Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test
Series: Goddess Test #1
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publishing date: April 19th, 2011
Pages: 304
Buy it: Amazon
Summary: 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.

Rating: 3 stars

This is more a 2.5 stars, but I'm rounding up, for once. I don't really know why. My brain works in strange, strange ways.

Here are the annotations I made while reading The Goddess Test. I realized after viewing all of them that they may just tell you as much as my review would, with the bonus of being funnier (I think). Plus I'm lazy. So. Here we go.

- Narrator is not a pushover at school. I was scared she'd have the Bella Swan syndrome (I let everyone say whatever they want to me without reacting because I'm nice.) I have to say it made me like Kate a lot more.

- Seems like Kate is willing to put her life on the line for Henry quite fast. Why is she so willing? Makes no sense. She barely knows him.

- Little too much foreshadowing. She notices everybody's expressions a bit too easily (surely I'm not the only one who can't read perfect strangers' faces like a book, right?) and there are just way too many somethings flickering in everyone's eyes.

- Henry's nod is archaic? ... ????

- Very interesting concept of what happens after death. I loved it. I've never seen that interpretation before, kudos to Miss Carter.

- She keeps referring to sex as "that". Are we in third grade?

- Why is she so harsh on Ava? Stop judging your friends. Seriously. She goes from being this awesome friend (a little too awesome too fast, but Carter gives an explanation about that, so I'm okay with it) to this judging bitchy person because suddenly she's worried about how Henry will see her. Great role model, Kate.

- Her expectations with Henry are quite low. Condemned to always have second role, and she knows it and she's mostly fine with it, why? Idk. I think that's just me, though.

- She's humanized the Greek gods way too much. "I refused to believe he was capable of murder"... Really? Since when do gods care if they kill humans?

- The puppy is CUTE. Omg. So CUTE <3 <3 <3

- Henry is a jerk because he's scared. Eye roll. I've not seen this in a million YA novels before.

- Love this quote:

"Maybe you'll win when hell freezes over."
He raises an eyebrow. "That could easily be arranged."

- WTF JSLDKJLDKJQDS QJD HAPPENED WITH HER MOTHER? WHAT? WHAT? (I can't say more because I don't want to spoil, but... Jesus. Mffh.)

(spoilers. Highlight to see)


- Why does Kate's mother look down on her own daughter like that? She's Persephone's mother too. I know she's not supposed to forgive her child's actions just because she's her mother, but I'm not getting a lot of love vibes from her towards poor Persephone (who broke Henry's heart so I don't ~like her, but still. Girl was kidnapped). It bothered me.

- She forgives everyone way too easily. They all jerked her around for I don't know how many months, her MOTHER has lied to her her entire life, pretending to have cancer (for god's sake) and she's like "mmmkay. I'm mad but oh wait no it's okay. Yaaaaay I'm a goddess." They had to do it, okay, I get that. But does she have to stop being mad at them after 3.2 seconds?

(end spoilers)

- The gods' names. Seriously. Walter? I mean, she explains, I get it. But after Kate finds out who they really are, why does she not call them by their Greek name? I don't like this "what we represent in mytholody" concept.

As you can see... I like talking to myself. Aerm. Anyway.

To those annotations, I will add that while The Goddess Test has its flaws (as... Err, shouted above), it was an enjoyable read. I don't regret reading the book, and I'll certainly pick up the sequel. Carter's prose is nothing to be ashamed of. It's not out of this world good, but she knows how to tell a story and it flows easily enough. She still has to make progress, but it's her debut novel, so I'm waiting to see if she gets better. I feel like a lot of things could have been done better, less clumsily, like the humanization of the gods (I have nothing against it, but to me it was way too much), or Kate's characterization. I like Kate just fine, but I didn't "click" with her, you know? Despite all that, I'd recommend this novel if you want a light, easy read and like Greek mythology without being a die-hard fan.

Also, I really want a puppy.

The Goddess Test


Coreena McBurnie said...

I love this review! I got a great sense of the book. Thanks for sharing like this.

kathy said...

That was a great review! (and hilarious) I felt pretty similar to how you did. Things kept happening and I thought "I would have had a bigger problem with that." I couldn't relate to Kate, either. And I kept waiting for Hades to reveal that he was actually Mr. Darcy, but maybe that's what the sequels are for. :)

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

I really enjoyed this book but I didn't really warm up to Henry. I hope he gets some charm in the next book. Great review :)

Small Review said...

Haha, your spoilers? Awesome. I couldn't agree more, especially on the whole mother part. I mean, come on?! That's a big thing to just be all like "Sike!" and then for Kate to be all "Oh, it's cool. Don't worry about seriously twisting up my emotions and life for years."

Although being a goddess might just help me get over it, too. Especially if I could smite. Plus the puppy helps.

Anonymous said...

Amen! 'Nuff said.

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