Came out: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Kindle Store
Age Group: Young Adult
Its always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kates going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother wont 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, hell keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure hes crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, shell become Henrys future bride, and a goddess.
I dont know why, but I have an addiction to Greek mythology. Im fascinated by the relationships and backstories blossoming around each other. So I was delighted in the new trend in YA: modern tales inspired by Greek mythology.
Kates relationship with her mother was absolutely amazing. I loved the love and trust with them and how Kate wanted to skirt the topic of her mothers death. The description of the frailty and the delicacy of the disease raging through her mother was impeccable. The writing was great and the story was incredibly original.
I absolutely adored how the tests were based on the Seven Deadly Sins. Gluttony, pride, greed, lust, sloth, envy, and rage were the virtues that Kate was unwittingly tested on.
The secondary characters were breathtaking. Ava was conflicted, the type of character whom you couldnt decide whether you liked or not. She kept on making mistakes, but she was human. You found yourself half rooting for her, and half thinking that she deserved her punishments.
Calliope and Ella reminded me of the fairies in Eyes Like Stars only more malevolent. Ella was at first unlikeable but then you understood why and how she acted when she was upset. Calliope was interesting, and probably one of the most complex secondary characters that I have seen in this book. Theo and Xander added even more tension to the story and were an enjoyable contrast.
The only thing that I paused about while tearing through this book was the slight unrealistic factor where Aimee said that Ava hit her head. I would have liked a tad bit more description around that part of the story. It seemed a tad bit rushed.
I really liked how the relationship between Henry and Kate actually grew with time. It didnt start out like, Oh, hes so hot and just happens to be into me like many books are starting to do or, after two months, were going to be in love forever and get married type relationship. It was honest, straightforward, and real.
Overall, its a very satisfying and elegant read that will leave readers aching for a sequel.
Recommended for anybody who loves: Starcrossed; Abandon; Greek mythology; romance; modern-day retellings; strong mother-daughter relationships; etc,.
Possible book club questions:
Do you think Ava knew that she had to be mean at first so that Kate would accept her?
James and Ava argued at the lunch table. Did they think that their arguments would influence Kate?
Who in your normal life would you assign to each god/goddess in the family?
Kate was required to fail one of the tests. Did her mother know that she would fail that certain test?
If Kates mother was in mortal form, why did she choose for her form to have cancer? Discuss.
How do you think Kates relations behind the hedge will affect her life as a human? How do you think she will make a living?