Review: Blaze

Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines. All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh’s weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who draws comics. What she gets is her very own arch-nemesis.

Name: Mark Deninger, aka Mark the Shark
Occupation: Soccer star and all-around lady killer
Relationship Status: Serial ater
Group Affiliation: No loyalty
Known Superpowers: Anti-girlfriend force field, breaking hearts

Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillian-style, but what he doesn’t know is how geek girls always get revenge.

Firstly, I would like to clarify that the blurb hyped the book in my mind and the actual book was not the hilarious fun fest I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, the book was good, but not was I was expecting. Perhaps not reading the blurb would have made me enjoy it a bit more. So, the story goes like this – Blaze is a geek, and Mark is a jock. When he shows an interest in her, she gets overwhelmed and falls heads over heels. Naturally, he breaks her heart and that is where the story gets interesting. Instead of lying around picking up the pieces, she realizes he played her and resorts to art to express herself. The plan goes well until he tries to take revenge in a way that maligns her reputation and results in her getting bullied. By the end, she comes to terms with it, but not without going through a lot emotionally.

About the protagonist, Blaze, I found her quirky, proud geek and smart for most of the book, except for when she was in lurve with the jock – that’s when she lost a few brain cells in trying to justify his behavior; though in fairness, he was a player and she was a virgin in all ways, including matters of the heart. She becomes a doormat character and lets people walk over her, particularly her father, who is, well, not fit to be anybody’s father. She single-handedly helps her mom with chores like taking her brother for his soccer practices, making dinner and all – basically a good girl with a good heart. The heart was then trampled upon by Mark, who only wants to get in her pants. In all fairness, she should have heeded to the warnings of her little brother too, but well – love puts those rose-colored glasses. With the idiotic friends she has, something incriminating reaches Mark which he then uses to humiliate her in revenge for her making a comic in which he is the villain. When that spreads, she is bullied badly at school, and slut-shamed extensively. When another girl who was slut-shamed similarly opens up to her, she realizes that she and all others never stopped to think – just believed things as they came. They took things at face value and assumed the worst and that is a learning point for her. As for how she took revenge against her father, well, that was pretty cool too.

Overall, this book was interesting and unpredictable, combined with witty dialogues and and engaging writing style.

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