Release Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Review Source: eARC from Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
I’ve been having a bit of a hard time putting my thoughts into words for this one, because I'm sort of conflicted. On the whole this book was enjoyable. I can see why people like it because it was well-written and engaging. The love that Kate feels for her dying mother is completely touching, and I felt real pain in my chest reading about it. I’m super close with my Mom, so while I didn’t want to try and relate to what she was going through, I could completely empathize.
My main problem with this book, though, is the Greek myth aspect. The correlation between Greek mythology and the mythical world that exists within ‘The Goddess Test’ is questionable. Even a middle grade series like Percy Jackson acknowledges the selfish, lustful ways of the gods, so I wouldn’t expect a YA book to shy away from that the way 'The Goddess Test' does. I’m all for changing up a myth and adding to it, but I could barely see any aspects of the original gods and myths left in the story.
The thing is, I liked this book well enough while I was reading it, but when I stopped to think about it, it really began to bug me. The moments between Kate and Henry were cute (and even quite swoony at times), but I wanted to know why she fell for him, not just that she did. I needed to see more of the attraction to him beyond his looks and the fact that she wanted him to ‘live’. Also, when a book is based on the premise that you need to pass tests in order to survive I expect those tests to be epic, but instead they were quite laughable. I expected daring adventures, not incredibly simplistic tests that were based upon Western Christian values.
One awesome aspect of this book is that while there will be a sequel, there was no cliffhanger to this book. Hooray! On the downside, I thought it was incredibly predictable who the ‘bad guy’ was, and the twist with Kate’s mom was definitely more than expected. So again, I’m a bit conflicted. I actually enjoyed the writing of this one, and it kept my attention while I was reading it, but I’m afraid that it failed to live up to further scrutiny. Many people seem to adore this one, but I would probably give it a pass if you already have a large 'To Be Read' pile.
Find The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca