Source: Harlequin Teen Panel. Paperback.
Summary: (goodreads) It's always just been Kate and her mom--and her mother 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 passes 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.
Review: Kate is an amazing character with lots of inner strength and maturity for her age. Dealing with her mother's terminal illness for most of her high school experience, has opened her to being compassionate and understanding of others and accepting the idea of loss at such a young age. But because Kate spent all the time she possibly could caring for her mother, her own identity is obscure at the beginning of the book.
She is unsure of anything, but that she wants her mother to continue living if even for one more day. Kate lives in denial trying not to think about the inevitable future, but this is how she grows in this book. The move to Eden forces her to re-think life without her mother. And that is what her mother wanted...but there is a whole lot more to the story than first meets the eye.
As a spin on the story of Hades and Persephone, I loved it. When Henry explains the truth of how he met Persephone, it seemed so much more realistic. And heartbreaking. Henry is amazing. He is quiet, but a revered leader. And the way he interacts with others is cold making the moments when he lets down his guard full of impact.
The two people at school that Kate meets and eventually forms friendships with are very unique characters. Ava was a meanie to her in the beginning, but then Kate saw beyond the surface and through some obstacles, forged a strong bond. James was always sweet and nice and quirky at times. Then there is Henry...when she moves into Eden Manor.
Knowing that if she doesn't pass the tests, her life would be the price, Henry tries to keep himself distant from her. Kate doesn't seem to mind at all in the beginning, but her curiosity wins out as she tries to engage in conversations with him. Their relationship built slowly making a connection between them more believable.
Although a paranormal book, The Goddess Test created a perfectly acceptable world of bright colors, grieving, and love while incorporating one of my favorite Greek myths ever. Nothing is an accident in this book. There is a reason behind every action and I guess that made the book wonderful to read and seeing how everything tied together. I eagerly await the next book!
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