Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

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If Phoebe Castro can keep her grades up and have another stellar cross-country season, her dream of attending USC with her best friends is only a track scholarship away. She’s made all her plans, so it’s a complete shock when her mom announces she’s marrying a mysterious stranger and moving them halfway around the world – to Greece.

Phoebe’s stuck on a secret island in the Aegan, attending the super-exclusive Academy, where her new stepfather is the headmaster and the kids are anything but your average students – they are descendants of the Greek gods, superpowers included. That’s right, Greek gods are no myth! If Phoebe thought high school was hard, she knows this is going to be mortal misery.
Securing that scholarship seems like Phoebe’s only ticket out of Greece, but training and maintaining her grades will be grueling, even without a sabotaging stepsister from Hades and a gorgeous guy – what a god! – who just might be her Achilles’ heel. One thing is for sure – summoning the will to win and finding her place among the gods could be Phoebe’s toughest course yet.
The Greek gods get a makeover in this romantic odyssey of mystic proportion.

Every once in a while you just need a book that entertains you and doesn’t ask too much of your brain power. Oh. My. Gods. has plenty of smiles and silliness to go around. While there are moments when the plot is a little iffy, Phoebe’s adventure in Greece is simply fun. It sucks that her newly remarried mom decides they should move from California to Greece prior to her senior year to live with her new Greek husband. I thought the mom was annoying. Seriously, who makes a life-altering decision like that without consulting their child? Phoebe suffers through it as best she can though even she can’t help but succumb to the beauty and history of Greece once she’s there.

Phoebe is a fun character – average teenager with your typical teenage reactions to things that happen to her. She cringes when she witnesses her mother and stepfather being “affectionate”.  She’s equally perturbed by her new stepsister. And her learning to adapt to her new school is hilarious.  If you think being the new kid at school is awful, then being at a school filled with mini-gods with special powers is downright miserable!  She’s immediately blackballed as a “nothos” – basically an ordinary person with no special claims to her ancestry. Thankfully she’s befriended by two kids at school who show her the ropes. And then of course there's that one hot guy who captures her attention and that god-awful (no pun intended) mean girl who wants to ruin her. And wouldn't you know it? Greek God and Mean Girl are together.  Oh this will not stand and Phoebe gets embroiled in some sort of ridiculous scheme to break up the golden couple.
That aside, the story also focuses on Phoebe's first love – running. One of my favorite passages in the books is when Phoebe describes how it makes her feel.

“I love everything about running: the steady rhythm of my sneakers hitting the ground, the adrenaline and endorphins pulsing through my bloodstream, the cotton of my PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY tee rubbing against my skin with every step. If I could do it without winding up in a tree or a ditch I’d close my eyes and just … feel. Running is when I know I’m alive. Everything else is downtime. Step, step, step, breathe. Step, step, step, breathe. That pattern is my comfort… All I know is I’m running and I feel perfect.”

I will not lie. I want to start running now.  Where is that C25K app again?
I digress. Oh. My. Gods. is a lot of fun and it was refreshing to read something that's pretty innocent. It's a good choice if you have any interest in Greek mythology, Greece or running. And if anything, you'll have a good laugh at all the ridiculous things that happen.
~ Bel

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