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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (304 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Cholla

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 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.

They tell her that every girl to have taken this test has died and Kate’s their last hope. So, what choice does she have but to take a chance? Feeling as if she really doesn’t have much to lose at this point – heck, her mom’s already dying, how much worse can it get? – Kate takes that risk. Will it pay off in the end?

Kate’s life isn’t easy by any means, but she keeps struggling to make it right. Or, at least, right enough. She’s very admirable in that respect. Despite the fact that her mom’s been dying, slowly, over the course of the last several years, she still finds a way to live for each day and make the best of it. Very rarely does she become anything less than the giving, loving, strong daughter her mother needs her to be, and never once does she resent her duties. Kate is a pretty amazing character for young adult fiction. Even when she’s in the midst of the tests and things seem to be coming apart, she still manages to hold herself together with the help of those around her.

Henry is the perfect match for Kate. Having suffered losses of his own, he knows where she’s coming from and understands completely when her only thoughts are of her mom. He’s strong and yet pliant, bending to her needs when she needs him to, but staying strong when it’s for her own good. Probably the best thing about Henry is that, even though he’s in constant morning for his lost love, he doesn’t become maudlin or excessively depressing. He finds joy in Kate and having her with him and even if it doesn’t bring him completely out of his dark place, it does shed some light on it.

The Goddess Test is a refreshing and enjoyable read for teens and adults alike. My only issue with the story is that so many of the questions went unanswered until the very end when the reader could have been clued in a little at a time over the course of the story. However, that’s a very minor complaint when compared to the caliber of the story itself. Engrossing, engaging, and a fantastical trip through the world of the gods and goddesses, The Goddess Test is a story sure to please the pickiest of readers.