Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan

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Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A chick lit with a superhero twist (and what about that awful purple Lycra suit?), Spandex and the City spans a few genres with the usual Jenny Colgan panache, humanity and a good sprinkling of humour. Recommended for geeky romance fans and for fans of geeky romance, this would make a great movie script, but works fine as a novel too.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Orbit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0356505442

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Jenny Colgan is best known for her charming chick lit, funny, well written and set in interesting and well described locations. She also writes Dr Who novels and Spandex and the City, recently published by Orbit, an outfit that specialises in science-fiction and fantasy, crosses - and spans the chick lit and the science-fiction worlds.

Touted as a super-hero romantic comedy, Spandex and the City features a girl-next-door Holly, a typically insecure 20-something rom-com heroine, enjoying her life in Centerton (Colgan's stand in for Gotham). When a handsome stranger she meets at a bar turns out to be the Ultimate Man, a vigilante superhero straight from the Marvel or DC universe (the superpowers are more of a Marvel kind, but the character - both of the UM and of his adversary - reference Batman, among others), she can't help falling for him.

There are difficulties - no least the fact that having sex, or any kind of emotional intimacy, with a superhero is a risky endeavour. And in addition to cutely dorky dating mishaps, more pop culture references than a Tarantino medley and enough high-adrenaline incidents to fill an action flick, Spandex and the City raises some more serious questions about the modern lives we live in the Internet connected world, and maybe even about the nature of humanity. But - and given the genre, this won't be a spoiler - all's well that ends well.

I enjoyed Spandex and the City and I think it would make a splendid, pretty much ready-made script for a movie. As a novel, it occasionally faltered, and I felt it couldn't decide if it wants to be a 'serious adventure drama' or a 'light hearted comedy'. But that might be a nature of trans-genre popular fiction, and as much of a strength as a weakness. Holly was a goose throughout, though, and for that - for not giving her a go at being a hero even for a page - I'm taking a half-star off. Still, very much recommended for geeky rom-com fans, romantic geeks and everybody in between.

A diverse variety of contemporary romance can be found at Bookbag's Chick Lit Picks while Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by Grant Morrison covers the superheroes proper.

Buy Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan at

Buy Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan at


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