTED is a really fascinating YA horror that follows Hendricks, a teenage girl, after she moves into a haunted..."
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
 
3.3
"Sixteen-year-old foster kid Elle Zoellner's life turns topsy turvy when a father, she never knew about, wants her to move..."
Truly Madly Royally
 
3.0
"I’d be lying if I didn’t say that half of the reason why I read this was because it’s a..."
Finding Esme
 
3.3
"Esme feels alone. Her much-loved grandfather died, her dad deserted the family, her mom has mentally checked out, and her..."
House of Salt and Sorrows
 
4.3
"Annaleigh just wanted to be in charge of the lighthouse close to her island home. Rumors circulate on the island..."
Wreck: A Novel
 
4.3
"WRECK is a heart-wrenching story about a teenage girl on the brink of college as she discovers her father's life-altering..."
Reverie
 
5.0
"REVERIE is a captivating and unique YA fantasy without adequate comparisons. The book follows Kane, a teenage boy who was..."
Coral
 
3.0
"CORAL is not a fairytale retelling of THE LITTLE MERMAID- while it may have been inspired by some of the..."
You Are The Everything
 
4.0
"YOU ARE THE EVERYTHING is an intriguing stream-of-consciousness style read that follows Elyse Schmidt, a 16/17 year old girl who..."
The Last Hope
 
4.7
"I honestly don’t know where to begin! The Last Hope by Krista & Becca Ritchie picks up thirty days after..."
 
4.0
"Most books about a school shooting would start with the horrific event at the center of story, but EVERY MOMENT..."
The Bone Houses
 
5.0
"THE BONE HOUSES is a beautifully crafted and full engrossing YA fantasy with some horror aspects. Aderyn (Ryn) is a..."
The Silence Between Us
 
4.7
"THE SILENCE BETWEEN US is an #ownvoices story about Maya, a senior in high school who has just moved with..."
Beasts of the Frozen Sun
 
4.7
"BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN features lush world-building, compelling characters, and a captivating plot that make it an engrossing read...."
Snow & Rose
 
5.0
"NOTE: Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Where I End and You Begin
 
4.0
"All Ezra wants to do is ask his crush Imogen to the prom. But when he and his friend Holden..."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
"When Edie moves back to Mansfield to life with her aunt, uncle, and two cousins, she is reunited with her..."
The Beholder
 
4.0
"When Selah's proposal to her childhood crush is rejected, she is sent away on a boat to meet possible suitors...."