The Green Catholic Burrow

Book Review: Super Girls and Halos

Welcome to Stop #13 of the Super Girls and Halos Blog Tour! I got a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. 

It’s been a very busy month for me! It was really nice to have an excuse to sit down a read a book amid all the crazy.

Super Girls and Halos

When I first saw the concept for Super Girls and Halos, I’ll admit I wasn’t instantly enthused. I’m not really into the superhero genre. I mean, I kinda liked Spiderman. But that’s about it. Before I read the book I had never heard of Black Widow or Storm.

Then, I opened it up and saw the table of contents, and began to see some heroines that I know very well: Rey from Star Wars. Hermione from Harry Potter. Lt. Uhura! Katniss Everdeen! Now we’re talking. I was especially intrigued by the inclusion of Katniss from The Hunger Games.

See, I don’t like dystopian fiction, and yet, I loved most of the Hunger Games (until the ending). The author, Maria Morera Johnson, shares my opinion on both of these, and so I loved reading her take on these books and their messy heroine. I like the stories I read to reflect the Real Story, and that means redemption, justice, and a happy ending, even if it may be bittersweet. The Hunger Games, true to its dystopian vision, didn’t deliver on that.

It was so refreshing in Super Girls to see such an incisive, balanced look at the complicated character of Katniss. It’s easy to either swallow a story like Hunger Games whole or reject it out-of-hand, but Ms. Johnson does neither. Instead the reader is treated to a complete picture of both the profound virtues and extreme failures of a very complex character.

Maria Morera Johnson has taken each of her literary and film heroines and paired them with a saint, in a very unique and creative exploration of heroic virtue. The book has an assortment of heroines and saints who will have a broad appeal to many age groups and personalities. It’s a fantastic book for converts or reverts, too – I’m always on the lookout for ways to learn more about the saints, and this book provides a complete, accessible look at the lives of 8 different saints. Some of them are better-known saints like my own Confirmation saint, St. Mary Magdalene. Others, like St. Cunegunde, I had never heard of before, but was delighted to get to meet.

Super Girls and Halos is very engaging: it’s profound without being heavy and challenging without being pedantic. I highly recommend it!

My Saint Super Girl: St. Monica

Reading this awesome book got me thinking about who my own saint super girl might be, and it’s got to be St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Her patience and perseverance in hope and prayer for her wayward son, her courageous endurance of the heartbreak of his wild rebellion – these are virtues I deeply want to imitate, and I pray often for her help and prayers as I navigate the tricky currents of parenthood. Not that I have anyone as wild as St. Augustine, but I am becoming acquainted with the anxieties of a parent whose oldest children are on the brink of adulthood.

In our busyness, it’s good for the soul to slow down and remember those who have walked the road before us, and are pulling for us in Heaven. I found Super Girls and Halos to be a great way to do that.

Check out the rest of the reviews, plus a Super Giveaway at Reconciled to You!

St. Monica, Pray for Us!