Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#GeekGrlzRevenge Tour - Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervilliams) by Laurie Boyle Crompton - Review, Interview

Are you ready?  BLAZE (OR LOVE IN THE TIME OF SUPERVILLAINS) by Laurie Boyle Crompton is the must-read novel for this winter.  Classic comic-book illustrations are combined with a laugh-out-loud tale of the consummate battle of the sexes: the quirky, outsider teen girl versus the handsome, egotistical golden boy.  

My stop today on the #GeekGrlzRevenge blog tour features a review of Blaze and an interview with Laurie Boyle Crompton.
“Made me laugh...and cringe...and laugh again. Laurie Boyle Crompton's blend of snark and heart will keep you turning the pages."
—Mandy Hubbard author of Prada and Prejudice

"Hilarious and heartfelt! Blaze is a hero for the modern age!"
--Jennifer Ziegler, author of How to NOT be Popular

Grabs you with its humor and rompy fun, then POW! it whacks you with an emotional punch.”
—Robin Mellom, author of Ditched: A Love Story

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published:  February 1, 2013
by Sourcebooks Fire
Source:  Publisher/Netgalley

Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines.

Blaze has always wanted her to life to be a little more X-Men/Jean Grey-cool rather than the reality: nerdy chick that drives a mild-mannered brown minivan (aka the Subatomic Superturd of Steel) for her brother and his friends, the Soccer Cretins, and spends all her time drawing comics.  Then, super-hot soccer god Mark takes her on a couple of dates, and Blaze is certain her life is finally beginning. But when he uses her and dumps her, Blaze creates a comic book starring Mark the Shark that has everyone talking. 

Mark retaliates online, and suddenly Blaze is gigabytes deep in an epic online battle to the (social) death. Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillain-style, but he quickly learns geek girls always get revenge.

Buy Links:   Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Interview with Laurie Boyle Crompton

Laurie, thanks so much for being here today.  It's great to have you.  

Thank you so much for having me!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Pennsylvania in the same town were Blaze’s story takes place but I now live on Long Island near NYC with my family. We also have a rustic trailer upstate in New Paltz where we love to escape and where I do much of my writing. I’m thrilled to have more books coming out after Blaze. Next year Sourcebooks will be releasing The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High which is a reality show farce, plus I have another YA coming out with FSG/Macmillan which is tentatively titled Adrenaline.

Can you tell us a little bit about Blaze?

Blaze is sort of stuck in her life of shuttling her little brother around, yet she tries to make the best of it. She actually has a genuine bond with him and the rest of the cretins and I’m happy that many readers have mentioned this sibling bond being one of their favorite parts of the book. And of course Blaze has that great turd-colored minivan as a sidekick. When she came into my head I just knew I had to write her free. Of course, things actually get much worse for her before they get better!

What inspired you to write Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)?

When I was in high school I read through my stepfather’s entire huge collection of superhero comics and based Blaze’s dad’s collection on that. I was a total comics fangirl back in high school and a bit of an outsider and really wanted give a character like that a voice. I also spray-painted my first car hot pink and am thrilled that I got to pay homage to that car by having Blaze give her minivan a similar makeover.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I loved reading so much as a kid and I think writing became a natural extension of that. When I was in high school I remember reading an essay I’d written to my English class and was amazed when they laughed in all the right places. It was like having a superpower and I’ve loved writing and trying to make people laugh ever since.

Can you tell us three things about yourself that people would be surprised  
to know?

I don’t like chocolate all that much unless peanut butter is involved.
I’m an extreme introvert. (But seem quite social if you meet me in person.)
I can get ridiculously competitive. Everyone in my family shares this trait and board games have been banned as a result.

If you had to sum up Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) in a tweet, what would it say?

Comic geek grl Blaze battles evil Ex! XD

This or That:

E-books or print copies?

I read both, but do love the smell of books.

Facebook or Twitter?

I suck at keeping up with both to varying degrees but will go with Twitter because I follow some very clever people who never post pictures of their food.

Coffee, tea, or Coke?

Absolutely tea. By the gallon, please.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark and pass the peanut butter. 

Thanks again for stopping by today Laurie.  It was great talking to you!

My Review:  When I saw the cover of this book and read the synopsis, I just knew I had to read this book.  Blaze is a 17-year-old girl who is a senior in high school.  She loves comic books and knows everything about them, even creating one of her own.  Her love for comics was something she got from her dad, who was an avid vintage comic book collector.  Even her name, "Blaze," was after the comic book character Johnny Blaze from Ghost Rider.  When her dad dropped out of the picture to pursue an acting career, Blaze stepped up to help her mom as much as she could, now finding herself as a "surrogate soccer mom" to her little brother Josh and his friends.  She doesn't mind this at all though, because she is totally crushing on the soccer coach, Mark, who is also a senior in high school.  When Mark finally begins to pay attention to Blaze and asks her out, she is elated.  Two dates later, and after her friend sends a snapshot of her to Mark, she finds herself in the backseat of "superturd" in a situation that is quickly getting out of hand.  Desperate to have Mark as her boyfriend, she and her friends plot and implement a plan to get him back after he begins to ignore her, but Blaze soon finds that she has been played by the player.  It is at this time that Blaze, AKA The Blazing Goddess, covertly begins to execute her geek girl revenge on Mark,  AKA Mark the Shark.  In the meantime, she has started working at the comic book store in the mall with Quentin, who she really likes and has a lot in common with.  He loves her comic book, encourages her, and helps her to promote it.  Soon the comic has gone viral, and needless to say, Mark the Shark is not a happy camper.  When he retaliates, Mark the Shark lives up to his supervillian name and Blaze soon finds herself hated, bullied, and made fun of, now in a place that even The Blazing Goddess can't save her from. 

