Review: “Not Your Sidekick,” “Not Your Villain,” and “Not Your Backup” by C. B. Lee


Release Date: Not Your Sidekick – September 8, 2016; Not Your Villain – October 5, 2017; Not Your Backup – June 4, 2019
Series: Sidekick Squad #1-3
Publisher: Duet Books
Genre: Young Adult, Supherheroes


Not Your Sidekick
“Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess 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, who 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.”

Not Your Villain
“Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.

After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?

Sometimes, to do a hero’s job, you need to be a villain.”

Not Your Backup
“Emma Robledo has a few more responsibilities that the usual high school senior, but then again, she and her friends have left school to lead a fractured Resistance movement against a corrupt Heroes League of Heroes. Emma is the only member of a supercharged team without powers, and she isn’t always taken seriously. A natural leader, Emma is determined to win this battle, and when that’s done, get back to school. As the Resistance moves to challenge the League, Emma realizes where her place is in this fight: at the front.”


My Thoughts

NotYourSidekick-coverIn these tumultuous times, there’s something powerful about a series where young people realize the adults are wrong and that if they want to fix things they’ll have to do it themselves. The real world is chock full of grown ups who don’t care about the problems kids are about to face. The only way this world is going to be livable a century from now isn’t by hand holding the previous generations who let everything get this bad but by the younger generations taking control and making our own rules. The Sidekick Squad wouldn’t exist if the adults in their world could get their acts together and do something productive, but they’re too busy bickering over who’s in charge. They spend every waking moment deliberating and hedging and planning, and as a result they don’t do anything at all. It’s up to Emma, Jess, Bells, Abby, Brendan, and the rest of the squad to save the day…

To read the rest of my review, head over to


Thanks to Duet Books for sending me a review copy.

Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or borrow it from your public library.

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