what’s the word

Not Your SidekickNot Your Villain, and Not Your Backup are entertaining and propulsive novels written with confidence, charm, and cheek. C. B. Lee gets not only how to elevate superhero tropes but how to write teenagers in an honest and compelling way. Everything from the worldbuilding to the plots to the character development are firing on all cylinders. The Abby-centric fourth novel, Not Your Hero, can’t come soon enough.

Tor

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

The Sidekick Squad are back and better than ever in Not Your Villain... There’s nothing quite like the found-family narrative, nor the team up against a corrupt government, and the unrelenting optimism and power of a group of largely queer-identifying teens.

Hypable

C. B. Lee’s Not Your Backup perfectly weaves together superhero fun and queer self-discovery in a compelling story that made my aroace heart sing. I loved it from the first to the last page.

Claudie Arseneault, author of Baker Thief

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