Sunday, October 24, 2021

Review: Hollywood Heroine by Sarah Kuhn

Hollywood Heroine by Sarah Kuhn
Series: Heroine Complex, Book 5
Publisher: DAW
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Hollywood Heroine cover
ISBN: 9780756416515
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Over the years, the adventures of superheroines Aveda Jupiter and Evie Tanaka have become the stuff of legend--and now they'll be immortalized in their very own TV show!

The pair head to LA for filming, but Aveda struggles to get truly excited. Instead, she's preoccupied wondering about the fate of the world and her role in it. You know, the usual. Now that Otherworld activity has been detected outside the Bay Area, Aveda can't help but wonder if the demon threat will ever be eradicated.

When the drama on set takes a turn for the supernatural, Evie and Aveda must balance their celebrity commitments with donning their superhero capes again to investigate. And when the evil they battle reveals a larger, more nefarious plot, it's time for the indomitable Aveda Jupiter to rise to the occasion and become the leader she was meant to be on a more global scale--and hopefully keep some semblance of a personal life while doing so.
Superheroines Aveda Jupiter and Evie Tanaka are back, facing demons and possibly vampires in Hollywood Heroine. Every time I enter Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex world I am ready for an action-packed good time. Kuhn did not disappoint, blending action and some humor with weighty, real-world problems.

I frickin’ love Aveda. She has got the biggest heart and is so earnest, so determined to solve every problem she can that it’s impossible not to love her. Is she perfect? Not by a long shot. But she is always growing, always trying to do better and not steamroll people; even when she makes mistakes they come from the best of intentions. But Aveda is running herself into the ground. She never takes a break and more importantly, feels like she can’t. Hollywood Heroine addresses racism, the pressure Aveda faces as a powerful Asian American woman in the media, an aggressive mean girl who knows just how to twist the knife, panic attacks, and the fear of change. Aveda is deeply afraid of losing those she loves the most and she bottles up her emotions, throwing herself into being everyone’s champion. My heart broke for her and how hard she was trying and I wanted her to let her loved ones take care of her for once. I also wanted her to see how much she was loved and supported. Aveda’s relationship with her husband, Scott, was a storyline that had me absolutely glued to the pages of this book. Kuhn doesn’t take it easy on Aveda in this book but that’s what makes the story so satisfying. I was rooting for Aveda every step of the way and though I won’t spoil what happens I loved how the ending turned out.

It wouldn’t be a Heroine Complex book without some creative supernatural plot and this time it’s something that seems vampiric. I loved watching Aveda and her ever-expanding circle of friends put the pieces together. The action sequences are exciting and I enjoyed watching the mystery unfold. But what really grabbed me the most about Hollywood Heroine were the emotional moments, which is why I recommend being familiar with Tanaka/Jupiter and co. before jumping into this story. I love seeing how far all the relationships have come, how all my favorite characters have grown over the past five books, and I cannot wait to see where Kuhn takes them all next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.