Superpowers: A Novel - David J Schwartz

Synopsis: Madison, Wisconsin: In the summer of 2001, five college juniors wake up with . . . not just a hangover, but superpowers…

Jack Robinson: Grew up on a farm, works in a chem lab, and brews his own beer. Age: 19. Superpower: SPEED.

Caroline Bloom: Has a flair for fashion design and a mother who’s completely out of touch. Works as a waitress for a lunatic boss. Age: 20. Superpower: FLIGHT.

Harriet Bishop: Studied violin, guitar, and piano . . . and was terrible at them all. Now writes about music for the campus paper. Age: 20. Superpower: ­INVISIBILITY.

Mary Beth Layton: Is managing a 3.8, but feels like she’s working three times as hard as the people around her. Age: 20. Superpower: STRENGTH.

Charlie Frost: Has an anxious way about him, and always looks like he’s on day 101 of his most recent haircut. Age: 20. Superpower: TELEPATHY.

But how do you adjust to an extraordinary ability when you’re an ordinary person? What if you’re not ready for the responsibility that comes with great power? And how do you keep your head in a world that’s going mad?

Review: What a surprise of a book! I did find the first 50 pages or so a liiiittttle bit slow admitedly, however I powered through it and came out on the other side feeling happy that I did. Initially the book annoyed me, but I’ll explain why.

The book starts from the perspective of Marcus Hatch, our “Editor”. He starts of telling us how this is a true story, and I guess setting the book up. Then as the book suggests, our characters have a night on the alcohol and wake up mysteriously with superpowers.

One of my biggest questions, that I expected would be answered was “How did that happen?”. Instead of answering it though, I think the book took the cheap way out by having Editor Marcus Hatch intervene at that time saying:

“So don’t think I don’t realize that some of you are expecting me to explain how five ordinary college students acquired these extraordinary powers. Well, you’re going to have to get used to disappointment.”

I just didn’t like that. I felt like instead of actually explaining it there was an excuse or reason not to. I almost want to say that I felt like it wasn’t treating the readers as though they are smart.

BUT I persevered! And you know, the book got really good. Especially when it started to get more into of the personal stories of each of the characters. It had some really sad and heartfelt moments.

We know early on that this book is heading towards including events from September 11 2001. At first I wasn’t looking forward to this, because well, let’s face it - that time was a dark time for us all. But it was written tactfully and made us want the superheroes to band together to save the day.

A surprisingly touching book, but also very entertaining. I did enjoy the book even if there was a couple of parts early on I didn’t entirely love. The book overall as a whole was really very entertaining and worth a read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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