Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee

Not Your Villain

Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his f...

Title:Not Your Villain
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Not Your Villain Reviews

  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Oh my god this was so lovely and wonderful. Ahhhh. These books make me so happy I lose the ability to be coherent.

    I LOVE BELLS. I loved Bells in

    so of course I had to love him when he actually got his own book. He's so awkward and nerdy sometimes, but he can also be a glorious show off and I adore it all. His general excitement over being a superhero was so contagious and joyful. And can we talk about how brilliant it is to see a black trans guy on the cover of his own book? I

    Oh my god this was so lovely and wonderful. Ahhhh. These books make me so happy I lose the ability to be coherent.

    I LOVE BELLS. I loved Bells in

    so of course I had to love him when he actually got his own book. He's so awkward and nerdy sometimes, but he can also be a glorious show off and I adore it all. His general excitement over being a superhero was so contagious and joyful. And can we talk about how brilliant it is to see a black trans guy on the cover of his own book? I can't stop staring at this cover and grinning.

    I am cis and cannot comment on the accuracy of the trans rep, but I have heard really wonderful things from trans and nonbinary reviewers so please seek their voices out! I will say I loved the normalization of pronouns throughout this book. Bells' identity is never called into question at any point, and his pronouns are a constant and an absolute. Beyond that, there is a normalization of they/them pronouns and even a scene where characters introduced themselves and included!! the pronouns they preferred!! in their introductions!! Honestly my heart sang it was glorious.

    I loved the side bits of characters we already fell in love with in

    , especially seeing how Jess and Abby's relationship is slowly evolving. Spoiler (not really don't worry): it's all adorable. Also, we got more of the other side characters we saw less of in book one and that was really enjoyable. We got to meet Emma's moms! And spend more time with Brendan! And I definitely also appreciated in the introduction of some new characters as well.

    Worldbuilding! Friendship! Superpowers! Characters casually mentioning exploring their sexuality! An actual discussion of the ace spectrum and where a character may possibly fit into that, without ever demonizing or questioning the ace spectrum as being legit! Like, the amount of happiness I got from this book is off the charts.

    I did have a minor issue with the first bit of this book, in that it is basically going over all the events of

    as they happened from Bells' point of view. It was useful as far as remembering how everything went down in book one, but it made it a bit more difficult to really get going in a new story. However, once the book caught up to the point where everything was new again, it really took off and I finished it in two sittings because it was so compelling and enjoyable.

    Let's be honest, this was my most anticipated release of the entire year and it didn't disappoint at all. I can't wait for more people to read this. Also, this is so mean because I know this book isn't even officially out yet and I swear I understand it takes a long time to write a book, but I'm already dying for

    . My love for this series is just so strong.

    *I received an early copy of this book from the publisher, but that in no way influences my review*

  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]

    You don't know what you're in for. This was the best thing ever. Bells stole my heart.

  • Julia Ember

    I love Bells! He is simultaneously so cool and so awkward -- I love the will they/won't they element to his relationship with Emma. I also loved his induction as a superhero, and

    .

    Sometimes sequels fall really flat, but I thought this book was stronger than

    . The world-building felt more natural. The stakes for Bells were higher than for Jess, which made me more invested in him as a character. I shipped Be

    I love Bells! He is simultaneously so cool and so awkward -- I love the will they/won't they element to his relationship with Emma. I also loved his induction as a superhero, and

    .

    Sometimes sequels fall really flat, but I thought this book was stronger than

    . The world-building felt more natural. The stakes for Bells were higher than for Jess, which made me more invested in him as a character. I shipped Bells/Emma right from the beginning. I was invested in the mystery of the League, and the way they forced Bells to use his powers.

    The cat references were spot on. I struggle to imagine a world without pet cats, but Bells' reactions to vintage internet memes about them were priceless.

  • Aleksandra

    3.5

    is anticipated sequel to diverse superhero YA novel

    . The sequel is

    , I've had great time reading the book. However, I think

    suffers from

    . While the story was action-packed, it hasn't reach the climax, the book has sequence of exciting events which feel like the beginning of The Action, but it hasn't happened at the end.

