what’s the word

Lee offers up a fast-paced, engaging tale set in a quasi-dystopian 22nd-century America where the line between hero and villain is often blurred. With a diverse cast of characters, both in terms of sexuality and ethnic background, and a wholly adorable romance for Jess, it’s a lively exploration of morality in a superpowered age.

Publishers Weekly

Not Your Sidekick is an exciting story full of twists and heart.

Lambda Literary

Not Your Backup by C.B. Lee is the third book in the Sidekick Squad series and is just as good as its predecessors. Readers should buckle up because in this installment, Emma’s at the wheel and it’s her turn to shine as leader of the newly created resistance movement (THE LEAGUE IS A LIE!). It’s a challenge she’s absolutely up for but mishaps and setbacks cause her to doubt herself. Meanwhile, she’s also in the midst of figuring out her romantic and sexual identity after agreeing to date her best friend, Bells. With realistic (and supportive!) relationships anchoring the narrative, Lee crafts a well-paced story of self discovery, brimming with effortless inclusivity and thrilling dose of heroic adventure.

Claire Kann, author of Let’s Talk About Love

‘The Best Superheroes Right Now Aren’t on Screens. They’re in Books’… Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee is a coming-of-age tale about Jessica Tran, the powerless daughter of two superheroes who gets a job at a tech company—and discovers that the world of heroes and villains is more complicated than she realized.

Wired Magazine

This is a light romp of a middle grade adventure/romance, but the real strength is in its matter-of-fact representation of LGBTQ and first-generation American identities. While the meanings of these identities are explored, they are not the focus of the book and are simply part of the character- and world-building. Coming out has already happened, friendships based on immigrant identity are complicated, and there are many primary and secondary characters who fall into these categories so that no single character has to stand for everyone.

School Library Journal