The Goddess Test has received some crazy hype lately, but I think it’s justly deserved…
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: April 19 or 26th, 2011 (The author’s site says April 26th yet Amazon says April 19th, so I’m not quite sure)
Series: Book 1, planned trilogy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
How I Got the Book: Digital ARC
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…”
Kate is a high school student who refuses to live her life: her mom is suffering from cancer, and Kate can’t bear to miss any moment with her. But, Kate and her mom just moved to her mother’s home town, and everything’s about to change.
Through a series of supernatural events, Kate must not only fight for her and her mother’s life but she must inspire Henry, the pained god of the dead, to find the will to fight for the whole Underworld.
Original Story, Great Relationships
Before now, my only experience reading about greek gods involved reading Mythology by Edith Hamilton my senior year of high school. It was required reading for AP Literature, and I promptly forgot everything I’d read the instant I turned in the 20-page answer packet.
The same cannot be said about The Goddess Test. This book is definitely memorable, a lot of fun to read and was a story I connected with right away. Like Kate’s mother, my mom also suffered from breast cancer.
Although my mom has made a full recovery and has been in remission for over 10 years (hallelujah!), a lot of emotions came rushing to the surface as I read about the fear and pain that both Kate and her mom experience.
Their relationship felt extremely authentic, and I appreciated the rawness of emotion involved in that aspect of the story. Other relationships in the book- like Kate and Henry and Kate and Ava- were also very rich and believable. All of the characters have definable insecurities, strengths and weaknesses.
Some other things I loved:
- Unique spin on greek gods, goddess and immortality
- Examination of the difference between “life and “living”
- Ease of reading- the pages FLEW by
- Juicy romance
- Realistic, cheese-free dialogue
- An ending that left me wanting more without taunting me with a painful cliffhanger
For me, this book was the whole package. It had fantastic twists (which totally blindsided me), budding romance and suspenseful moments. The story also dove into some serious themes and didn’t skim the surface of issues like death and loss.
I highly, highly recommend this exciting YA fantasy. The Goddess Test far exceeded my expectations, and I loved every moment of it. Please check out this fantastic debut novel! The next book in the series is tentatively called Goddess Interrupted and is scheduled to hit bookshelves in January 2012.
What books have exceeded your expectations? Any so far this year?