A fun and funny teen read with a unique twist.
Fourteen year old Helen Thomas has a lot to deal with. She’s leaving her Gran and all her friends and moving back to London for the first time since her mum died. She’s going to be living with her dad and his grown up kids. This would be challenging enough for any teenager but Helen’s life is much more complicated than most because her new family just happen to be Greek gods incognito. Her dad might look like a dorky academic but he’s actually Zeus, ruler of the gods, while her spiteful and self-absorbed sister is the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite. To make matters worse, Aphrodite and her brother, Apollo, aren’t very good at keeping a low profile. (Aphrodite is causing an internet sensation as a beauty vlogger while Apollo’s pushing to become a world-famous DJ). If anyone finds out who they really are, they’ll be stripped of their powers and lose their immortal status while Helen will be forced to spend the rest of her life on Mount Olympus. Can Helen rein in her family before they blow their cover along with any chance of Helen having a half-normal life?
As this brief outline suggests, this is a fun and funny teen read with a unique twist. Helen is a strong and relatable character whom we immediately warm to. In many respects she’s the typical teen, obsessed with boys and trying not to be a total social flop at school. However, beneath this, she’s also struggling to find a family where she fits and missing her mum. It’s also refreshing to have a mixed-race girl from inner-city London as our main character with this being part of her identity rather than the primary ‘issue’ of the book.
As with most books in this genre, the story is made up of series of funny incidents including a good smattering of cringe-worthy moments. I don’t think this is laugh out loud type of book but it is the sort of story that you’ll read while wearing a constant smile with more than the odd giggle thrown in. There is also a stronger plot that many similar feel-good stories. Indeed, the story becomes really gripping when the true identity of the gods is exposed and the whole family are summoned to face trial. I was simply unable to put the book down as I quickly turned the pages, desperate for Helen to find a way to save herself and her family.
If you’re looking for another light-hearted and entertaining read that’s packed with both funny and cringe-worthy moments, I’d recommend you check out the Waiting for Callback trilogy by Perdita and Honor Cargill – this starts with Casting Queen, and moves on to Take Two, and It’s a Wrap.
Publication Date: January 2019
Author’s Website: Alexandra Sheppard