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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

I really wanted more of Black Widow

Black Widow Forever Red (A Marvel YA Novel) - Margaret Stohl

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I actually didn’t start watching marvel movies until earlier this year. I know. I am a disgrace. I just didn’t know what I was missing out on, guys.  One thing I have always been aware of is that there is not nearly enough of Black Widow out there. She is an important character in the Marvel universe yet the movies continue to cast her as a secondary character and don’t show her in all of her glory. This is why when I heard about this book, I was super excited. Sadly though, this book made her share all the awesomeness with a bunch of other characters and because I am partial to Black Widow, I really did NOT want to read the other POVs. It’s not that they were badly written or that the other characters were badly developed, I just wanted more Black Widow.

In fact, there needed to be a WHOLE lot more Black Widow in this book, in my opinion. Black Widow is a ‘main character’ but really this story focuses on two kids called Alex and Ava. It’s more about Black Widow’s relationship with them and the adventure-y things that happen.What I really wanted was a book about a young Black Widow rather than about the teenager Black Widow rescued 8 years ago and a guy who is somehow connected to this mess.

This book does feature some diversity (a couple of the secondary characters are persons of color) but not enough to get me excited.  Other things this book features includes good friendships. Both Alex and Ava have fantastic friends they can rely on but once their adventure starts, these friends get forgotten and left behind. SADDNESS, yet again.

So did this book actually do anything for me, you ask? It did.The action/adventure bits are FANTASTICALLY written. This book will get draw you in and take you on a fantastic, action packed adventure. In fact, if this book were a movie, I would have absolutely LOVED it. We even get to see a certain Mr. Stark in the book and I couldn’t help but picture Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man is my fav so I was super excited about this.) I loved the use of fancy gadgets and I loved how badass all the characters were. I loved watching them fail and them rise up again and form a plan to take down a bunch of assholes.

After finishing the book, I was curious and looked up what Black Widow’s story arc to see how much the book stuck to her story and I found out that the book doesn’t necessarily follow everything that happened in the comics but there are several things and names that are similar. If you’re a fan of the comics and are afraid because you’re worried the book might butcher one of your favorite characters, I’d still say to give the book a chance.

One of my biggest problem with this book was the romance. Ava has been dreaming about Alex for a while and when they meet, she recognizes him. He on the other hand has no idea who she is and based on one interaction (where Ava basically asks if he recognizes her, which he doesn’t) he decides that he is going to risk his life to help her out. He leaves his family and friends behind, gets shot at, leaves the country and does a whole lot of other things for a girl he JUST met. He doesn’t have the excuse of having been dreaming about her. What he has is (or what he says he has) is a ‘connection’ with this girl. I don’t think anything in the world could ever make me not see that as insta-love. And yes, they do fall in love as well. Only a couple days later. If that’s not insta-love, someone better sit me down and tell me what is.

There is also the matter of the ending which I didn’t like. It’s not that it ruined the book for me or anything. It’s just that I can think of so many other ways that things could have turned out. The ending just didn’t feel right to me.

With all the things that didn’t work for me, you might be wonder whether or not I actually liked the book and the answer to that is, I DID. There may not be enough of Black Widow but there is still a lot of her and her character was fantastically written. I may not have cared for the teens, but that’s okay too because the book was addictive. I DIDN’T CARE THAT I DIDN’T CARE. I was too engrossed in all the other things that were going on. This is a fast paced, addicting read that is super hard to put down and will have you flipping the pages like crazy. I had my issues but I still think the book was worth my time and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an action oriented book!

Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review