I really loved Blaze.  I found her to be hilarious and snarky, and the things she was thinking were often funnier than the things that she said.  She made some big mistakes, and paid a big price for them, but I really admired her for the way she loved her little brother Josh and did things for him.  Josh was a pretty cool kid himself, and despite his age of 13, he also fiercely defended his sister, especially where Mark was concerned.  Mark was a hottie, but also a manwhore, and totally filled the shoes of his comic book character "Mark the Shark."  I was glad to see that he apologized to Blaze after things happened, unfortunately, it was too little too late and he still reigned in his kingdom of jerkdom.  Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) was such a fun read, and as entertaining as it is, Laurie Boyle Crompton also addressed some really serious issues, such as cyber bullying, its ramifications and subsequent consequences, and how easily people believe the lies they are fed over the internet, lies which leave the life of the person being lied about in shambles.  She also did an excellent job of portraying what a true friend really is, and I quote Quentin, who stood behind Blaze, even after she confessed everything to him......."Haven't you ever heard the line, 'Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people'?......."Blaze, don't let a bunch of small minds make you question who you are."  Well said and excellently done Laurie Crompton.  Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillians) is a hilariously fun read that also addresses some serious issues and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it.  

A few more of my favorite quotes: 

Mark seems to have some unnamable quality that tunes my whole body to a higher frequency.  Like Peter Parker's Spidey Sense, except with a whole different sort of tingling.  What can I say?  That boy just does it for me. 

 I quickly spot Mark, and everything else fades into the background.  He strides easily across the field with a net sack filled with yellow soccer balls slung over one shoulder.  I focus on the one bouncing playfully against his butt.  Man, how I'd love to be that soccer ball. 

Walking across the grass toward the soccer field's rusty bleachers, I feel as if the whole world can tell that my jeans are riding uncomfortably up my crotch.  There's seriously no way to unobtrusively remove a vagina wedgie.  I take a few bowlegged steps before accepting the fact that I'm in for a rough evening, crotchwise.  

I am a writer, splitting my time between New York and, well New York actually. We live twenty minutes outside Manhattan on the Island of Long, but scored a cheap trailer in New Paltz a few years back and so we scuttle our buns up to the country every chance we get. 
The ‘we’ in all that includes me, my Best Mate and our marvelous offspring, aka; The Girl and The Boy. The four of us enjoy spending time together hiking, going to the movies, cycling, swimming and reading but not all at the same time. The Girl and The Boy are each natural storytellers in their own right which makes it very difficult to determine when they’re telling the truth. 

I write young adult novels and am enjoying the exciting ups and downs of this career. I blog about the journey from deal to publication over at Emu’s Debuts with some awesome fellow-writers. I’m represented by the amazing Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency and consider myself blessed to have time and space in my life to devote to writing. It is a colossal act of faith to write a novel (or four) and I commend all those who choose this challenging path. 

Speaking of faith, here’s an interesting bit of trivia; the Best Mate happens to be a preacher which you may have just figured out makes me, by default, a preacher’s wife. Yes, I know. Really. But please don’t judge me. It’s hard enough trying to raise a couple of kick-ass preacher’s kids without feeling like I need to act all holy for you folks. And no, I do not play the piano or teach Sunday School. 

I caught the writing bug back in high school while reading an essay I’d composed to my class. They laughed in all the right places. It was like the opposite of that nightmare where everyone laughs as you stand there in your underwear. I was giddy with power. I graduated first in my class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. Since then I’ve written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and have appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that grown ups sometimes get to be.

On top of all the hiking, cycling, swimming, reading and movies with the family I also enjoy cross-country skiing, drinking tea, snowshoeing, jogging and well – Writing. Obviously. So I’m done talking about me for now, but you can read more ongoing ramblings over at my blog. Or check out my Dear Teen Me letter. Or feel free to friend me or tweet me and tell me all about you, you, you!

Connect with the Author:  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


  1. I am so glad you liked this one Ellen! I am looking forward to reading it. I love that there is a strong sibling bond between Blaze and her brother. I always love reading about them in books.

    1. I can't wait to hear what you think.

  2. Great interview. Cool review (you convinced me). This book seems really awesome!

  3. Ack! I really want to read this, Ellen! Thanks for the awesome review!

    1. I'll be interested to hear what you think.

  4. Yes! I loved this book! It was equal parts funny and serious. I did a lot of LOL but I also cried a bit (mostly when she did) and I really loved all aspects of this book. So glad you loved it too!

  5. i would love to read ths book and then i never herd of it so youn new one to mw

  6. Great review and interview! I enjoyed both immensely :) TBR-ing this book...NOW.

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

  7. I MUST READ THIS BOOK!!! I love your review and awesome interview!!! I love the cover and the whole idea for the book!

    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

  8. Tea!! *death glare*

    This book sounds really good I've been seeing a lot of great reviews especially lately! Plus I kind of really like the simple cover! Great post, ladies!

  9. Such a good review I agree I must have this book

  10. Sounds like a good read. Cool blog, I'm a new follower. I'd love it if you could check out my blog. Happy Reading.

    - Sunny @ www.asupersunnyspot.blogspot.com


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