The extraordinaries

TJ Klune

Book - 2020

Nick would rather write fanfiction about the feats of heroism and romantic entaglements he imagines for the very real superheroes who inhabit his city. When he meets Nova City's biggest hero (and his biggest crush), however, he resolves to become a superhero himself.

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Klune, TJ. Extraordinaries ; 1.
Fantasy fiction
New York : TOR Teen, Tom Doherty Associates 2020.
First edition
Physical Description
399 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
TJ Klune (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Openly queer 16-year-old Nick Bell has a humongous crush on Shadow Star, Nova City's very own Extraordinary (superhero). But every hero has to have a nemesis, and Shadow Star's is Pyro Storm. Both are fixtures in Nick's perfervid fan fiction. Sadly, in real life, he has never met the two Extraordinaries—until he does, and things change dramatically. In the meantime, he hangs with his friends Seth, Gibby, and Jazz, all of whom identify as queer. Nick dreams of becoming an Extraordinary himself so that he can pair up with Shadow Star. But wait! There's more. Though very close, Nick's relationship with his father is tested by his ADHD. And speaking of relationships, could Nick and Seth's friendship be turning into something more? Klune's romp is irresistibly readable, although there are a few flaws: Nick sometimes seems more like 8 than 16 and is sometimes not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he's always lovable, as are his friends. A good thing, too, because, there's going to be a sequel. Readers will be delighted! Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Nova City, Nick Bell is an apparently ordinary high school student whose megacrush on local superhero Shadow Star leads him into wild stunts in a quest for his own superpowers. Though at first he only wants the stunts to bring him to Shadow Star's attention, his motivations shift when a battle between Shadow Star and his nemesis, Pyro Storm, injures Nick's police officer father, who is all he has left after the death of his mother two years earlier. Nick's ADHD and almost comical optimism combine to make a charming and entertaining hero, and his equally amusing circle of inclusive friends is supportive of his emotional excesses. Though his strict but supportive father does his best to keep Nick out of trouble, the teen finds a way to put himself in the path of danger as his hero and Pyro Storm's feud comes to a head. There's plenty in this lighthearted, superhero-interested teen dramedy for kids who feel like they're sometimes on the outside, including the positive representation of a teen with ADHD. Ages 13–up. Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (May) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Nick Bell is an active member of the Extraordinaries fandom, writing lengthy fan fiction pairing an original character that is obviously based on him with Nova City's resident superhero, Shadow Star. Nick's dad, a cop whose wife was killed in a bank robbery, wants nothing more for Nick than him staying out of trouble—a challenge that, given Nick's ADHD, proves difficult. Shadow Star is Nick's biggest crush, but he is also a bit conflicted: Owen, Nick's ex as well as the son of the Burke Pharmaceuticals CEO, is constantly around, and Seth, Nick's BFF, suddenly seems more attractive than ever before. Nick is convinced that if he can become an Extraordinary, he can ensure his father's safety and get Shadow Star to fall in love with him. Chance encounters with Shadow Star and his nemesis, Pyro Storm, force Nick to question his dogmatic beliefs about good vs. evil. Nick's ADHD manifests in his overt focus on details, while he ignores the glaringly obvious big picture. He's shocked by the book's twist, but some readers will be way ahead of him. Others, though, will appreciate the laugh-out-loud humor and well-developed supporting characters. Klune takes cues from Peter Milligan's classic queer comic Enigma, with an Everyman bewildered by the superhero story that seems to revolve around him. A post-credits scene, clearly inspired by the trend in movies, hints at a sequel. VERDICT Hand to teens involved in fandom, writers of fan fiction, lovers of superhero stories, and queer romance readers.—Shira Pilarski, Farmington Community Library, MI Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A successful fan-fiction writer has a chance encounter with a superhero crush who challenges him to remake himself in ways that compromise his bond with a best friend, who is becoming something more.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A successful fan-fiction writer has a chance encounter with a superhero crush who challenges him to remake himself in ways that compromise his bond with a best friend, who is becoming something more. A young-adult debut by the award-winning author of The House in the Cerulean Sea. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An Indie Bestseller!An Indie Next Pick!A Gold Nautilus Book Award Winner!Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune's YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer's Renegades in TJ Klune's YA debut.