Review: The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta

The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta

Title: The She-Hulk Diaries
Author: Marta Acosta
Published: June 18th 2013 by Hyperion
Genre: Adult Superhero Chick Lit (is that a thing?)
Source: Netgalley

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CURRENT STATUS: No job, no boyfriend, no permanent place to live, no car, and most of my clothes are held together with staples and duct tape. Bank account almost wiped out. Many of my former associates have expressed a desire that I never darken their doorways again for legal and financial reasons.

She-Hulk got us got us kicked out of the Avengers Mansion. People keep posting videos online of her New Year’s Eve shenanigans: twirling, flaming telephone poles in Times Square, climbing the Empire State Building while dangling Anderson Cooper…

Saying there are two sides to Jennifer Walters’s personality is an understatement. When she hasn’t morphed into a 650-pound, crime-fighting, hard-partying superhero, she’s a single lawyer trying to get her act together. Hilarious and action-packed, The She-Hulk Diaries tells her story, as she juggles her intense legal career by day with battling villains and saving the world by night. Maybe bad guys will stop trying to destroy the planet so she can have a real social life and even meet a guy who isn’t trying to take over the universe.

This story assumes the reader has a passing knowledge of the Marvel comic ‘verse and name drops like crazy without wasting much time introducing those characters. I guess they expect all readers to already be a fan, or to have at least watched some of the superhero movies popping up in the last decade. Luckily for me, I do know my away around the superhumans, or this book would have been mighty confusing. It does also name drop with regards to celebrities and people in the fashion world, whom I know very little about, so much of that went right over my head.

When I started reading The She-Hulk Diaries, I had some trouble getting into it. It was a slow start for me. The more I got to know Jennifer, though, the more I liked her. She’s a fantastic character. She’s take no prisoners in the court room, but outside it she is oh so awkward and nerdy. She wants what all girls wants, a satisfying job, a nice place to live with secret entrances, and someone to curl up next to on the nights she’s not out saving the world. That’s not too much to ask. Add in a dash of super villains trying to destroy everything she loves. There’s something weird going on with the NY natives suddenly all turning nice. And if all that isn’t enough on her plate, Jen’s ex weekend hookup, Ellis Tesla, shows up. The man who never called her back, but went on to write a series of very revealing songs about their time together. He’s as hot as ever. And engaged.

The entrance of Ellis is where this story really took off for me. Jen’s reaction to him and the growing realization that all those songs were about her is great fun. Sure, the lyrics are smart and science themed, but oh boy, are they also embarrassing.

This book is ridiculously funny. Jen has a very self deprecating sense of humor that is easy to relate to. She also has a handful of great friends who make fantastic side characters. Not to mention a wide variety of interests: it’s not often you see the top Krav Maga student making her own foam weapons for an upcoming LARP. The She-Hulk Diaries is a hilarious, thrilling blend between nerdy, chic and ass kickery. It wraps up a little too neatly for my liking, but isn’t that always the way these superhero stories go?


Marta Acosta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a feral reader, roaming the stacks of the public library.

She received a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Stanford University and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, and Spaces Magazine.

Marta lives with her husband, spawn, and their crazy dogs. An avid gardener, she likes independent films, funny novels, loud music and lively conversations.

She’s always happy to hear from readers, even the ones who point out typos.

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