Release Date: April 19th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Every girl who has taken the test has died.
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...
I was worried about beginning this because I'd chatted with Aimee a few times beforehand and she is so incredibly sweet and friendly. While I was super excited to read it, I was kind of freaking out incase I didn't love it and then be burdened with writing a sucky review and crushing the poor girls heart. *dramatic sigh* However my conscience was saved, my doubts were pointless. POINTLESS, I tell you!
I greedily devoured every page of The Goddess Test - it's a delicious banquet that slyly lures you in at first bite and you can't stop until you've consumed the entire thing. And despite having your fill, you're licking your lips for more. I want my dessert. Book two, come hither! I have been awaiting a Young Adult novel where the greek gods blossom to life in a modern, fantastical world I can get lost in and that's exactly what she has delivered.
Where do I start?! I'll begin with our heroine, 18 year old Kate Winters. She was a character who I really admired. She possessed such great strength and a maturity gained from the years she spent looking after her dying mother. She dealt with each hurdle thrown her way admirably, considering the stress she was under. She never resolved into a moping, brooding, 'woe is me' mess. She had a kindness and fire within her that pushed her forward. It's not every day the God of the Underworld just waltzes into your life and presents you with such a tempting offer.... I'd totally freak out. Despite how gorgeous he looked! Actually that would probably increase the freak-out complete with a chronic case of le blushes.
I loved Aimee's interpretation of Hades (aka Henry). Loved, loved, loved! It's so nice to see him thrust into a more positive light, rather than doom-and-gloom ruler of the Underworld. She captured his struggles, vulnerabilities and personality perfectly and I found myself wishing, oh so wishing, for Henry to have a happy ending!
A lot of people have commented on the lack of parental influence in YA novels. So the bond between Kate and her mother was a refreshing change. There was so much love there, it was really nice to see a teenage girl who cares so much about her mother and not ashamed to show it. She's all Kate has, her very best friend and after all that time Kate spent caring for her, not once did she complain or remiss about what she's missed out on.
All the while reading this I was keeping note of every single character who came into the story because I was determined to figure out if there were any gods hiding in disguise. And there were a few I guessed! *fist pumps* I even wrote down the page number where I had my "AH-HA!" moment on one character, who I guessed their identity, but had their motives completely wrong. It's still a half victory! All the secondary characters were fantastic and leapt from the pages just as much as Kate and Henry did. I was particularly fond of James and Ava! <3
The ending was a perfect conclusion, everything came to a close complete with a few twists, revelations and lies thrown into the mix and gratefully didn't end on a major cliffhanger, but still leaves you incredibly eager to find out what happens next! Aimee has crafted a beautifully written story and has begun what I'm sure will be a new and exciting trend of Greek mythology in YA fiction. Fans of mythology will especially love this, but even if you don't know your Hades from your Poseidon, The Goddess Test will enthral you. Delight you. Surprise you. Whisk you away to a godly new world!
Stay tuned tomorrow for an interview with Aimée
and the following day for your chance to win a pre-order of The Goddess Test!