Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

As a talented long distance runner, Phoebe practically worships her Nikes. When her mother marries a Greek after 8 days of courtship and decides to move with her from Southern CA to a secret Greek isle, Phoebe finds out that Nike and all the other Gods are real – and their numerous descendents are her new neighbors and classmates. All Phoebe cares about is making the grade and winning races so she can get a scholarship to USC. But how is she going to do that as a nothos when everyone around her has supernatural powers and most of the school seems to hate her?

I am a big fan of Greek mythology so the concept intrigued me and the “advance praise” on the back cover from the Gods (“This novel will wind up on many keeper shelves – or there will be thunderbolts to pay” – Zeus) made me laugh out loud. I had a hard time with the first chapter though. Everything just happened so fast. One minute she’s winning a race at a USC cross country summer camp and the next her mother tells her they’re moving overseas. Just like that they’ve packed two suitcases and are on a plane. WHAT?! Who does that?! To me that was even more unbelievable than finding out the Greek gods really exist.

But once they’re settled on the island, the novel finds its flow and it’s a super fun read. I thought it was clever that even at god school you have your cliques – the cheerleaders are descendants of Aphrodite, the jocks of Ares, the nerds of Hephaestus and so on. Phoebe has to deal with the machinations of her evil stepsister Stella and her Hera buddy Adara while nursing her crush on bad boy runner Griffin. Fortunately, she is befriended by Nicole and Troy – two characters I would have liked to have read more about.

One of the major themes of the book was that sometimes change happens quickly – and you can embrace it and adapt to it, or you can stay bitter and stuck in the past. In that context, I can sort of see the first chapter in a new light, and have to admit that as a device it fits what the author is trying to convey.

Better get it, lest Zeus smite you!


Steph said...

HAHAHA! I just received this one ;) I cannot wait to get started. Once again, fabulous review, my friend.


Anonymous said...

Have you heard of the Goddesses series? This book sounds a lot like that series by Clea Hantman (it starts with Heaven Sent, if I recall correctly). I remember reading a few of those books when they first came out, but Oh. My. Gods. sounds funnier. :) Great review, btw!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Hilarious/great review Lenore. I really want to read this, and I like your thoughts on the first chapter..good to know before I read it, or I'm sure i'd have been a bit confused as well.
that's really funny about the gods "advance praise". nice idea!!


Anonymous said...

That sounds hilarious! I'll have to pick up a copy of Oh My Gods sometime. Does it seem like the beginning of a series or just a one-off?

Kathleen Gilligan said...

Lol I love greek mythology. I'll have to check this out!