August 6, 2021

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries Trilogy Book 1) by TJ Klune


The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries Trilogy Book 1) by TJ Klune
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Format: Audiobook (library)
Publisher: Tor Teen

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The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune is a quirky, queer superhero love story. I had this book recommended by so many fellow bookstagrammers that I absolutely had to pick it up. After reading Wolfsong and The House in the Cerulean Sea, I went into this with high expectations and I was not disappointed. 

Our main character, Nick Bell, is the biggest fan of Nova City's resident "Extraordinary" Shadow Star. When he's not writing the top-rated fanfic in the Shadow Star Fandom, he's dealing with all the complexities of his ADHD brain and the strain in his relationship with his father following the death of his mother. We have the best friend Seth who is precious and must be protected at all costs (and also very obviously in love with Nick). To round out the main cast of characters, we have their female best friends Jasmine “Jazz” Kensington and Lola “Gibby” Gibson. 

The characters were a highlight of the book. There is Nick’s dad Aaron, who is a police officer and struggles to interact with his son at times following the death of his wife. He’s not an absent parent by any means though, he does his best to be there for his son in every way possible despite working (i.e. after Nick comes out, he demonstrates how to put a condom on using a banana as a demonstration much to Nick’s horror). We have Nick, who has the best lines in the book and is completely clueless about how much Seth cares about him. There’s also the whole cast of supporting characters in the book, who really show up after one of the main characters is injured and lands in the hospital. There’s nothing I can really critique with the characters in this book because everything was as close to perfection as humanly possible. 

Michael Lesley is going to be one of my new favorite audiobook narrators ever. He has a very upbeat and humorous style when he reads. Between his narration and TJ's witty writing style, I found myself laughing a lot while reading. While I can’t comment on the gay rep in this book due to not belonging to that community, I can comment on the ADHD representation (having the condition myself) and it was spot on. Lesley did such a great job narrating Nick’s inner rambles and monologues. I really related to it, and all the moments that referenced Nick’s ADHD felt very natural (and not like it was thrown in to hit some type of “diversity” quota). 

If you've read Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea and Green Creek series before, you should expect a very different vibe from The Extraordinaries. It’s a very lighthearted and humorous read, but it also addresses some heavy and serious stuff (i.e. parental death). I highly recommend this book to any young adult fans of the superhero genre. There are no intimate sex scenes, but there are some descriptive makeout moments and the main character does have some slightly sexual tones to his inner monologues while fantasizing about his crush. 

About the Author

TJ KLUNE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Extraordinaries, and more. Being queer himself, Klune believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive queer representation in stories.

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