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Spandex and the City Paperback – 18 May 2017
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A superpowered love story from the Sunday Times bestselling Jenny T. Colgan, author of Resistance Is Futile and Meet Me at the Cupcake Café
About the Author
Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café and Little Beach Street Bakery. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Under the Jenny T. Colgan pen name, she has also written the Doctor Who tie-in novel Dark Horizons and Doctor Who short stories 'Into the Nowhere', 'Long Way Down' and 'All the Empty Towers'. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France. For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jennycolgan.
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Top customer reviews
Meet Ultimate Man. Holly has already met him when he rescued her from a mugging, causing a well-publicised accidental flash of unsightly knickers that Holly will never live down. I loved the way these two met and I enjoyed getting to know the man behind the mask. Ultimate Man is a lonely character, a bit awkward and uncomfortable when he is spending time with Holly, only there is a chemistry between the two of them that keeps them coming back for more.
This book grabbed me from page one with its sparkling take on dating and superheroes and the completely mad mash-up of the two. It was car-crash entertainment dressed up with a purple cape. Fast-paced, fresh and frenetic, there’s a lot to love about the way Jenny Colgan constructs this story. With the entertainment value just as good as the book’s brilliant title, I was always eager to see what was to come next.
One thing I struggled with a bit in Spandex and the City was trying to warm to the heroine. Holly was a bit of a difficult character, hard to please and almost always complaining about something. In a way, I really wanted to like her. She’s quite sarcastic and quick-witted and at times she made me laugh with some of the things she came out with, or some of the things she was thinking. Often this book featured bracketed pieces of humour from Holly and I did find her funny. But then there were many other times where I found her to be a bit irritating…
Something I did particularly enjoy about this book though was the divide between hero and villain, and the blurred lines in between the two. I sided with both Ultimate Man and his enemy Frederick Cecil (yep, Ultimate Man is not the only one with an unfortunate name) at times during the course of this book. I also found the outlook on our fascination with technology and the internet to be scarily realistic but reading this book does prove that there is more to life than the technology that lives within our mobile phones. I’m struggling with the idea that a superhero romance could be thought-provoking… but it sort of was!
As predicted, the story in Spandex and the City is a ridiculous one. This was a good thing. I loved the quirky, farfetchedness about it. Who doesn’t love to read something different every now and again? This book had me laughing out loud and it had me hooked. I just couldn’t help reading chapter after chapter and any other plans I had were soon forgotten as I got wrapped up in this superhero romcom – and that is a line I never thought I’d use! Smart, sassy and just a lot cheesy, Spandex and the City is a whole lot of fun, and highly recommended.
Dragged out of the bar by Frederick, Holly came face to face with Ultimate Man, the protector of Centerton, Holly’s home town. After a brief fight, Frederick disappeared, and Holly found herself thrown over Ultimate Man’s shoulder, leaving her knickers on show for the world to see.
Not exactly being a fan of Ultimate Man, she was disappointed when once again, she came face to face with him at a corporate party, in the city’s art gallery. Frederick Cecil had taken the opportunity to steal from some of the wealthy city dwellers. Unfortunately for Ultimate Man, after Frederick once again got away, Holly saw him mid changing, and for the first time someone knew his real identity.
With their paths continuously crossing, Holly started to fall for Ultimate Man, though he told her he couldn’t date anyone, as his life was too complicated. This attraction hadn’t gone unnoticed by Frederick, who decided to use her as a pawn in the battle between good and evil.
Spandex and the City, is a complete bonkers book, but it is oh so funny, and laugh out loud from beginning to end. Sometimes you just want to read a book that will give you a lift and make you feel happy, and this book certainly does that.
It is a take on all the superhero books, but rather than the focus being on the hero or villain, it is on Holly, the woman caught, unwantedly, between the two arch-nemesis.
Ultimate Man, is basically a very purple Batman, with his purple suit, purple bike, and purple phone. Though where Batman is a normal man wearing a suit, Ultimate Man is the product of a lab explosion which gave him his abilities. He is a little too clean cut for my liking, with his ‘need to save everyone’, and always having to be right attitude. He also didn’t have that emotional pull, that Frederick did.
Holly is an ordinary woman, working hard for little money, and never managing to get herself a date. She is the girl next door type of woman, who happens to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time – more than once. She is pig-headed, and likes to use sarcasm whenever possible, which is often lost on Ultimate Man. She is also far more brave than she likes to think she is.
Frederick Cecil, is the villain you love to hate. He has a beautiful house, on a beautiful sunny island. One that screams rest and relaxation. His motives for stealing are, to him, a worthy cause, one that he has spent his whole life thinking about, and one that he feels he is doing for the greater good. From starting out despising him, I felt myself conflicted as to whether he really was the bad guy.
I read the book at a time when I needed a real pick-me-up, in a week where everything, any anything had gone wrong. I found myself longing to pick up the book, even if it was only for a few minutes, just to escape reality. This book took me to a place which made me smile, made me laugh, and ultimately made me feel happy.
I became hooked from the very first chapter, by Ms. Colgan’s easy, relaxing, writing style, and her delightful, playful plot, unlike any of her other work that I have read.
If you are after a book that can give you that much needed break from life, to take you to a world just like your own, but one where good and evil come in the forms of superhero and super-villain, just like Batman and the Joker, then this is the book for you.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
Enjoyable fluff really, no deep meaning but a good fun read. Holly accidentally gets caught up in a heist, rescued by her city's superhero (Ultimate Man - yes, a bit of a rubbish name) and they meet again when she unwittingly discovers a secret about him - she starts to see the 'man behind the mask'. Though this also means a bad guy may make her a target... surprise, surprise.
Self-referential, tongue-in-cheek, dry humour about the superhero genre, it's wryly smart and a great idea. Holly is enough of an Everywoman to be sympathetic, she's not a leggy blonde or simpering 'oh save me!' helpless victim. We have a rather unusual bad guy as well (again with a terrible name) and though the story itself isn't wholly new, enough elements are different to keep it interesting and fresh.
Would want to hear more about Holly's romantic story with Ultimate Man and how it develops in later books, there's room for it.
Unexpectedly, quite an explicit sex scene is present, some swearing, which some readers may not be anticipating.
I'd be happy to watch this at the cinema, it would make a very funny summer movie.
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Most recent customer reviews
Holly and Ultimate Man were so likeable and I even found myself agreeing with some of the baddie, Frederick's...Read more