Book Review: “Lois Lane: Double Down” by Gwenda Bond

It’s been a long year to wait for the second installment in Gwenda Bond’s YA series chronicling the teenage adventures of Lois Lane, ace reporter and Superman love interest, but we’re happy to report that Lois Lane: Double Down is finally here!

This second installment picks up just two weeks after the conclusion of Fallout, in which Lois and the rest of the Scoop team cracked their first big news story wide open. They don’t have to wait long before the next big story comes their way – they discover that Maddy’s twin sister, Melody, took part in a mysterious experiment a couple of years ago that’s had some pretty weird effects in the present day. As they look deeper, Lois and the gang discover that the city’s leading crime boss and the disgraced former Mayor may also be caught up in this strange series of events. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Lois finds her feelings growing deeper for the boy she knows only as “SmallvilleGuy.”

Like its predecessor, Double Down is a fast-paced mystery with a level-headed heroine at its helm. Lois will skip school, pay off a cabbie, sneak into a top-secret lab – whatever it takes to get the lead on her next story. I like the fact that in an age of YA books all about romance and/or fantastic or dystopian worlds and/or sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, Lois lives in a world that is mostly like ours. Don’t get me wrong: there definitely are teens drinking, having sex, experimenting with substances, and fighting other teens to the death in order to ensure the survival of their district, but there are also teens that not only aren’t doing any of those things, but have no interest in doing any of those things. They’re concerned with how to be a good friend, or if a boy even likes them or not. So it may sound lame, but I like that these books are “wholesome,” for lack of a better word. It can be easy to forget that teens need these kinds of books too.

I read Double Down in one sitting, so that tells you a bit about what a fun and easy read the book is – if you liked the first one, you’re going to enjoy this one too. The only thing that bothered me was the slow pace at which other aspects of Lois’s life proceeded, particularly her interactions with SmallvilleGuy. I thought it was fun that they were friends over the internet in the first book, but by the end of the second book, the reader knowing SmallvilleGuy’s secret and Lois still being in the dark starts to wear a little thin. Of course, once Lois knows that SmallvilleGuy is actually Clark Kent, resident alien, that might take some of the focus off of Lois’s work, which I don’t want either. I’m sure Bond has an elegant solution in mind, and I’ll be excited to see what it is.

Ultimately, Double Down is a successful continuation of this fun series!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.