September 28, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

Heroine Complex

[note note_color=”#9f65a4″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn • July 5, 2016 • DAW Books
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Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right…or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.[/note]


[note note_color=”#BFD1D1″ text_color=”#ffffff”]I received this book for free from DAW Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.[/note]

First sentence: “I am not a superhero.”

When your best friend is a superhero, you have to put up with things like being in constant danger and worrying about her safety, the best friend’s diva tantrums, the constant attention from the world, and demon blood stains. Evie Tanaka is the best personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco Asian American superheroine ever. She juggles Aveda’s outrageous demands and problems, her teenage sister’s rebellious stage, a new love that came out of nowhere, and a possibly new type of demons slowing invading San Francisco.


  • Don’t take your friends or your allies for granted.

There are people in the background who supports the superhero, and their work can be super under appreciated. They have deal with all the demands and temper tantrum and harsh comments and the ego. Take Evie Tanaka. Personal assistant to the beloved San Francisco superhero, Aveda Jupiter. Anything that Aveda needs or wants, Evie will fulfill every one of Aveda’s demands. She will masquerade as Aveda Jupiter when Aveda’s recovering from an injury if she is asked. She’ll navigate through every one of Aveda’s mood because she’s good at her job. Not everybody will be able to put with Aveda like Evie does. Sometimes, they aren’t appreciated for what they do for the superhero. It can be a toxic relationship.

  • Being a superhero is a team effort. 

Aveda Jupiter isn’t the only one who fights the villains. It’s a team effort. There’s Evie, who fulfills every one of Aveda’s demands; Lucy Valdez, who acts as Aveda’s weapons expert/personal trainer/bodyguard; Rose Rorick, head of the San Francisco’s police department’s Demon Unit who cleans up after Aveda’s fights; and Nate Jones, who is Aveda’s physician and demonology expert. Without any of them, Aveda would not be the superhero she is.

  • Be confident in your skills. 

A superhero like Aveda can get insecure and envious of others. Though, this doesn’t only apply to superheroes like Aveda; it applies to people who are like Evie, supporting the superhero in the background. She and Evie aren’t comfortable in their own skills sometimes and worries that they aren’t living up to their expectations. When they lose your confidence or their belief in themselves, they don’t work as effectively to save the world.

  • It’s not about you, it’s about saving innocent lives.

Sometimes, a superhero can be blinded by their ego and the fame and the attention. They’ll start thinking about themselves and how to make themselves look good to the world like Aveda Jupiter. They lose all sight of what’s important. When lives are at stake, superheroes like Aveda need to put their ego aside. Readers will see Aveda be super irrational. When that happens, she needs a good friend who will knock some sense out of her.

  • When in doubt, get the villain to monologue.

Demon portals have been opening up around San Francisco. Little demons used to swarm, but Evie’s noticing that the recent demon attacks feature things that have been possessed and move really sluggishly. Could it be a new big bad? When Evie and Aveda figure out what’s going on, they do everything in their power to stop it with their powers and getting the villain to monologue.

Should you read Heroine Complex? Uhhh, a tentative maybe? What I liked about Heroine Complex is that it focuses on female Asian Americans kicking ass as superheroines or personal assistants, and on the superheroine’s best friend/personal assistant and seeing Evie’s growth throughout the book. However, the things I disliked about this book are that it’s very predictable, a bit cheesy (what you’d expect to find in any superhero book), and the characters can be really awful to each other (mainly Aveda to Evie). It really wasn’t what I expected; it was much quick light read that focused heavily on the romance, which disappointed me.


One Response to “REVIEW • I Am Not A Superhero (Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn)”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    I really like the idea of an Asian-American superhero, so that might be the reason that I wind up picking this one up! Duly noted on the cheesy nature of this book and the predictability though ;)

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