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Can You Read My Mind?

Because Gwenda Bond’s Lois Lane: Fallout is everything we’d hoped and dreamed for the original Crack Reporter.

Can You Read My Mind?

BOOK REPORT for Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Cover Story: Montel Jordan
BFF Charm: Single White Female
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Crack Reporting
Bonus Factors: Say No to Bullying
Relationship Status: Falling for You

Cover Story: Montel Jordan

Awwwww yeah, THIS is how we do it! God, I love this cover. This is bold, bright, and thematic (newsprint) without being literal (probably a photo of a girl writing a news article or something, ugh). It instantly grabbed my attention and immediately told me that this was a Lois Lane for the 21st century. Rad!

The Deal:

Army brat Lois Lane is determined to make her new high school work out for her - after all, her high-ranking Army dad is counting on her to stop getting into trouble and start going the straight and narrow. It’s not that Lois tries to get into trouble - it’s just that trouble seems to find her, and before she knows it, she’s already made some fresh new enemies with the school principal and a gang of weird bullies when she jumps in to defend a hapless classmate. Using the skills that landed her a spot on the staff of Daily Planet’s online high school paper, she starts uncovering a mystery that puts her and all her new friends in danger. At least she can confide in her online BFF - Smallvilleguy (I know, I know), who, even though they’ve never met, seems to understand her - including her penchant for believing that there are things out there that can’t be explained - but that should still be investigated.

BFF Charm: Single White Female

God, I am so jealous of Lois Lane. She has always been awesome - for a comic book character with absolutely zero special powers, girl has some fire. But getting to see Lois as a teen - before she’s a polished-no-nonsense career woman - was great. This version of Our Heroine is sassy - a kind-hearted know-it-all who is the first one to leap to the defense of the defenseless, and damn the consequences. It’s not that she has no fears or doubts - it’s just that, when ish hits the fan and it’s do or die time, you can count on Lois to fake her way past some security guards to infiltrate the inner workings of a top secret government experiment just to save your neck - and get the story, of course. Because that’s the thing about Lois - she’s not just brave; she’s not just smart. She’s a reporter, the kind of reporter that figures things out, brings the best out in people, and then jumps right into the middle of the fray with the intent to bring out the truth. GOD. She is - especially in this book - who I sort of always wished I could be (for the record, I’m super cautious and generally Not Brave).

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Ok. So I know - I know - the whole “my anonymous online-chat-friend Smallvilleguy” is definitely a little eye-roll inducing. I get it. But the thing is...it kinda works here. The idea is that as a child criss-crossing the States with her Army dad, Lois witnesses something she can’t explain - and something her Dad says is classified: a mysterious crash in the middle of Kansas, that was definitely not normal. This event causes her to start searching online, and in a chat room for enthusiasts of the unexplained, Lois stumbles upon a kindred spirit - another young person who believes that strange things (like aliens) are possible and who is also not a total weirdo. Anyway, their relationship is really cute - and sort of sweetly wistful, because Smallvilleguy believes he has to protect his identity above all else. That being said, there are some adorable little shout outs (and not too many) for fans of the Man of Steel - like, when he and Lois play an MMO game together, his avatar is an alien who is both good...and has laser beam eyes. Oh, and adorably dorky glasses, of course.

Talky Talk: Crack Reporting

I was impressed with how the author, Gwenda Bond, took an iconic character who was so intrinsically linked with that old school, 1930s, New York-esque nostalgia and somehow brought her firmly into the present. Whenever I used to think of Lois Lane, she was always tinged in sepia - the newspaper biz, as associated with the character Lois Lane, seemed so...well, you know. Dated. BUT! This Lois is a reporter Now, and everything was fast-paced, fresh, and relevant. I mean she didn’t rub all her tech in your face, but I definitely did not see any sepia on anything that Lois did, and I thought that was really cool.

Bonus Factor: Say No to Bullying

I loved that Lois was such a scrappy fight-picker for justice. Most - ok, basically all - of her scrapes and run-ins with the Establishment happen when Lois jumps in to stand up for someone who’s being hurt. She can’t stand to see anyone picked on or taken advantage of, and it was a great dimension to the ever-present thirst for truth that drives her in her reporting. Bullies are the true enemy here, and Lois - and this book - manage to take a topic that has the potential to be preachy (if handled badly) and make it feel like a vital aspect of Our Heroine’s character.

Relationship Status: Falling For You

Oh book - your looks caught my attention first (sorry, it’s true), but your head and your heart delivered. Let’s face it - I’m falling head over heels for you. And your online chat-room boyfriend.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my copy from Switch Press. I received neither money nor candy for this review, even though I would have taken either. Lois Lane: Fallout is available now.

Savannah Kitchens's photo About the Author: Savannah Kitchens is doing the Lord’s work spreading YA lit to the masses as the head (and only member - but who’s really counting?) of the YA department at her library near Birmingham, Alabama. When she’s not disappointing her parents, she’s bottle drinking wine and playing board games with her husband.