    3.5

    is anticipated sequel to diverse superhero YA novel

    . The sequel is

    , I've had great time reading the book. However, I think

    suffers from

    . While the story was action-packed, it hasn't reach the climax, the book has sequence of exciting events which feel like the beginning of The Action, but it hasn't happened at the end.

    The protagonist of Not Your Villain is Bells, he's smart and caring and act-now-think-later type of person. I love him and his friends so much. Sidekick Squad is a bunch of great teens who are friends and fighting for better future. All the characters are well-crafted and complex. I love them all but I have a soft spot for Bells, that's for sure.

    Characters are definitely the key reason why this story is great.

    . Bells the protagonist is black trans boy who has unprecedentedly powerful shapeshifting abilities. His best friends are Jess and Emma. Jess is bisexual biracial girl and she is the protagonist of the first book, she has pretty cool powers, too, more about it read in book 1. In this novel she's in a relationship with Abby (yay to wlw content). Emma is Latinx and she's figuring she might be aro and/or ace. I'm quite fond of new member of the squad Brendan, who's Jess's 14 year old brother. He has a huge crush on Bells, it's adorable.

    I appreciate when the supporting cast is diverse as well, like Emma has two moms and Bells's older brother is aro ace.

    A few words about parents of the main characters. They are caring and loving and endearingly useless to the Resistance cause. I mean they did help but most of heavy lifting has been done by Sidekick Squad.

    The major plot line is solid and very superheroesque. I'm big fan of stories about fighting against governmental organization and unraveling conspiracies.

    Highly recommend to pick up this series and I can't wait to read

    .

  • CW (Read Think Ponder)

    In case you didn't know, 

    was my favourite book of 2017, and remains to be one of my favourite books of all time. So, you can imagine how excited and ecstatic I was I was given the privilege to read its sequel, 

    !

     It was a fantastic wa

    In case you didn't know, 

    was my favourite book of 2017, and remains to be one of my favourite books of all time. So, you can imagine how excited and ecstatic I was I was given the privilege to read its sequel, 

    !

     It was a fantastic way to ease into the new developments of the story, and also gave us an opportunity to become acquainted with and understand Bells a little better. We get the opportunity to see Bells attending Meta-Human Training and what it was like to train as a prospective superhero. Moreover, we get to see more of their world; whilst 

    was mostly confined to Andover, 

    takes us to places such as Aerial City and other exciting places.

    It was wonderful to see the worldbuilding developed a little more.

    Bells was such a brilliant character, and I adored him. He is kind, sharp, witty, and cares so much for his friends. His perspective was fantastic, and

    Although we knew that Bells was a shapeshifter in 

    the nature of his powers, though still an enigma, are explored alongside with Bells's personal discovery of his powers and their potential. Furthermore, Bells's trans experience and identity integrates with the story well, even briefly exploring how this interacts with his shapeshifting prowess. Altogether,

    I cannot wait for all of you to fall in love with him. He is just such a gem.

    . Though 

    focused a lot on Jess and Abby, we get to see even 

    of Jess and Abby, but we also get to learn more about Emma, Brandon, and some new characters. For one, we get to meet Bells's parents, and I adored them. I loved how Bells had such a close-knit and supportive family, particularly his close relationship with his father. Moreover, whilst Emma and Bells was strongly hinted at in

    , the chemistry and relationship between the two of them in this book was sublime.

     Seeing such a strong and loving friendship, flaws and hiccups and all, was absolutely wonderful.

    The overarching story of the Sidekick Squad starts to get 

    interesting in 

    Slowly, we begin to see who the real antagonist is (and what I'm liking is that it's not an individual, but something much larger than one person), and characters showing their true colours - with some unexpected surprises.

    Indeed, the concept of heroism and villainism is blurred, and highlights that the media plays a big role in what is portrayed as good versus evil.

    My only criticism of

    was that parts of the end felt a little rushed and the narrative a little jumpy, 

    it didn't impede my enjoyment of the book. Rest assured, 

    is indeed a fantastic book.

