Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: April, 2011
Series: The Goddess Test Series #1
Page count: 304 pages
"It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
If she fails..."REVIEW:
WHAT I LIKED:
- This book gripped me emotionally within the first 10 pages and I was hooked.
- Carter's writing is beautiful. I read a few reviews on this one saying her writing was elementary and too simple. I thought it was more along the lines of straightforward and I connected very well with the story.
- I liked that though Kate was "broken", she was the stronger one in this story - emotionally, I mean. Henry was the vulnerable and wounded one though many feared him. It's nice to see a female character who pursues a man (one that isn't a cheating, lying asshole - cause girls pursue guys all the time. Just not the right ones.)
- This book was based around Greek mythology, but I connected to the characters as separate people, as humans, not just Gods and Goddesses.
- I also saw a few reviews saying that none of the characters acted like their godly counterparts and they couldn't tell who was who. I beg to differ - I knew James, Ava, Diana and Phillip immediately, and only had to look in the back to verify or check for a few of them. Though that may be because I spent so much time researching while reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
- Henry's attitude toward Kate. I know, I know, shouldn't I hate him because I feel bad for Kate? For some reason, it seems realistic to me and that's what made me like it - not necessarily the pain or heartache between them or whatever. Do you know how many people out there spend their lives with one person while very well knowing that there was once a person they loved much more? Its sad and horrible, but I think some of you may know I dig the difficult subjects and things that tug at my heartstrings, such as not-quite-requited love.
- Unpredictable but not in a bad way. I was able to tell who was who and I wasn't so confused by the God/Goddess thing that I couldn't keep up, but there was still the element of mystery. I'm usually good at figuring out whodunit long before the book is over, but this one kept me guessing almost until the very end.
WHAT I DIDNT LIKE:
- Kate was just all of a sudden okay with leaving her whole life behind to live with Hades, and though she recognized that it was crazy, she kind of just went along with it. It didn't seem totally realistic.
- I was confused throughout the whole book as to whether the characters that I knew to be Gods and Goddesses also knew who they were. I had a sneaking suspicion that things would end up the way they did, but it was confusing trying to figure it out throughout the book.
- I did lose a bit of my connection in a small part in the middle of the book, mainly when Kate is studying and the weeks are skipping by as she spent time with Henry. I think the book could've been a little longer and Carter could've spent more time on showing HOW Kate and Henry connected and ended up at the point they did.
- I don't like the way the book ended in that James told Kate that things would "be different" between her and Henry, James, friends, etc. I know that they get to act like Gods/Goddesses now, but I liked them as they were!
- The seven deadly sins thing - I think it was cool and clever - just weird when mixed with the whole Greek mythology thing. It almost didn't fit.
- I didn't like the concept of the Underworld in this book as compared to the "real myth" if that makes any sense. Though, in theory, I like the idea of the "real" afterlife being so open to interpretation, I like my mythology to be pretty straightforward, and I think I accepted enough deviation with the Gods/Goddesses being so different to begin with. I'm not sure why but that aspect kind of ticked me off.
I can honestly say I cried from like page 1 to page 50 consistently, and if I hadn't been sitting in front of a couple of my fiancé's co-workers when I finished this book, I would've been crying also. It gripped me right from the beginning with the impending loss of her mother and kept me hooked most of the time with her growing relationship with Henry.
I would also like to give a whopping THANK YOU to Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series for introducing and so accurately teaching me about Greek mythology. I wouldn't have understood this book so well if I didn't know what the hell was going on, and though I may have enjoyed it more if I didn't know anything, I was pleased. I didn't like the weird changes to the Underworld as described by Henry, but I liked the story of what happened to Persephone as it was a believable continuation to what the myth says happened.
There were some things that annoyed me but I couldn't put this one down and I was rooting for Kate and Henry the whole time, hoping Kate could be the one to heal him. Damn you Persephone! All in all, this was a great read and I really want to read the next one to see what happens with Kate and Henry.
I enjoyed this story very much and I cant wait to read the next one. I would recommend this to any one who likes YA fiction or unique retellings of Greek mythology or any mythology at all, really. Great read!
Have any of you read this? What did you think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion?