Do you like X-Men? My sister likes to joke that asking that is her perfect pick-up line. And honestly, it’s a question that should be asked in reference to this book.
Cute Mutants is a book by SJ Whitby and came out earlier this year. The second book is currently out and they’re in the middle of prepping the third for publication so right now is the perfect time to pick this queer, fun superhero novel up. I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy of this book as part of a blog tour for Caffeine Book Tours and I’m completely honoured to be a part of it!
Title: Cute Mutants
Author: SJ Whitby
Publication date: June 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Cover artist: Kassio
My name is Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif, and this is my life.
I always wanted to be an X-Man. Except people and me never got along, and apparently you need social skills to run a successful team. Cue Emma Hall’s party. One hot make out session with the host herself, and I can talk to objects like my pillow (who’s far too invested in my love life) and my baseball bat (who was a pacifist before I got hold of him). Now there’s a whole group of us with strange abilities, including super hot ice queen Dani Kim who doesn’t approve of how reckless I can be. The bigger problem is a mysterious mutant causing unnatural disasters, and we’re the ones who have to stop him. Except trying to make a difference makes things blow up in my face and the team’s on the verge of falling apart. Can I bring them back together in time to stop the villain from taking revenge? Have I mentioned I’m not a people person? Magneto help us.
- Sexual assault (recounted by a character)
The book follows Dylan Taylor, a socially awkward teenager who, up until now, has only had one friend and he’s now their boyfriend. But after attending a party Dylan has discovered that she and some of her school mates have gained mutant powers and they decide to team together to discover what they can do and stop someone who is threatening them.
The superpowers in this are both impressive and not. Without giving spoilers, I can tell you that one of them is called Glowstick and another is called Moodring. Doesn’t sound that impressive, but what they can do with these powers really can be. This is a supergroup populated with mostly ladies and every single one of them is queer in some way. The guy in the group is trans and, honestly, this is wonderful. There’s even a moment where the trans character who struggles with being misgendered a lot gets called a boy as a superhero by a stranger and it’s a moment of pure joy even if it isn’t written that way. You just feel so happy for him and I love it.
My favourite character was probably Alyse because she’s a perfect ray of sunshine. She starts off popular but she’s not horrible. Just rich and someone who can probably be easily manipulated. Her mutation is connected with the way she sees herself and it makes me sad but it means that when she’s happy she’s so beautiful that it’s great. She was sweet, I loved the way her power was used and honestly, we all need an Alyse in our lives.
The romance was a lot of fun. There’s two relationships for Dylan in this so she doesn’t end the book in the same relationship she started in. And I won’t lie, I wasn’t a huge fan of Dylan and Lou. I get that he struggles with stuff but he could be a little bit manipulative in trying to get his own way? It made it a little difficult to feel sorry for him sometimes. He’s not a bad guy, he probably just needs to sort his head out before getting into a relationship because all the jealousy is tiring. Though, he is a teenager so he has plenty of time for that! I did like the end relationship. They were very much on the same wave-length and I loved all their nerdy conversations.
The end of the book? Damn, planning on buying book 2 as soon as I’m no longer on a book ban. Which totally sucks as I want to know what happens next NOW!
If you love X-Men in any form whether it’s the cartoons from childhood, comics of any of the mutants and their groups or even the films you’ll enjoy this book. You might not agree with the dream team, I didn’t. Still shocked someone would pick Emma Frost over Jean Grey, but hey, that’s personal preference. This book led to me having conversations about X-Men with my sister and best friend and that was just a lot of fun.
I highly recommend this book to all you nerds out there! It’s actually on sale in the Kindle store currently during this blog tour so right now is the perfect time to pick this up!
SJ Whitby lives in New Zealand with their partner, as well as various children and animals. They are predictably obsessed with X-Men and spend too much of their free time writing.
Want more on this book? Check out the tour schedule here!