by T.H. Hernandez
Soul Mate Publishing
July 5th 2018
YA Adventure, Science Fiction
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.
When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.
With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.
But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.
Taking high school drama and mixing it with some superhero powers and mystery, this book is an easy read adventure to enjoy.
Annarenee is not happy to find out that the government has cancelled their superhero program, which has been the center of her parents' and brother's lives. Although she herself is a 'zero', a person without any special abilities, she is part of the family and must move with them to California. There, the government has set up a type of superhero village to keep an eye on their people, while they learn to adapt to a normal life. For Annarenee, a girl who was popular and a state level swimmer before, a high school full of superheroes is automatic nightmare. Although she finds a few friends, some of those with powers aren't willing to accept zeroes. Take this challenge, add some disappearing teens and Annarenee is about to embark on a high school experience far beyond anything she could have dreamed.
This book is very smooth and easy to read. Excitement, action or simple intriguing layers of mystery hit every page, making it a steady paced novel. Set in high school with teens, the plot rotates around all sorts of social issues and will feel very familiar to teen readers. Annarenee is not the ugly duckling, but still, has to conquer some easy to relate to issues. Bullying, peer pressure and social bordering are topics hit in these pages. But that's not all.
The story can be broken down into three segments: Annarenee at her home high school and usual life, the new start in California with all of it's social issues, and the mystery of disappearing teens. There's a lot packed into these pages, and the sections run together nicely. The structure allows the reader to get to know Annarenee well and sympathize with her before throwing her world head over heels. The mystery at the end was a treat and almost the only part of the book where the superpowers really came into more play.
The ending of the book wrapped things up nicely and left a satisfactory smile. It did, however, come across a bit rushed and too easy to solve. Annarenee's sudden realization at the end of her importance came across a little forced and didn't completely mirror what role her character had taken during the read. Still, these things are nit-picky when compared with the fun read. And it was a fun read.
And here she is...
T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.
She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”
You can find her online at http://thhernandez.com
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