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Book Review: Othergirl by Nicole Burstein

OthergirlTitle: Othergirl
Author: Nicole Burstein
Series:  n/a
Pages:  272
Publisher: Andersen Press
Date of Publication: 2nd April, 2015
Source: Library
Synopsis from Goodreads: Louise and Erica have been best friends since forever. They're closer than sisters and depend on each other for almost everything. Just one problem: Erica has superpowers.

When Erica isn't doing loop-the-loops in the sky or burning things with her heat pulse powers, she needs Louise to hold her non-super life together. After all, the girls still have homework, parents and boys to figure out. But being a superhero's BFF is not easy, especially as trouble has a way of seeking them out. Soon Louise discovers that Erica might be able to survive explosions and fly faster than a speeding bullet, but she can't win every fight by herself.

Life isn't a comic book - it's even crazier than that.


My Thoughts:
I had pretty high hopes for Othergirl. I like superhero movies a lot but I'd never read a book about them so that was very exciting, and I'd heard good things about it. While it didn't blow my socks off, Othergirl was a quick and enjoyable read, which I think will appeal hugely to slightly younger readers.

In the world of Othergirl, superheroes are very prominent figures who form groups called Vigils around the globe to save the world. Enter Erica and Louise two best friends. Erica can fly, control heat, and wants to be a Vigil, and Louise is her best friend who makes sure she keeps up with her homework and doesn't let her powers get the better of her.

First and foremost I had problems with this friendship. I totally understand that some friends have nothing in common yet they work anyway, but at least most friendships usually (should!) include some kind of mutual appreciation of each other. I really don't see why Louise put up with Erica, to be honest. It was weird! Erica was full of herself and pretty bitchy throughout: she lets her powers make her arrogant, she stomps all over Louise when she tries to look out for her, and she ditches Louise for a guy she likes more than once. What happened to sisters before misters? Erica gave nothing to the relationship so I don't know why Louise bothered to. Maybe the idea was to portray Louise's undying loyalty or whatever but it all becomes a bit silly after a while.

I really liked the superhero concept- the idea of all the Vigils was exciting, especially with the kind of celebrity culture that followed them. It reminded me of Megamind which is a film that I LOVE so that was cool. However I don't think that they were fleshed out nearly enough. There was no explanation for how some individuals had special powers, which bugged me throughout, and it would have been nice to read in more detail about the famous superheroes and what they've done, rather than just their names and about how everyone loves them. A few exciting pages of their stories would not have gone amiss!

The novel is very, very easy to read and won't take you long at all. It was a really nice antidote to all of the heavy Roman History books that I (should) have been reading for my course, so I didn't really mind that. At times though I would have liked a little more, it could be quite simplistic. I'm not actually sure what age bracket this is aimed at (probably should have looked that up) but it reads a lot younger than I expected so maybe that has something to do with it. The plot is therefore quite predictable (the stereotypical hot bad guy in a long leather coat didn't help!) and the ending fell a little flat for me - I'd have liked more of a twist to be honest! It wasn't bad by any means, just not as exciting as I had hoped.

Overall though, Othergirl was an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend if it's something you've been considering reading for a while. It will only take you an afternoon or so to zip through, and so it's perfect for a rainy afternoon and sometimes that's exactly what you need! Also if you like it you can look forward to the next book set in this world, Wonderboy, which comes out in September.


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