Mike Jung spoke at my regional SCBWI conference. He was funny, energetic and a debut author with a very impressive story (and editor! Arthur Levine — the American editor of Harry Potter!) so, of course, I had to pick up the book. I loved hearing him talk about how he became an author — those are always my favorite parts. It wasn’t instant. He rewrote Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities quite a few times — like, completely sometimes. Originally it was told from Polly’s POV, now it’s in Vincent’s. Even though I generally don’t read MG, Jung won me over. If he was that funny in person, I couldn’t wait to see what his book was like. And, really, I’m not a fan of funny books, so the fact that he made me want to read one was pretty remarkable.
Synopsis from GOODREADS:
A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut!
Can knowing the most superhero trivia in the whole school be considered a superpower?
If so, Vincent Wu is invincible.
If not (and let’s face it, it’s “not”), then Vincent and his pals Max and George don’t get any props for being the leaders (and, well, sole members) of the (unofficial) Captain Stupendous Fan Club.
But what happens when the Captain is hurt in an incident involving BOTH Professor Mayhem and his giant indestructible robot AND (mortifyingly) Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent totally has a crush on?
The entire city is in danger, Vincent’s parents and his friends aren’t safe, the art teacher has disappeared, and talking to Polly is REALLY, REALLY AWKWARD.
Being the only girl in my family, I’m very familiar with comic books. My brother particularly love them, so I had no choice but to read them, too. Well, that’s not true. I could not, but I was always boyish growing up (all boy cousins and only brothers will do that to you). I found myself highly amused with all his comic book tie ins (like the school names, Xavier, and such). Aside from that, the voice, the plot, and the funniest of it all pulled me in. I understood Vincent, Jung really nailed a MG boy. He reminded so much of my brothers at that age. And the little boys I tutor at the library.
Except, none of them know a superhero. That would have been cool. Polly’s a big player in this book–and as a girl who is generally extremely critical of female characters–it means a lot that I liked her so much. She was intense, strong, clever, and believable. I adored her. I totally wish I was as badass as she is when I was her age. Plus her story, her tie in with the plot, was brilliant. Who would have saw that coming?
This book’s an easy read. Not just because it’s MG, but the plot keeps going and never lags. It wasn’t a challenge to finish it in one day. I’m glad the ending leaves open a possibility for something more. I’d like to see where Vincent and Polly’s story could continue to. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future books by Jung. He’s made a fan out of me.