Friday, June 17, 2011

The Goddess Test Review

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Published by Harlequin Teen 2011
Paperback 293 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 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.

Recommended to (And this is based off my opinion of the book): Anyone who can wait for a somewhat predictable but still good ending.

Not Recommended to: Anyone who loves the traditional Greek mythology, this book seems to really stray from the traditional Greek mythology

One Word Feeling About This Book: FRUSTRATED

This book really threw me for a loop. *Warning this may be a longer review.* First, something no one can miss, the gorgeous cover! The book companies these days are really getting creative and going above and beyond to create beautiful stop in the bookstore with five people directly behind you covers, so you all crash but it was well worth the dirty looks to be able to look at those beautiful covers! (So is the next one, which I will add near the end of this post.) The Goddess Test cover is no exception, it is so beautiful and really captures the books synopsis. The cover was exciting and so was the synopsis, it sounded so good and I'm really excited that YA is taking a Greek Mythology turn! I've been waiting for a Greek Mythology book for a while and this was my first YA Greek Mythology which made me even more excited to being reading.

I honestly believed that this book would be one of my all time favorites before I started reading. Maybe that's why my opinion of this book was not quite what I thought it would be, too high expectations. The book just left me frustrated and confused. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a horrible book it just, well, it left me frustrated and confused. So we'll start with our main character Kate. (Again, I really wanted to love this book and the characters.) Well if I'm being completley honest, I didn't really care for her. Now I really appreciate a sarcastic character but with Kate the sarcasm made me feel more that she was just a mean girl. Now in her situation I can understand some sarcastic aganst and being a little mean to people but to me it felt that she was mean to everyone she came across. Again I can understand in her situation but it her character just wasn't for me. That said I really admire that she was there for her mom and how much she truley loved her and how well she took care of her. It was a small redeeming factor for me, but didn't overshadow how she was with everyone else. She did get better throughout the book, once she got to know people but she still didn't shine through to me as a character. Now for the character I think all the girls want to hear about, Henry. Unfortunatly I can't say many great things about him either. He fell flat for me, he was always so gloomy and either cold or charming. One word to describe his character for me is, eh. That's it, he wasn't terrible but he's not on my list of YA guys I love, and it's kind of hard to not make that list. Again, he was okay. I didn't love him and I didn't hate him. He was just kind of there and he had his moments but mostly he was just, eh. So while the main charcters didn't really work for me I did like a few or the minor-main characters, Ava, Ella, and Calliope. They had flaws, which I kind of missed in Kate, she seemed a little self-rightous to me, not in the obvious snobby way. I can't really explain it but something in her character felt like that to me, maybe it was that she always kind of thought she knew what was best. I still can't exactly put my finger on it. But back to Ava, Ella, and Calliope. They had personatily and I liked their personailties. Those three shined for me whereas the main characters were lacking for me. They made me keep reading and I really enjoyed them.

So after all my bioplar thoughts on the characters in this book, I really wish I could say that the plot was a redeeming factor for me but it wasn't. Now it wasn't bad but it was kind of strange to me. First off, the book didn't really go anywhere. I mean, nothing really happened except for the begining and then kind of at the end. I can't say much about it without giving things away. One of things was the tests Kate had to overcome, they were a little weird. I understand why Carter chose what the tests were, it's an interesting spin but for me it didn't work. I just didn't get how what the tests were matched up with Greek Mythology at all, in fact the Gods and Goddesses from Greek mythology should have failed all the tests I mean we all have the knowledge of how scandolous the Gods and Goddesses are. What kind of throws me is the fact that the tests are specifically made to see if Kate can handle the Goddess statues, it made sense but not in Greek mythology standards. Although, the Gods and Goddesses in this book are very different than in Greek mythology, but more on that later. I have to give Carter credit, it was an interesting idea but again, for me it didn't really work. Also, I really thought that the tests were going to be a lot different than what they were, Kate never even knew they were going on except for one. It was kind of strange since all the other girls died trying to pass these tests, they made me think they would be action packed and really life threatening but they were just, blah. Not super exciting or even romotley interesting, they were a little dull.

Now I have to mention something about the Gods and Goddesses, as I said before, they are some pretty scandoulous characters. Somewhere along this book, the whole Greek mythology and Gods and Goddesses got lost for me. I feel like you could definitely take out all the Greek mythology and Gods and Goddesses and the book would still pretty much stand on it's own. What I mean by that is it didn't seem like this book was really based on Greek mythology. By reading the synopsis you would think this book is completley formed around the Greek mythology, that it's essentially the skeleton of the story. Really, the Greek mythology seemed a little bit of an after thought. Or it could have been that Carter changed what I think most people know about Greek mythology and made it her own. If I remember correctly, even the story of Presophene was changed a little, at least from the versions I have heard and read. Now without giving too much away, all the Gods and Goddesses are in the book, but they were dissapointing for me because there wasn't much personality to them. They seemed like another flat after thought, for example * super small spoiler* Poseidon works with the horses, among being God of the Seas he is the God of Horses. I mean that was pretty much all we got, really super small things that told us who was who and other than that there wasn't much more to them. Some of the Gods and Goddesses went into a little more depth but not too much. There were some that I liked but even they were not the Gods and Goddesses that we know from Greek mythology. It's probably an interesting take for some people, but I wanted more scandolous drama from these powerful people, not mellow people with good morals that were somewhat flat. That just doesn't say Greek Gods and Goddesses to me at all. The one major redeeming factor for me, and why I bumped up my rating for this book was the end. It was the best part of the book for me. It was interesting and, while I did see most of it coming, it was good. If it weren't for the end I don't think I would be reading the next book. So to end all this long review madness, I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't. Some of it left me confussed and most of it just left me plain frustrated. I wanted this to be such an amazing book with characters I loved, and I really thought it was going to be but it wasn't. Now what I think and what other people think can be very different and this book can really work for you, as I'm sure it has for some of you who have already read it. It just didn't for me. The Greek mythology was changed a lot, most of the characters were flat for me and just too good for who they are supposed to be, the tests, while I can see the reasoning behind it, were off for me and the association with Greek mythology, and the plot, while it was okay, the last forty pages or so were the best. I will read the next book because of those last forty pages but I don't know if I will spend my money to buy it, it will probably be a go to the good ole' library for. The next book, Goddess Interupted sounds really good and unique, and I'm hoping for a better book that lives up to it's synopsis.

Goddess Inerupted Cover:

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