Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat
Published September 28, 2020
About Dear Hero
Cortex and V need a new nemesis.
Up-and-coming teen superhero Cortex is on top of the world–at least, until his villain dumps him. If he’s going to save his reputation, he needs a new antagonist, and fast.
Meanwhile, the villainous Vortex has once again gotten a little overeager and taken out a hero prematurely. Will any young hero be able to keep up with her? Maybe she should work on finding a steady relationship with an enemy she won’t kill in the first round.
So the two turn to Meta-Match, a nemesis pairing site for heroes and villains, where they match right away. But not everything in the superhero world is as it seems. Who are the real heroes and villains? And just how fine of a line is there between love and hate? When darkness from the past threatens them both, Cortex and V may need to work together to make it out alive.
Told entirely through texts, transcriptions, and direct messages, this darkly humorous chat fiction novel goes behind the scenes of the superworld.
So this whole story is told in what looks like direct messages through an app called Meta-Match, which is like a browsing site for villains and heroes to help them pair up and fight each other.
The opening chats were a little bit awkward, but I feel like it’s hard to write scenes where characters meet online without having at least a little bit of the feeling each other out and trying not to give too much away. Right away I knew I’d love V’s tough exterior and soft heart and Cortex’s awkwardness.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s really different. Definitely a great read for anyone really needing an escape. I haven’t read RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer, but I wish I could say how it compares to something like that.
It reminded me a teeny bit of the ILLUMINAE books in the way it used direct messages and transcribed conversations. DEAR HERO does leave you to fill in the blanks on some of the scenes because you’re strictly getting dialogue unless someone narrates what’s happening.
All in all, it was definitely an entertaining, cute read. I’d say perfect for middle school readers.
Recommended for Ages 10 to 14.
Cortex is Japanese-American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
There were some teasing comments about race. For instance, in one scene V comments to Cortex (who is Asian) something like, aren’t you supposed to be good at math? He calls her out for stereotyping.
Kissing between boy and girl.
Reference to V attending Mass with Cortex’s family.
Situations of peril. Some references to violence and descriptions of battles between heroes and villains.
Note: I received a free copy of DEAR HERO in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support running this blog.