- € 8,99
A globetrotting novel that takes a determined teen from Japan to Australia and to Argentina and Mexico on a quest to prove that humanity is more good than bad from the author of Let’s Get Lost and Before Takeoff.
Isabel is having an existential crisis. She’s three years into high school, and everything she’s learned has only shaken her faith in humanity. Late one night, she finds herself drawn to a niche corner of the internet—a forum whose members believe firmly in one thing: that there are indeed people out in the world quietly performing impossible acts of heroism. You might even call them supers. No, not in the comic book sense—these are real people, just like each of us, but who happen to have a power or two. If Isabel can find them, she reasons, she might be able to prove to herself that humanity is more good than bad.
So, the day she turns 18, she sets off on a journey that will take her from Japan to Australia, and from Argentina to Mexico, with many stops along the way. She longs to prove one—just one—super exists to restore her hope for the future.
Will she find what she’s looking for? And how will she know when—if—she does?
An 18-year-old travels to prove that there's good in the world in this bittersweet, existential read from Alsaid (Before Takeoff). Isabel has just booked a plane ticket from Detroit to Tokyo, but she insists that she's not heading out due to wanderlust. Instead, Isabel is trying to outrun "the growing, gnawing sense that the world was more evil than good," a belief instilled by her acerbic grandmother and amplified by her father's bigotry and fallout from the pandemic. She has only ever found solace in Actually Super, an online forum whose members believe that superhumans exist, living quietly among ordinary people. Spurred by member reports of rumored sightings of Supers, Isabel arrives in Tokyo seeking a man named Hatori, who "goes around different train stations in Tokyo saving people who need him." Interspersed throughout Isabel's urgent first-person-present narrative are third-person chapters, set a year after Isabel's departure, that follow her two best friends as they arrive in Mexico to meet up with her. When she doesn't show, the two retrace Isabel's steps hoping to find her. Via sometimes lofty plotting, Alsaid meditatively ruminates on themes of community, connection, personhood, and what it means to be and do good, making for a sincere and thought-provoking tale. Isabel cues as white and Jewish. Ages 12–up.