Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review: The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Received from Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult


Aimee Carter delivers a strong debut novel full of suspense, love, and friendship; she breathes new life into old tales that are sure to mesmerize modern audiences. The Goddess Test is the story of teen, Kate Winters, who is struggling with the inevitable death of her mother from terminal cancer. Her mother's dying wish is to return to the town of her youth - Eden, Michigan. Kate can't say no to her mother so she packs up their life in New York City and heads for Michigan. Kate has no desire to fit into the small town social hierarchy, but finds that she may not have much of a choice. She eventually becomes friends with James and Ava, but soon learns that not everything is as it seems in Eden.

Lurking behind hedges and wrought iron gates is a large estate owned by the handsome and elusive Henry. Kate finds herself smack in the middle of a Greek myth come to life. Will she pass the test? Does she have what it takes to become a Goddess?


I found this to be a cute read and enjoyed the Greek mythology that provided the inspiration for the characters and plot. I have always loved the story of Persephone and Hades so when I realized that was the basis for the story of Kate and Henry I was instantly vested in the story. Other Greek Gods and Goddesses appear throughout the novel as well, but I will let readers discover who for themselves. This review is a difficult one to write because I don't want to give anything major away. I went into reading this totally blind and I think I enjoyed the experience more because of that. 


Aimee Carter does a beautiful job of crafting her characters. Kate is a wonderful heroine and Henry is hard to resist. I found myself rooting for both of them to find happiness. I do have to admit that I found the direction she chose to go with Henry to be interesting. I have never honestly seen Hades as a sympathetic character, but seeing him as Henry changed my outlook on him a bit. I also enjoyed how Aimee took Greek mythology and made it her own. She changed many things which some readers may take issue with, but I found it to be creative and fresh.

There were a few reasons I couldn't give this book a 5 rating. One, I found the friendship between Kate and Ava to form too quickly. These girls go from disliking each other one minute to being BFFs the next. It just didn't ring true for me. I could see Ava doing something like that, but it just seemed out of character for Kate to forgive and forget so easily. Second, I also found it odd that Kate immediately trusts James and Ava enough to confide in them about her deal with Henry. It seems odd since she truly hasn't known either of them for more than a few weeks at that point. Third, I really enjoyed the book once Kate was in the manor, but the beginning of the book took some work to get through for me. I had to keep reminding myself that things would pick up eventually. I certainly was rewarded for my efforts! From chapter 13 on, I couldn't put the book down.


I am so excited to read the next book in this series. There are so many directions it could go in based on the ending of this one. I just can't wait to spend more time with Kate and Henry. Bravo Aimee Carter!





One Last Gripe: I felt like it wasn't clear when she was being tested. This is resolved in the end, but it was somewhat frustrating for me along the way.


My Favorite Thing About This Book: Henry's story


First Sentence: "How did it happen this time?"


Favorite Characters: Kate, Henry, Ella


Least Favorite Character: Ava




Summary:


Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.


It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now 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 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...







4 comments:

  1. Great review! I loved this book!

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  2. I'm really excited to read this one so I'm glad that you liked it! I've been seeing some complaints about the book doesn't really stay true to Greek Mythology in terms of Hades' character but I don't think it'll be such a huge thing for me - I always like fresh takes on the myths. Thanks for the fantastic review - I'll be looking out for this one when it comes out!

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  3. @The Story Queen - I admit that it wasn't the traditional Hades, but at the same time it's fiction. I think I might have liked the book less if she had stuck to the exact mythology. I liked that she tried to take things in a new direction. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts after your read this one.

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  4. I really adored this book! It's definitely going on my shelf as soon as its released. :) Great review!

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