    Furthermore, fans of the book will be pleased to know that there's going to be a third installment of the series, and it'll be from Emma's perspective! If you're feeling ambivalent about Emma, just wait until you read 

    you'll adore her and you'll be just as excited as I am for 

    !

    Although I adore 

    a little more - and for personal reasons; it was one of the first books where I felt represented after all, and therefore has a very special place in my heart -

    You absolutely need this book.

    -

    A shapeshifting meta-human is framed as a villain; he and his friends set off on a mission to fight back against the corrupted heroes organization.

    Readers who want to read about a black trans superhero, and want a heartwarming read.

    Young adult, science-fiction

    Absolutely, especially if you enjoyed 

    !

    none that I can think of; please let me know if I need to include any!

    -

    This review can also be found on my book blog,

  • Inge

    This was good fun! I was really looking forward to reading Bells's point of view, and it did not disappoint. He's probably my favourite character in the series. Now he's becoming one of the most powerful superheroes, but somehow becomes public enemy number one. This is a problem.

    Action-packed with superhero stuff and evil robots from start to finish, while also taking the time to talk about some personal storylines - Bells's secret crush on Emma and his feeling like the fifth wheel in a

    This was good fun! I was really looking forward to reading Bells's point of view, and it did not disappoint. He's probably my favourite character in the series. Now he's becoming one of the most powerful superheroes, but somehow becomes public enemy number one. This is a problem.

    Action-packed with superhero stuff and evil robots from start to finish, while also taking the time to talk about some personal storylines - Bells's secret crush on Emma and his feeling like the fifth wheel in a friend group full of couples. I loved these calmer, quiet little parts that provided some relief from the action and really helped with character development.

    The diversity in this series is on point as well. POC, trans, bi, ace/aro, it's all there, and I'm even missing a few. It's brilliant to see how flawlessly and effortlessly this is done.

    While I don't seem to be falling in love with this series, it is still really enjoyable - strong characters, strong storyline, high diversity - and I'd highly recommend it to lovers of sci fi and things that go boom.

  • Shenwei

    I need book 3 (Not Your Backup) *cries*

  • Dahlia

    This book made me tear up repeatedly with its beautiful representation and I am just so freaking happy that CB Lee writes books for teens. If you're a librarian, and especially if you're one who serves teens of color, please, please get this series in your library.

  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    Full review originally posted on my blog:

    I read Not Your Sidekick not that long ago and absolutely adored it. Short after I finished reading it, I got approved for an eArc of Not Your Villain so imagine how excited I was to pick it up but… life got in the way and I only got to read it around a week ago. That being said, it’s okay, because I ended up

    Full review originally posted on my blog:

    I read Not Your Sidekick not that long ago and absolutely adored it. Short after I finished reading it, I got approved for an eArc of Not Your Villain so imagine how excited I was to pick it up but… life got in the way and I only got to read it around a week ago. That being said, it’s okay, because I ended up loving it even MORE than the first but just a little though, which says a lot considering how enjoyable than one was for me. So without further ramblings, let’s dive into the actual review.

    Like the first book in the series, the writing in this one is equally simple and pleasant to read, it’s pretty similar but I could feel and ever so slight shift in it to suit the shift in perspective since… it’s a different character narrating the events. One thing that I think was a pretty clever move is how the first few chapters sum up the events of Not Your Sidekick but from Bells’ perspective and I think it serves a few purposes like refreshing the reader’s memory since, if they’ve read the first book at its release, they will need it AND it gives a wholesome view on how things went down on Bell’s side because fact is, we don’t really know how he dealt with everything that went down.

    There’s also the fact that that gave opportunity to get to know him a whole lot better, from his childhood, growing up, with his family, friends, how he discovered his powers and how delt with them, etc… I really appreciated that the story didn’t pick up right where the previous book left off (which can be pretty confusing when it’s been a while) and I don’t see that done in many books.

    It’s safe to say that Not Your Villain is action packed from very early on because it doesn’t have the disadvantage of setting up the context of the story. Don’t get me wrong, there’s actually still a lot of worldbuilding done in here, but it’s less heavy, it’s rather shown through some research the characters do or through casual conversation. And we also get to see other cities in this post-apocalyptic America whereas in the first book, all we pretty much saw was small town Andover and that change was pretty darn awesome.

    I don’t know if it’s the change of perspective, just a case of getting used to it or the series taking a more serious tone but I feel like it lost the silliness of the first book (which I talked about liking in my review). I don’t dislike this change at all, in fact, I love both equally but it’s just a difference I couldn’t help noticing and I thought it was worth pointing out. I had also said that Not Your Sidekick was -enjoyably- predictable and that too has lessened. Don’t get me wrong, I could still see some things coming but other events and choices characters made really took me by surprise and raised quite a few questions I can’t wait to have the answers for.

    Bells is such an amazing main character. FREAKING BRILLIANT. He’s so caring, witty and smart. And he also has a vulnerable side that shows through his narrative and that he’s not scared of showing and I really admired that about him. He’s a trans guy and although I cannot speak on that particular rep, the echos I got from ownvoices reviewers were good. The book has brief mentions of body dysphoria, of Bells taking hormones as well as some other things. He honestly could’ve easily taken the cake for my favorite character in the series if Emma didn’t exist and I’ll tell you why.

    Emma is the only character I could EVER relate to when it comes to how I function in my dating life. Every time she was talking about how it felt for her, I felt like it was me talking and that was such a validating feeling. She is latina and has such a strong personality, is funny but also has a quiet side, and there too I could see a little bit of myself. In this book, we get to know her a lot more than we did in the first since well… Bells is in love with her so he thinks about her, mentions her and interacts with her a lot. She’s either aro, ace, or aroace and THAT MAKES MY DEMIRO HEART SO HAPPY. I got so emotional when she was addressing how she felt about her romantic and sexual orientation and Gah. Feels.

    Other than Emma, we got to see a little bit of Jess and Abby and how CUTE they are from someone else’s perspective, seriously, I just love them so much. We also got to know Brendan, Jess’ brother who is the freaking adorable as well as very funnily serious AND a bunch of other characters. Something I think is worth noting is how amazingly written all the relationships are either the friendships, romantic relationships or family relationships, they’re just so realistic and heartwarming because of how supportive all the characters are of each other.

    I think I’m gonna end the review here with this: I NEED NOT YOUR BACK UP RIGHT NOOOOW!!!!! It’s from Emma’s perspective and we all know now how I feel about Emma, I just need that story and that perspective in my life asap.

  • Joyfully Jay

    Not Your Villain is the second book in C.B. Lee’s fabulous Sidekick Squad, following the wonderful Not Your Sidekick. This story starts the summer before the main action of that first book as Bells goes to hero training. Then when he returns home, we get a little bit of a recap of the climax of the first book from Bell’s POV, and then begin to move forward with the next phase of the story. So while there is enough information here you could probably figure out wha

    Not Your Villain is the second book in C.B. Lee’s fabulous Sidekick Squad, following the wonderful Not Your Sidekick. This story starts the summer before the main action of that first book as Bells goes to hero training. Then when he returns home, we get a little bit of a recap of the climax of the first book from Bell’s POV, and then begin to move forward with the next phase of the story. So while there is enough information here you could probably figure out what is going on, this story very much picks up as part two of the series and continues the main plot thread from the first book.

    Once again, Lee’s world building here is great. I loved the details of the training facility, of Bells getting his uniform and learning the ropes as a hero, and seeing all the different super powers folks have. There is so much creativity here and everything has enough detail to make it shine, but not overwhelm the reader.

    I really enjoyed following along with the kids as they are now more organized and all working together. The first book focused more on Jessica and Abby uncovering details of Orion’s plot, as well as their relationship, but this one gets all the teens together working to figure out what is going on and expose it. They are clever and tough and I particularly loved the bond among them all. They care about each other and take care of one another and I loved their little squad. You have to kind of go with the fact that they are absurdly self reliant for high schoolers. I mean, their parents go off to fight the bad guys and leave them home alone for weeks (months?) at at time with no communication. That is kind of part of the fun, the idea that these kids are solving the problems that the adults can’t quite hack, but you have to just go with the fact that they are basically on their own despite their age.


Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.