Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Review: Not Your Backup by C.B. Lee

I have been obsessed with the sidekick squad since book one. It features amazing representation that is heartfelt, genuine, and funny. And Not Your Backup is no different.


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.


I received a review copy from the publisher as part of the blog tour. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.

As I said I’ve been invested in the Sidekick Squad series for a while now. When book two, Not Your Villain, was released, I quickly binged book one and haven’t looked back since. I will always admired C.B. Lee’s commitment to diversity in a world where its characters are appreciated, loved, and celebrated for who they are. I can’t think of a better book to begin Pride month!

Not Your Backup continues the story we know and love. A quest for justice and freedom. Except in this book, we dig deeper into this idea of justice, but when? When your families are being torn apart and your friends are falling around us, when is time for justice? A revolution has all these moving pieces that need to be put in place, and, sometimes, change needs time. So Not Your Backup is a lot about figuring out these nitty gritties, not knowing where our place is in this tsunami of change.

But what really stands out, and what drew me to this book in particular, is the asexual representation on the page. The way Emma is questioning her feelings, her sexuality, and how she can find a label, a relationship, that suits her. That reflects her feelings. Because it can be tough to wade through all of that – and try to inspire a revolution not to mention that! I loved how it’s not necessarily a story about coming out or question, but it’s merged into this superhero narrative. And it is so important that it’s on the page!

Not Your Backup is a fabulous sequel. Not only because we get to see more of other characters, but because it’s one of those stories that shows us more of a realistic side to rebellion. It also challenges and questions the idea of the meta humans and humans – what is Emma’s role in this rebellion? What will we sacrifice to get what we want?

Goodreads | Interlude Press | Mysterious Galaxy | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

About the Author

CB Lee is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her works include the Sidekick Squad series (Duet Books), Ben 10 (Boom!), and All Out Now (HarperTeen). CB loves to write about queer teens, magic, superheroes, and the power of friendship.

Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Lee’s first novel in the Sidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.

You can find CB’s author photos here:





Blog Tour Schedule

Find the whole intro post and links!

27th May
CW @ The Quiet Pond (Introduction)
Harker @ The Hermit Librarian (NYB Review + Quotes/Who Would I Be in CB’s World?)

28th May
Shari @ Colour Me Read (NYS Review + Illustration)

29th May
Fadwa @ Word Wonders (NYB Review + Aesthetic)

30th May
Ceillie @ Let’s Fox About It (NYB Review + Character Interview)

31st May
Avery @ The Book Deviant (NYB Review + Quiz)

1st June
Rita @ Bookish Rita (NYB Review + Quiz/Aesthetic)

2nd June
Laura @ Green Tea & Paperbacks (NYB Review + Creative Post)

3rd June
Lili @ Utopia State of Mind (NYB Review + Handlettering)

4th June
Nicky @ Small Queer, Big Opinions (Trilogy Review)

5th June
Kait @ Kaitlyn Gosiaco (NYB Review + Author Interview/Aesthetic)

6th June
Shenwei @ READING (AS)(I)AN AMERICA (NYB Review)

7th June
Janani @ The Shrinkette (Trilogy Review)


Who is your favorite superhero, sidekick, and anti-hero?

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