Title: Dead Beautiful
Author: Melanie Dugan Giveaway at the bottom of the review.
Review: Dead Beautiful is a modern version of the story of Hades and Persephone. The author presents the book in first person and each chapter is another characters view point of the events that happened.
Persephone is a head strong teenager who enjoys living on earth more than living with the Gods on Olympus. She tires very hard to fit into the lifestyle her mom has given her but she finds she is looking for something different and that is when she meets Hades. Persephone is attractive to his darker side and feels a connection to Hades. The story revolves around Persephone desire to with Hades but there is a catch he will not be with her until she knows what she wants. Demeter, Persephone's mother, is a bit controlling but its only because she wants her Daughter to become a lever 1 Goddess and fulfill her duties. Cyane is Persephone's best friend and the only witness to the "abduction" of Persephone. I found the author portrayal of Cyane a bit disappointing. She creates Cyane as a teenager who is annoying and seems to only be Persephone friend because Persephone is popular. The story of Cyane is one of true friendship because she was Persephone childhood friend and she tires everything to keep Hades from taking Persephone to the point she loses her life. I don't think the author needed to go as far to kill off a character but the author had opportunity to bring a little more to the character Cyane than making her a ditzy friend who wanted to date Persephone potential boyfriends.
The Author humanizes the Gods. Zeus is the head God who is tired of dealing with everyone's problems on earth and Olympus and just wants some time alone with his wife Hara. The stress of life as a Head God has gotten to him and that is why he is unaware of what Hades has done. The author writes Hades as a people person, someone who is looking for a lasting relationship even though he is the God of the underworld. I applaud the authors decision on writing Hades as a caring, overworked people person and not the revengefully God that he is known to be. The authors modern tone made it difficult for me to enjoy the story. I would have enjoyed the story more had the author left out references to Jesus, stocks, retirement plans, Beckham, Uggs, books and S&M. I feel since the story is about why we have seasons the modern language takes away from the simplicity of the story.
The authors’ writing was well written and she kept true to her writing style from the beginning of the book to the end. Which I feel is difficult to do when writing in first person when you have several different characters and each with their own version of the "abducation". Dead Beautiful is a decent young adult novel that is appropriate for the per-teen\teen audience. There is no sex or language in the book and it gives the young read enough romance without going into detail.
Thanks goes to Heidi for this review.
Publisher: Published May 2012 by Upstart Press
Quick Review: 3 Stars out of 5.
Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review – TLC Tours
Synopsis: Dead Beautiful is a contemporary retelling of the classic Greek myth of Persephone. This was the myth the Greeks used to explain how we came to have the change of seasons. In the traditional version of the myth, Persephone – the daughter of Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and fertility, and Zeus, the top god on Olympus – is abducted one day by Hades, God of the Underworld (which is also called Hades).
Demeter refuses to do her job until her daughter is returned to her, and the earth is plunged into the first winter: no crops grow, cold settles on the earth. It turns out that while in Hades, Persephone has eaten six pomegranate seeds. As a result, for six months of the year, she must live with Hades; this is when it is fall and winter on earth. For six months she lives with her mother – then we have spring and summer.
Dead Beautiful asks, what if Persephone, like many adolescent girls, didn’t tell her mother the whole truth? What if Hades didn’t abduct her? What if she made the decision to go with him? (She is, after all, 18 millennia old.)
The result is a novel that examines the complex dynamics between mothers and daughters, and explores the challenges faced by young women as they move from childhood into adulthood and independence. It is smart, fast-paced, funny and profound; a book that will appeal to women young and old, to mothers and daughters.
Author Biography: I was born in the U.S. and now live with my family in Canada. My third novel, Dead Beautiful, will be published 12 May 2012 by UpStart Press.
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