Thank you to author G.A. Bassier for providing me with a copy of Even Heroes in exchange for this honest review.
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Even Heroes takes a somewhat commonplace concept and gives it a real world spin. Vincent is a 13 year old boy who decides to become a vigilante super hero. Where this book differs than say, Kick Ass, is that he will face foes that a young teen actually might have to face in the real world.
Vincent is bullied relentlessly at school. These are really cruel boys who terrorize him daily. Unfortunately, their acts never step outside of what bullies actually do to other kids. We may have even seen this behavior ourselves when we were young and normalized it. They throw stuff at him, trip him, lock him in closets, threaten him, gaslight him, make him feel isolated from everyone, and legitimately make him feel like he’d rather be dead.
On top of this miserable school life he has the most overbearing mother of all time. He’s asthmatic so it’s understandable that she’d be somewhat worried about his health but she forbids him from even climbing staircases. He is stifled by her and has stopped believing that he even could be capable of basic physical acts.
He finally has enough and decides to emulate the comic book heroes that he loves so much. He begins to train and quickly discovers that he can actually run and exercise without dying. This builds his confidence enough that he is able to sneak out at night and find some criminals.
He’s surprisingly successful and manages to catch purse snatchers, abusive partners, and other low level street criminals as he ties them up and calls the police. The media is enthralled with him and starts covering him daily, making him a mysterious hero the town can rally behind.
Even Heroes does a really good job at scaling the conflict to fit the hero. This young boy is not capable of saving the earth from overpowered aliens or taking on the mafia or an organized crime syndicate. He’s brand new to this game! But he is capable of rescuing people from fires or floods or from one assailant.
He keeps his identity secret except for one girl who figures it out. She has decided to leave the bully group and become Vincent’s friend, she’ll end up being his partner in fighting crime before the book is over.
Even Heroes builds to an extremely intense climax where Vincent and other students must fight to survive. Real fear is developed throughout these pages and I could feel my heart beat move faster as I scrambled to reach what I hoped would be a happy ending.
This young adult novel can and should be read by teens and adults alike. It’s easy for adults to forget about the horrors of middle and high school and how much worse they are today. It’s incredibly important to keep in touch with what’s happening in schools today. And no, just because you were bullied as a teen does not mean it’s okay. Kids shouldn’t have to “buck up,” or “just ignore them.” The threat is real.
I strongly recommend Even Heroes for it’s brilliant take on the threats facing today’s youth and how children can stand up for themselves without becoming aggressors, but also because it’s just a really entertaining read.
5/5 deer 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌
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