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Superpowers    by David J. Schwartz order for
by David J. Schwartz
Order:  USA  Can
Three Rivers, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Summer is the time for superheroes. It is when the majority of superhero comic books come out, when books featuring superheroes hit the shelves in bookstores, and when comic bookstores have sales of back issues. Therefore, it is a perfect time to pick up David J. Schwartz's Superpowers, which coincidentally takes place over the summer.

On May 19, 2001, to celebrate the end of their sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, five housemates have a party starring home-brewed beer, only to wake up the next morning with superpowers. Caroline keeps the secret that she can fly to herself, and while Jack starts helping others, he keeps quiet about his super-speed. Mary Beth's super-strength scares her, so she confides in Harriet, who in turn tells of her new ability to turn invisible. However, no one can keep their secrets from Charlie as he learns to use his telepathy. Soon they are The All-Stars - from the white star that Caroline puts on all their costumes. Crime, though, in Madison is rather slow, and sometimes the crew underestimate the extent of their own powers. Little do they know that a major crisis is looming on the horizon, one that will change their live irrevocably.

Superpowers is a little more somber than many superhero stories, but Schwartz does throw in enjoyable comic elements. More than a fantasy tale, Superpowers is a grown-up fable about learning about yourself and how to handle what life throws at you. Schwartz's writing is unique and engaging. Perhaps the convention he uses that stands out the most is breaks from the tale when the narrator steps in with his own opinions and to remind the reader that this is a true story. Light summer reading, Superpowers is not. However, if you want a good story that makes you think, pick up David J. Schwartz's debut novel it is well worth it.

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