Clever, funny, and complex, if somewhat labyrinthine.

Revealing Hannah

THE MYTH OF CASSANDRA

From the Revealing Hannah The Greek Myths series , Vol. 1

A classics major’s life is turned upside down when she becomes part of the Greek gods’ comeback plan in this comic novel.

Hannah Summers, about to graduate with a degree in classics, should know all about the dangers of Greeks bearing gifts. But that’s no defense, it turns out, against the Greek gods. They’ve found ways to exist in the modern world; Hera, for example, runs Ladies’ Home and Hearth magazine. But a shady publicist, using the pitch that it’s time for an Olympian comeback, convinces Apollo to give Hannah, a descendant of Cassandra (whom the rejected Apollo cursed so that no one would believe her true prophecies), a gift that reverses Cassandra’s fate: everyone will listen to and believe her. As a spokesmodel for the gods, she’ll convince humans to worship Olympians again. The very organized Hannah just wants to turn in her thesis and meet her boyfriend, Carl, and his parents for dinner, but her life turns into a comedy of errors that only snowballs as Apollo’s gift starts working—but not as the Olympians had hoped. With help from some unexpected quarters, Hannah must work out a complicated plan and admit some truths about herself if she’s going to face down Greek gods and other troublemakers. In her debut novel, Fedolfi blends a smart, witty mix of ancient deities with campus culture and modern media, and it all works. Hannah’s influence spreads via YouTube, for example, and Carl’s experience with Dungeons & Dragons comes in handy along with Hannah’s classics knowledge. Fedolfi does a nice job with her characters, who trace some challenging personal journeys as they navigate the screwball plot. Though the trope of uptight person who needs unloosing through chaos is familiar, the author finds additional dimensions that add interest. Many lines are laugh-out-loud funny as well: “Is it aged single malt? Because I like my bourbon the way I like my women…old and single.” The book, though, is overburdened with lengthy explanation as well as shifting, hard-to-follow alliances; it could use sprightlier pacing and a sharper focus.

Clever, funny, and complex, if somewhat labyrinthine.

Pub Date: April 12, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-99-097931-9

Page Count: 376

Publisher: Illuminated Myth Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more