The Heroine Complex series is one of those series you become hooked on and you don’t want to give up. Whether it’s the characters in Heroine Worship that are relatable – even when they are sprouting fire from their palms – the romance that weaves through the book, or the action packed plot, you won’t want to stop reading!
Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable.
It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission.
All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.
In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.
When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
There’s something about Heroine Worship that just clicked with me. It’s hard to pick when there are so many fabulous elements to choose from – their unique family, Annie’s character, the romance, or the action. But if I had to choose one, I’d choose Annie.
Annie as a Main Character
In the first book, Annie is a side character, Evie’s diva boss who used to be her best friend. But in Heroine Worship Annie takes center stage. And she is faced with the difficult challenge – can she really change? It’s not only a process of being less diva-like, but everything that’s become tied up with Aveda Jupiter.
Annie’s character asks us important questions that we all can relate to, even if we aren’t a superhero struggling with telekinesis: Who are we when we are not the person we are trained to be? Whether it’s our personal expectations of us, our family, our culture, when we’ve spent so long molding ourselves in that image, driven towards that goal, who are we when the floor falls out beneath us? When we aren’t needed anymore.
In Heroine Worship we see the ongoing struggle in Annie and Evie’s relationship, her attraction to her childhood friend Scott, and Annie’s own relationship with her mother. But what Heroine Worship makes clear is this distinction Annie has made between Annie Chang – the girl who stood up for Evie and used her anger and doubt as fuel – and Aveda – the strong and polished super heroine. Annie struggles to reconcile both parts of her: the vulnerability and the strength, the fear and the bravery.
While at the same time, Heroine Worship is a story of a woman’s desire to be good enough, to be seen for her strengths and weaknesses. It’s a story that tackles the way women are pitted against each other in the media, being a public person of color superhero, family expectations, and our ability to fix our mistakes. If you wanted to know more about Annie after Heroine Complex, if you are a sucker for complex characters who try earnestly to fix their mistakes, if you are a list maker, then give Heroine Worship a read.