I recently had the pleas­ure of diving into Helen Comer­ford’s debut nov­el, “The Love Interest”, and I must say, it’s a true gem. This cap­tiv­at­ing story fol­lows the jour­ney of Jenna Ray, a relat­able and endear­ing prot­ag­on­ist who finds her­self entangled in the super­hero world of Nine Trees. As the des­ig­nated Love Interest, Jen­na’s life is turned upside down by her sud­den con­nec­tion to the new Hero, Blaze.

What sets “The Love Interest” apart from oth­er super­hero nov­els is its thought­ful explor­a­tion of teen­age struggles and insec­ur­it­ies. Comer­ford mas­ter­fully weaves togeth­er themes of anxi­ety, self-doubt, and the com­plex­it­ies of nav­ig­at­ing rela­tion­ships. These authen­t­ic por­tray­als will res­on­ate deeply with young adult read­ers, mak­ing this nov­el a must-read for fans of the genre.

Blaze, the charm­ing and good-look­ing Hero, is equally well-craf­ted. His vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies and insec­ur­it­ies make him a more nuanced and human char­ac­ter, rather than just a one-dimen­sion­al super­hero. The slow-burn­ing romance between Jenna and Blaze is expertly paced, allow­ing read­ers to fully invest in their relationship.

Comer­ford’s writ­ing is enga­ging, witty, and warm, with a deep under­stand­ing of the char­ac­ters and their motiv­a­tions. The world-build­ing in Nine Trees is rich and immers­ive, with a unique blend of myth­o­logy and super­hero tropes. The sup­port­ing cast of char­ac­ters is equally well-developed, adding depth and humor to the narrative.

As a Black Brit­ish author, Comer­ford brings a fresh per­spect­ive to the super­hero genre, cel­eb­rat­ing the joys, strengths, and every­day exper­i­ences of Black Brit­ish char­ac­ters. Her pas­sion for rep­res­ent­a­tion shines through in every page, mak­ing this nov­el a vital addi­tion to the YA landscape.

In con­clu­sion, “The Love Interest” is a fant­ast­ic debut that will leave read­ers eager for more. With its thought­ful explor­a­tion of teen­age struggles, enga­ging char­ac­ters, and cap­tiv­at­ing world-build­ing, this nov­el is a must-read for fans of super­hero fic­tion and any­one look­ing for a relat­able and authen­t­ic story. I’m excited to see what Helen Comer­ford has in store for us in the future.

The Love Interest is out on June 6th 2024

Pre-order HERE

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Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South Lon­don based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He’s also an MMA and his­tory enthu­si­ast who tries to keep his love of animé under wraps.

About Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South London based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He's also an MMA and history enthusiast who tries to keep his love of anime under wraps.