Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with a character on the asexual/aromantic spectrum
Book: Not Your Backup, by C. B. Lee
Not Your Backup is the third book in C. B. Lee's Sidekick Squad series, set in a post-disaster future where some humans have superpowers. Each book focuses on a different character, with overlapping timelines, as they realize that the Heroes' League of Heroes (yes, that's really the name) is corrupt. Our courageous teens spearhead a resistance movement. (There are some parallels with April Daniels's Dreadnought books, also from a marginalized point of view, where the superheroes' organization is less heroic than it first appears. The Sidekick Squad's major characters are all LGBT+, and most are people of color.)
Not Your Backup focuses on Emma Robledo, the brains of the operation. Unlike her friends, Emma has no superpowers. When they join forces with the (not-so-villainous) villains' organization, Emma finds herself pushed aside by the adults, expected to do the filing and make the chore wheel. Naturally, in the end Emma's quick thinking saves the day (along with the fact that the real villains always underestimate her).
While Emma's trying to figure out her place in the Resistance, she's also trying to figure out her relationship with her best friend Bells. She loves him, but does she romantically love him? Does she want to be his girlfriend? Does she want to have sex or even kiss? Emma discovers that there are many places on the asexual/aromantic spectrum, and she can find the one that's right for her.
The book ends with some things resolved, but something strange is clearly going on with her friend Abby, which will presumably be explained in the next book as the Resistance fights on.
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