Title: The Extraordinaries
Author: TJ Klune
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comics, Superheroes, Romcom, Bestfriends to lovers trope, pining, M/M romance,
Content Warnings: Violence, anxiety, panic attacks, some vulgar words but none too extreme
Publication date: July 14, 2020
Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. 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.
I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Tor Teen!
I have such high expectations for this book. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis sounds promising, and having read Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, I have nothing but excitement and faith for it. And after reading it, damn, I am so glad those expectations are met and more.
This funny, wholesome, and unapologetically queer book will make you laugh, break your heart, and lure you into the start of what seems to be a great trilogy.
My thoughts on The Extraordinaries
This book is just perfect. It’s hella funny, it’s poignant, it’s relatable, it’s heartbreaking, it’s shocking, it’s angsty (two boys pining, come on), it’s heartwarming, the plot twists are amazing, it’s wonderfully-written, it’s EVERYTHING.
But let’s start with the writing style. Klune knows how to tell a story. Yes, he does. The book opens up with a fanfic (a freaking FANFIC, formatted just like in AO3) and I knew this is going to be one hell of a ride. It was funny all throughout, but there were heartbreaking and heartstopping moments as well.
Being neurodiverse himself, I feel like Klune managed to encapsulate Nick’s ADHD onto the pages perfectly. There were times when I just wanted to give Nick a hug, and tell him it’s going to be okay. (This is obviously a clear sign that I got invested with the characters AGAIN) Speaking of characters, I loved that everyone in this book had a part. The minor characters weren’t just there for the sake of it. Instead, they added their own flair and stories, they helped Nick, they helped the plot, they made the story alive, and I loved that.
As for the romance, oh boy. Get ready for a lot of pining and cluelessness and angst. But also, get ready for the fluff and the wholesomeness. Best friends to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, and the author wrote that well.
When it comes to the plot of The Extraordinaries, it was definitely entertaining. Nick decides he wants to become an Extraordinary and starts all these crazy methods, and then some…other things happen (which I will not spoil, of course!). I liked that the author knows how to build up a plot twist or revelation. He does that really well all throughout the book using flashbacks, a number of foreshadowing, and more. And though, I already had a hunch early on about a specific big plot twist, it was still so exciting and thrilling to read the book.
The world-building, I feel like it can use a little more polishing. However, this is just the first book, and I have faith that we’ll get to know more about the origin of these Extraordinaries in the next installments.
Overall, The Extraordinaries is such an amazing journey of self-discovery, self-love, the beauty of friendship and family, and challenging the very trope that is “superhero versus villain”.
Quotes from the book
“It’s good to talk about how you’re feeling. But it’s even better to fight for the things you believe in.”
He thought he was going to cry again, but since he’d done it twice in as many days, he decided it was probably best if he tried to be a man for a little while. Then he thought that was sexist, so he allowed another tear to spill onto his cheek.
“This sucks. Not only am I the comedic relief/ love interest, I’m also the clueless comedic relief/ love interest who is a pawn in a game I didn’t even realize was being played. God, my life is so cliché.”
*Note that these quotes were taken from an advance reader’s copy and may differ from the final copy.
Buy The Extraordinaries
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This book was my first read for Pride Month and for #spectrumreads and it looks like I’m off to a great start! How are your Pride Month reads?
Also, is this book on your radar already? Tell me in the comments!