Monday, October 6, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimée Carter
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 293
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Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom - and 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 that 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...

The Goddess Test has been on my radar for a really long while now. For whatever reason I just took my sweet time getting around to it. But now I've read it and... I'm torn. I am a big proponent of Greek mythology - hell, I'm a Classics minor. I am totally, 100% cool with an author changing around the gods a little. One of my favorite series of all time is the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon! But Aimée Carter really did a number on these guys. She makes them totally... good. Like, way too moral to fit into the realm of Greek mythology at all...

Gluttony: Dionysus
Lust: Every god except Artemis, Athena, and Hestia
Wrath: Ares/Athena/Poseidon (to name a few)
Sloth: Dionysus/(possibly) Apollo
Pride: Aphrodite/Zeus
Envy: Hera/Hades/Aphrodite
Greed: Hades/Poseidon

I'm just saying. Has this woman ever read ANY Greek myth? There's only so much change an author can get away with in my opinion and Aimée has crossed the line.

Okay, so now that I've gotten the big god changes out of the way, let's talk about our protagonist. Kate Winters is the girl who is chosen for the tests. For whatever reason, Henry (Hades - what is with all the changed names, by the way?) thinks she's totally perfect. I think she's totally slow. Like, sloooooow. There were so many times that I was literally rolling my eyes and huffing and puffing because I was so exasperated with how amazingly SLOW she is to get anything! For example, once she's been told that Henry is Hades and he's done a million things to prove it to her, she's still like, "I dunno..." I mean, seriously? And then when Henry gave her the little clue to the tests and she wanted to sit there and argue with him about it and he literally had to spell it out for her! I mean, come on! Honestly though, she isn't the only one who's slow in this book. Henry has had literally decades to figure out who the "bad guy" is and he has a pretty huge clue to point directly at that person. He's a god. And he couldn't figure this out. Is this really who we want ruling the underworld (he calls it "hell" at one point, by the way)? But I digress.

More than being slow, Kate is kind of a bitch. I'm also pretty sure she's twelve. They talk about sex quite a bit in this book but they -never- call it "sex." They call it (I kid you not) "that." Over and over. "Not 'that...'" or "Are you going to do 'that'?" Can we please act like adults? You're 18 years old. This brings me to my (other) biggest complaint about The Goddess Test - the way they handle the "issue" of sex.

For whatever reason, the author of this book decided to treat sex as something dirty, wrong, and (quite literally) sinful. Kate's best friend (also a really weird topic), Ava, does "that" with a guy who she's known for literally six months. Because of *gasp* jealousy between men, something terrible happens to said guy. And who does Kate blame? The guys who acted like morons, surely. Um... no. Kate goes postal on Ava - like, full-on psychotic - literally calling her a slut and telling her everything is her fault for being easy. She forbids Ava from ever coming near her again lest Ava's slutty ways rub off on her. While I'm utterly appalled at Kate's behavior, everyone else proceeds to pat her on the freaking back and let her know her judgment was fair. Um... excuse me?! So because Ava had sex with some guy (and let's not forget, Ava is 18 years old - she is an adult and has known this guy for quite a while. Even if she'd just met him the night before, however, SHE IS AN ADULT AND CAN SLEEP WITH WHOEVER SHE WANTS TO!) she is the worst of people, everything is her fault, and she can never look in Kate's direction again. The amount of slut shaming (for lack of a better term) in this book is unreal. This obviously carries over to Kate's storyline, but I won't even get into that.

Let's go back to the Greek gods for just a minute. Who's familiar with the story of Leda and the Swan? Anyone? Go read it... Finished? Okay. Now, please tell me again how lust is totally not something the Greek gods are cool with. Aimée Carter should probably stay away from mythology. Forever.

The only redeeming quality of this book is that the story was actually interesting. I did like the original concept of the search for a new goddess. I was listening to the book on my iPhone and I did get through it fairly quickly. I enjoyed the romance between Kate and Henry even if it seemed to happen suddenly - something I've attributed to the fact that months at a time are skipped. I also kind of enjoyed the relationship between Kate and her mom. Because of these things, I'm actually going to go with a slightly higher rating. Just be prepared to be enraged if you are a woman of the 21st century who doesn't believe sleeping with a guy you've been seeing for six months makes you a slut.  I might listen to the next book just because I already own it, but I'm undecided at the moment.