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Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess Tran is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, whom Jess thinks may have a secret of her own.  Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.



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 2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalist


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


Exactly the kind of super-powered jolt the genre needs right now.
Wired Magazine




A large part of the story deals with her expectations about what it means to be ordinary and what it means to be extra-ordinary.  This is a theme that will speak strongly to the current generation.  What happens when you try as hard as you possibly can but you still can’t achieve what you intend to do?  How do you rebuild who you are when you fail short of your parent’s expectations?
Queer Sci Fi

C.B. Lee has given us such an enjoyable and fresh superhero-based story with a twist that all comic book lovers and regular book lovers alike will love with Not Your Sidekick.
G Jacks Writes

The highly anticipated Not Your Sidekick demonstrates C.B. Lee’s brilliant ability to create uplifting, enjoyable and entertaining YA that explores racial identity, heritage, family, sexuality, romance and friendship in a refreshingly light and honest read. If you’re looking for a read that is all about the plot and fun and “just happens to be” inclusive, without being reductive, Not Your Sidekick ticks all the boxes. What we get is a deftly and cleverly layered story which has delicate touches of world building and plot exposition.MuggleNet Reviews

It’s billed as a three book series, and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Due to the “superhero” aspect of the plot, expect some charming comic-type art within the book, as well.
— V’s Reads

I have read astonishingly little F/F – something which I mean to rectify RIGHT NOW – and so I hadn’t really realised how well it would resonate with me. Of course, this is also because Jess is explicitly bisexual. A huge current went through me when she boldly and proudly stated her bisexuality. I don’t think that I have ever read a young adult novel where being bi is posited as an almost purely positive experience. I wish I had read this when I was younger.
What The Log

This book takes superhero tropes but it has fun with them and flips the genre on its head and makes it something new…almost unbearably fun… I feel like this was such a step forward for queer literature. It wasn’t just about coming out and learning how to be gay and superhero it was just part of her identity, and it felt like such a move forward.
 Problems of a Book Nerd

Not Your Sidekick stays aware of every stereotypical trope of superheroes, and finds a way to either point at its absurdity or turn it on its head. Along with calling out the absurdity of how the hero somehow never can figure out the identity of the shadowy figure (case in point, Jess doesn’t figure out who ‘M’ is until damn near two-thirds of the way through), Lee builds up scenes where Jess, a girl with no powers of her own, becomes the hero and saves the day. We even get a taste of the notorious villain monologue, and everyone is aware of how ridiculous it is. This playful jest at heavy-handed plot devices makes for a comical atmosphere, but this novel stays out of the zone of satire, not only maintaining the real dangers of superheroes blending with non-powered society, but touching on the real world issues of today, including nationalism, racism, sexuality, and if the “common good” really is good…Lee has created something that is not only dynamic for the entire genre, but integral for the movements of both creating space for more Asian leading characters and queer characters.
The Writer’s Will