cover image How to Date a Superhero (and Not Die Trying)

How to Date a Superhero (and Not Die Trying)

Cristina Fernandez. HarperCollins/Tegen, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-311430-2

When premed college sophomore Astrid Rose discovers that her boyfriend, Max Martin, is secretly a superhero, her meticulously structured life is thrown into disarray in Fernandez’s imaginative debut. Even if Max doesn’t always fit into Astrid’s vision for her perfect future—he’s consistently canceling dates, showing up late, or bailing halfway through—he’s “annoyingly wonderful, a hearth through the short days of winter, a breath of fresh air in her dusty dorm room, a ray of sunshine breaking through gray clouds.” But after Max saves her from a supervillain who breaks into her dorm room and reveals his alter ego, Kid Comet, she’s enrolled in Eleanor’s Finishing School for Superheroes’ Girlfriends, a program which prepares superhero significant others for inevitable kidnappings and interrogations. As Astrid’s plans are further disrupted by increasingly perilous superhuman hazards, she must rethink her future goals and her relationship. Nonlinear, alternating past and present chapters that chronicle Astrid and Max’s relationship over the course of several years occasionally disorient. Nevertheless, through Astrid’s keenly developed and fiercely independent voice, Fernandez adeptly examines the collateral damage and extraordinary stressors of living in a superhuman world, and resulting underlying trauma and anxieties. Ages 13–up. Agent: Abigail Frank, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Aug.)