ARC Reviews – May 2015

This month, I’ve read four ARCs – one of which was for a blog tour – and just started a fifth. Here’s a round-up of what I read! (please click the titles for a full review)

  • Sing for Me – Gracie Madison: “I have complicated feelings about this book. It wasn’t bad per se, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I read the whole thing, though admittedly I started skimming at about 30%.” (2 interrobangs)
  • The Rearranged Life – Annika Sharma: “This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures…a cute summer read.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • The Blooming Goddess Trilogy – Tellulah Darling: “I really enjoyed this series: it was fluffy at times but still had a strong plot. The writing was funny and compelling, and if you like contemporary takes on Greek mythology, you’ll love Sophie’s world.” (4.5 interrobangs)
  • Beyond Clueless – Linas Alsenas: “I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but this is one of those rare cases where I feel too old to read this and I think it would be better received by readers aged 12-14.” (2 interobangs)

I just started reading Devil’s Daughter and it’s interesting so far – hopefully I’ll have a review for it up next week!

What ARCs have you read this month? Anything I should look forward to?

ARC Review: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy – Tellulah Darling

The Blooming Goddess Trilogy – Tellulah Darling

25389347Perfect for fans of Meg Cabot, Rachel Hawkins, and everyone who loves their kickass girls sassy and their infuriating gods swoony.

The Persephone myth gets a YA romantic comedy makeover when Sophie Bloom, slacker girl extraordinaire, receives a midnight kiss from a bad boy and discovers that she’s actually Persephone, Goddess of Spring. Somehow she’s got to save humanity in the war between Hades and Zeus, survive God-ordered assassination attempts, deal with mean girls and teen drama, and stop being kissed by the aforementioned bad boy, a.k.a. Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

Compared to Kai and Sophie, Romeo & Juliet had it easy.

The Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy contains: My Ex From Hell (#1),My Date From Hell (#2), A Date of Godlike Proporitions (short story #2.5), and My Life From Hell (#3) and is available exclusively for Kindle.

Release Date: April 30th, 2015

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

I’ve always been fascinated by the Persephone myth, so I was pretty stoked when my request was approved and I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed this trilogy!

What I liked:

-the characters. The core four – Sophie, Kai, Theo, and Hannah – were all amazing. They were fairly well rounded and had amazing chemistry. I also loved the “updated” versions of the gods, especially Festos (Hephaestus) and Pierce (Eros). My favourite god is Hermes, so I was excited when he played a substantial role in the second book. I do wish Poseidon had shown up, but I liked that she introduced some of the lesser known gods, especially in the Underworld.

-the Sophie/Kai relationship. I ended up falling for them harder than I thought I would. Sure, Kai’s your standard brooding YA lead, but a) he has his light-hearted moments and b) he’s the prince of Hades, so what do you expect?

-the other relationships that I won’t spoil for you, but they were equally adorable.

-the humour and sarcasm. Sophie has a great narrative voice and she – and her friends – often made me giggle out loud. They were snappy and sassy and sounded like real teens and didn’t use weird “teen-speak” (i.e. the way some adult authors think teens speak which makes everyone sound like a vapid Valley girl).

-It takes place in Canada! Or, at least, the school is on Vancouver Island. Which I wasn’t expecting, so I thought that was pretty fun.

-a couple of paragraphs in, there was a Tim Burton reference. And then later someone is reading a Neil Gaiman book. WAY TO GET STRAIGHT TO MY HEART, TELLULAH DARLING.

-the mini story in between books 2 and 3. I don’t want to spoil it, but oh my glob, it’s so cute. And featured my favourite couple!!

-there was a moment near the end of the third book that had me so stressed out because I was desperately worried for a particular character, but, thankfully, it all worked out (otherwise I would have cried).

What I didn’t like:

-there were some moments that lagged (as is natural), and I skimmed part of the second book. I think the problem was reading the whole series in one shot (they were all in one file), so it felt like it was longer than if I had three physical books to start and finish (or even three separate files).

-I understood why Sophie and Hannah argued in the third book, but it was a very “dramatic teen girl” subplot that felt a little jarring compared to the “fate of the world” plot. It was handled realistically though.

I really enjoyed this series: it was fluffy at times but still had a strong plot. The writing was funny and compelling, and if you like contemporary takes on Greek mythology, you’ll love Sophie’s world.

Rating:

4 interrobangs

4.5 interrobangs

Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips

https://i0.wp.com/29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwz953LO891qa9bnwo1_400.jpg

“From Marie Phillips, hailed by the Guardian Unlimited website as a “hot author” destined to “break through” in 2007, comes a highly entertaining novel set in North London, where the Greek gods have been living in obscurity since the seventeenth century.

Being immortal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Life’s hard for a Greek god in the twenty-first century: nobody believes in you any more, even your own family doesn’t respect you, and you’re stuck in a dilapidated hovel in North London with too many siblings and not enough hot water. But for Artemis (goddess of hunting, professional dog walker), Aphrodite (goddess of beauty, telephone sex operator) and Apollo (god of the sun, TV psychic) there’s no way out… until a meek cleaner and her would-be boyfriend come into their lives and turn the world upside down.

Gods Behaving Badly is that rare thing, a charming, funny, utterly original novel that satisfies the head and the heart.”

I’ve always liked stories about Greek deities – I’ve been purposely buying my niece the Goddess Girls books so that one day I can borrow them. Gods Behaving Badly is basically the grown-up version.

At times, I actually laughed (more like snorted) out loud. All of the gods – especially Aphrodite and Apollo – were well-written:  their personalities stayed true to the classic myths, even though it’s set in modern-day London. And the mortal “couple” – Alice and Neil – were believable: it’s not really a spoiler to tell you that at some point they found out that the strange group of people Alice works for are actually gods, and their reactions to it are as realistic as possible.

I have a hard time picking a favourite god: I often consider Athena because she’s the wise one and in this case, her brief appearances made for some funny moments (she uses big words to communicate small ideas and no one else understands her). I’m also going to say that Hermes is my favourite god – no matter what book I read about the gods, he’s always amusing. Also, Eros as a born-again Christian was a touch of genius.

I don’t really have much to say about Gods: it’s more of a “read it and you’ll see why it’s so great” type of book. I can try and explain why I thought it was funny, but it’s hard to describe (the often foul but nonetheless amusing language is definitely a contributing factor to the overall humour). Apparently it’s being made into a movie but since the movie relocates them from London to New York City (I realize it’s a small detail but if it’s so small why couldn’t the film accommodate it?), I’m going to go on a limb and say it’s probably not going to do the book justice.