Favorite Line: “He can date whomever he wants, even stick figures with hideous personalities.” (p. 113)
All Lainey Livingston has ever wanted is to become a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, ( EHJ) the highest order of superhero. She is ecstatic when she’s hired by EHJ, even though it is on a probationary basis. During her probation, she will be trained by a founding member of the group. Lainey, aka Phenomenal Girl 5, soon discovers that being strong and flying, mean little to her new teacher, the Reincarnist.
The Reincarnist, Robert Elliot, is a magician who lives out life only to be reborn as a 20-year-old. He is the smartest man and highest level magician in the world, but every time he is reborn he loses a piece of his past. Knowing this, how is it that Lainey is falling in love with him?
A.J. Mendon, the creator of Phenomenal Girl 5, has created an alternative world where superheroes are a part of everyday life. In this world there are normal people and those with varying abilities. It’s a comic book world placed into a romance book.
A cantankerous old man trapped in the body of a 40 something man, Robert doesn’t suffer fools at all. He is a man that has lived for a long time, had families, only to be reborn as a new person in his 20s over and over again. You can imagine the turmoil this raises in his mind and in that of the people who surround him.
It’s an interesting concept that engulfs Phenomenal Girl 5 by making the reader feel Lainey’s emotions as the woman left behind when her lover dies and is reborn into another body with no memory of her. Her emotions while coming to grip with loving two men, who happen to share parts of the same man are understandable, in part because the story is told in first person from Lainey’s POV. Her feelings of being unfaithful, come through loud and clear, as does her attraction to the new Reincarnist.
Phenomenal Girl 5 is a fun story for the reader that loves superheroes, villains, love and treachery. The end of the story wrapped up a little to quickly for me (it was also my favorite part), but as with most shows about heroes, the build up took up 3/4’s of the book, and the final 1/4 was nonstop action.