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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Titles: Athena the Brain; Persephone the Phony; Aphrodite the Beauty
Authors: Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
ISBNs: 9781416982715; 9781416982722; 9781416982739
Publisher: Aladdin
Page #'s: 160; 137; 156
Source: From my public library

"Athena has always been above average. She's never quite fit in at Triton Junior High, but who would've guessed that Athena is actually a goddess? Principal Zeus's daughter, to be exact. When she's summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, Athena thinks she might actually fit in for the first time in her life. But in some ways, school on Mount Olympus is not that different from down on Earth, and Athena is going to have to deal with the baddest mean girl in history - Medusa!"

"As Persephone's mother encourages her to do, she often 'goes along to get along' instead of doing what she really wants. But then she meets Mount Olympus Academy bad-boy Hades, she finally feels she has found someone with whom she can be herself. He's the first person who actually listens to her, and she finds herself liking him, despite the fact that other goddessgirls think he's bad news. But if he makes her feel so special - and so comfortable - can he really be all that bad?"

"Aphrodite delights in helping mortals in love, but she's pretty annoyed at the constant attention she gets from the godboys at Mount Olympus Academy. When she decides to give Athena a makeover, she's a bit unprepared for the result. She didn't count on all the interest Athena's new look would get. And she certainly never thought she'd find herself jealous of one of her best friends! Will she be able to put the jealousy behind her?"

I don't read children's books. Really, I don't. And that's exactly what these are. But can you blame me? Look at how cute those covers are?! I honestly couldn't resist. And who doesn't love a good story about the gods and goddesses? That was one of my favorite topics in school - the Greeks and their deities.

As I said, these books are written for children. So they've taken the stories of Athena, Persephone, and Aphrodite and turned them on their heads. And put them in a high school situation. It's actually really clever to think of Mount Olympus as a huge school for all the gods and goddesses. They learn about spells, magic, heroes, and more. All the great characters make an appearance at some point, but all of them are high school aged - except for Zeus and the teachers, of course.

The first book, Athena the Brain, sets up the whole Mount Olympus Academy world. It starts with her finding out she is a goddess, along with finding out she actually does have parents. The book does a good job setting everything up and giving you the who's who in the school. It mostly shows Athena learning the ropes - things like, blocking your brainstorms so they don't rain down on earth. This one is a really fun start to this series.

The second book is about Persephone and her finding out who she really is. She's spent so much time pleasing other people, that she doesn't know herself. An instrumental part of her finding herself is meeting and falling for Hades - another god at the high school. You do have to suspend your knowledge of the original story for this one - because you don't have the whole kidnapping thing going on. But it's a cute retelling that children will love. Probably :).

And the third book I read was Aphrodite the Beauty. Her entire life is filled with concerns about looks and love and crushes. Aphrodite's story is the one that feels most like a regular popular high school girl. She gives a friend a makeover and the friend becomes more popular than she is. It's an old story, of course. But in the context of Aphrodite, it was a lot of fun.

I think I would describe this series (or at least the first three books) as an adorable retelling of some ancient stories. They really do pull in all of the elements of the gods - what they eat, what they can do, how they travel and more. These are a neat way of telling the stories to children in a fun and seriously cute package.

Check out the websites of the authors: Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub. I know there are more Goddess Girls books coming out, so I will probably have to read those as well. Too cute to be ignored!
Other Blog Reviews:

Wondrous Reads
I am a Reader, Not a Writer
Zoe's Book Reviews (author interviews)
The Trades
Biblio File


Anonymous said...

SQUEE!! I loved this books, seriously. Like you, I first got them because I loved all things greek mythology when I was a kid, but they were just so cute! Now I got up to Artemis the Brave (book 4) and can't wait for the other ones coming out this year.


Suzanne Williams said...

Thanks so much for your nice review of Joan's and my first three Goddess Girls books, Emily. I'm so glad you like the series! I used to be a librarian too--spent more than twenty years as an elementary school librarian as a matter of fact. Librarians rock!

Joan and I are just starting to write GG Books 7 & 8 now, btw. And our agent recently sold Turkish foreign rights to a publisher called...wait for it...ARTEMIS!

Joan Holub said...

Alex! You are so sweet! Thank you. And thanks for giving away a copy of Artemis the Brave on your blog. xox

Hi Suzanne--Fancy meeting you here. LOL

Joan Holub said...

Hi Emily,

This is one of the absolute best blog names I've ever seen. I also like the way that pink graphic stays in place, but the text moves.

Thank you so much for reviewing our first three Goddess Girls! Much appreciated. Five and six release in April and August of 2011. I think these are my favorites in the series. In #5 Athena meets Heracles. In #6, our goddessgirls meet some Egyptian goddesses.

I agree that these covers are adorable. We are so lucky that Glen Hanson agreed to create them. Turns out that he's a mythology fan.

Suzanne and I were friends who decided to write together. And we're really enjoying it. It's a nice way to stay in contact with a long-distance friend.


Emily said...

Well, hi there authors-of-the-books-I-reviewed! Welcome to my blog :). I really did love these books. I look forward to reading the fourth one - and beyond.

LOVE that the publisher's name is Artemis! That could not be more perfect.

Thanks for your comments about my blog. You can thank the little "Cutest Blog on the Block" people for my layout and all. They have lots of fun stuff.

And a shout out to the librarians! Sweet! We are the best breed, aren't we? :)

Thanks again, guys!

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