Thursday, August 26, 2010

High School vs. The Gods

Oh. My. Gods.
Now that Percy Jackson's has brought the Greek Gods to the forefront, Oh. My. Gods., by Tera Lynn Childs, breaks out with a fun tale about kids who are direct descendants of the Gods. The Gods themselves don't really make an appearance, but their mythology and influence are all over this cute tale.

Phoebe Castro is a cross country runner whose skill is about to earn her a full scholarship to USC. Other than running and her two closest friends, Phoebe doesn't worry about much else in the world. When her mother returns from Greece for a family reunion for her husband who died years earlier, she has some news that will change Phoebe's life forever: she is engaged and they are all moving to a tiny island in Greece that is only accessible by private boat! Phoebe is devastated to leave California, but doesn't have much choice as the wedding and move are only weeks away.

When she gets to Serfopoula, her new stepfather tells her there is more to this island than just serious isolation. The single school on the island is a school for direct descendants of the Gods, like her stepfather. At first Phoebe thinks he and her mother have lost their minds, but when her new evil stepsister materializes on the boat as they approach the island, she has no choice but to accept the news. Now Phoebe is not only the new girl, she is the new girl AND the only non-descendant at the whole school. When she gets caught in the middle of a love triangle that involves her scheming stepsister and an evil cheerleader-type, she finds herself falling for the hunk of the school- the very same guy her friends warn her to stay way from. Now she has to figure out whether he really is a nice guy, or really a jerk, work her butt off to make the cross-country team that is full of descendants of Gods, and get to the truth about her father and his mysterious death. While it isn't the senior year Phoebe originally wanted, it is one she can't deny has changed her life!

This is a fun, goofy story that gives you the typical high school dramas laced with Greek mythology- very interesting. The mythology is only superficial, though, and is not as comprehensive as in Percy Jackson. I liked that Phoebe is an athlete and determined to make the team despite being out of her league as the only person without God qualities and talents. She is a strong main character, but she can throw some serious temper tantrums when she wants to!

The writing level and content would probably be appropriate for a 6-10 grade girl, depending on her skill level. I don't imagine this book would appeal to many boys (the cover alone would deter them). It would be a great story for a socialite girl who wants to read about social situations. There is a decent amount of boy meets girl going on that would appeal to that type of reader. There is also a sequel out I plan to pick up and save for a time when I need some cute, simple, uncomplicated reading!

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