Title: Cute Mutants Vol One: Mutant Pride
Author: SJ Whitby
Series: Cute Mutants
Published/Publisher: June 2020, Self-published
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, LGBTQ, Fantasy, Superheroes
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)
- Self harm in order to use super power
The leader of the Cute Mutants & our narrator! Dylan can talk to inanimate objects and develops a relationship with her bat and pillow, who are incredibly nosy and give her life advice. Dylan is a super nerd, loves X-men, wasabi flavored chips, sweaters and being her alter ego Chatterbox, a real life mutant.
Ice Queen who is super fierce, but also incredibly loyal and loving underneath her hard exterior. I am incredibly soft for Dani and her willingness to do what it takes no matter the cost. Also a fellow X-men nerd. Left me WEAK when she wore a suit. Her power involves telekinesis.
Lou is still trying to figure his place out in the world as a transmasculine person. He believes that the rules were created to keep people safe and doesn’t like straying outside of them. He may have a slight jealously problem that stems from insecurity and his power involves glowing/light.
Emma is a tech genius, she spends her time coding, making apps to discover what sexual attraction might be and who is hot, and doing things with her secret drone that are probably illegal. Like spying on this new mutant who shouldn’t exist. Emma doesn’t necessarily have any mutant powers but the team wouldn’t exist without her, literally.
Alyse is the cheerleader and optimist of the team. She believes in people even when they don’t believe in themselves, sadly she hasn’t been able to say that for herself. Her power could be described as shapeshifting/showing her true emotions. Alyse is also ready to take over the world with the Cute Mutants.
Bianca is a bit of a loner and a mystery. She can be described as Dylan’s “emotional support himbo”. She asks the tought questions like “Why don’t you show up to queer club?”. Her power involves the demons she perceives to live inside her and invisibility.
Thank you to Caffeine Tours & the author for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I loved this book so much 😭😭😭. This book is easily in my top ten of the year, and it’s tied with Felix Ever After and Sword in the Stars for my favorite book of the year. There’s honestly no way to choose between these three, I loved them all so much. But Dylan Taylor is my favorite character to ever exist, I have never related to someone as much as I relate to Dylan.
This book is kind of like an X-men retelling. Dylan Taylor is an average queer person suffering from social anxiety. When she kisses Emma Hall at her party, she ends up with superpowers. Finding out Emma kissed several other people, Dylan is eager to attempt to form a mutant brigade. When an unknown mutant starts causing havoc Dylan is sure they must take care of him, but is the group really up for it?
Cute Mutants Vol 1 is one of the gayest books I’ve ever read. Having so many books come out this year with amazingly queer casts has been a dream come true. Also this book is truly disaster squad goals.
SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS BOOK IS NOT A GRAPHIC NOVEL THANK YOU.
I loved every second of this book. From Dylan’s relationship with her non-binary parent called Pear, to the found family of the Cute Mutants, the queer normalized society, and the themes of vigilante justice and whether it was right. The best part of this book was the relationship between this group of friends and figuring out how they could make it work, if at all possible.
Before assembling the Cute Mutants, Dylan spends most of her time at home, hanging out with Pear or with her boyfriend, Lou. But Lou has been having trouble at home due to his parents’ transphobia. With this new influx of friends in Dylan’s life, he is also unsure of his place in her life and starts to get pretty jealous. It doesn’t help that Dani Kim, ice queen extraordinaire (and super fucking hot), is also one of the people who has developed special powers. Dylan can’t help but be attracted to her charisma, but there’s no way Dani could like her, is there?
Dylan also deals with social anxiety, and so many of her thoughts really resonated with me. So much so that I started to wonder if I might have some form of social/generalized anxiety (the answer was yes). Dylan also questions her gender, and it made me feel like she might be a demigirl like myself. I have so much love for Dylan, my heart is exploding.
Then there’s Dylan and Alyse, the sweetest friendship I’ve ever seen. I love Alyse so much and her effervescence. She is just seriously the best, and I ship her so hard with Emma! Emma is an evil mastermind and I would not be surprised if she became an evil genius. Also my ace goddess! Bianca was such a weirdo, but her character surprised me with how much I loved her! Basically, I need more of this squad ASAP.
I don’t know if I really said anything besides just spewing my love of this book, but I cannot recommend it enough!
About the Author:
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.
Check out the tour schedule here!