The Chaos of Stars

Since I first read Paranormalcy several years ago, I’ve tried to read just about everything that Kiersten White has written. So far, I’ve read the entire Paranormalcy series (Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and Endlessly), Mind Games and Perfect Lies, In the Shadows (a middle grade novel co-written with Jim Di Bartolo), and even a steampunk short story in Corsets & Clockwork. Well, as of last night, I can add The Chaos of Stars, a dramatic stand-alone novel, to the list of excellent stories by a thoroughly entertaining author.

The Chaos of Stars introduces readers to Isadora. Isadora, like many teen girls, is rebelling against her parents. Things are a little different for her, though. Of course, everything’s kind of different when your parents are Egyptian deities. That’s right. Dear old Mom and Dad are actually Isis and Osiris, and Isadora is their very human daughter.

Isadora is growing tired of existing only to worship her parents, so she takes off to live with her brother in San Diego at the first opportunity. This is her chance to be her own person and escape the pressures of her life in Egypt. Little does she know that she can run from her powerful mother, but Isis will always maintain a little bit of control. Mommy dearest has arranged for Isadora to work in a museum for the summer, managing the new Egyptian collection. (No one—other than Isadora and her brother—realizes that the priceless artifacts were donated by an actual Egyptian goddess. Who would?)

Through her work at the museum, Isadora makes some friends. One of those friends introduces her to an enigmatic young man named Ry. Isadora is oddly drawn to this boy, but she fights the attraction with every fiber of her being. She doesn’t want to get involved in something that is destined to end. (It seems that being the human daughter of eternal beings has done quite a number on Isadora’s feelings about love.) Every minute she spends with Ry, though, cracks the armor she’s built around her heart. What is it about this boy? Why is she so drawn to him? Could he be the one person to really understand her and her complicated family?

While Isadora is examining her feelings for both her family and Ry, she is also confronting a mysterious danger that has followed her from Egypt. She’s having disturbing dreams about her mother, and an oddly familiar menace is lurking in the shadows. Someone who thinks Isadora possesses the key to controlling all of the gods of Egypt. Someone who wants to put an end to the reign of Isis…forever.

Can Isadora figure out what’s going on in time to save her mother, a woman she’s resented for years? Will Isadora finally realize how much her messed up family truly means to her—and how much she means to them–before it’s too late? Unwrap* the mystery when you read The Chaos of Stars, a thrilling (and charming) book by the always delightful Kiersten White.

*Unwrap. Get it? A little mummy humor. I thought it was funny.

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If you’re looking for a YA book to give to fans of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, I highly recommend The Chaos of Stars. It’s a quick, quirky read that will appeal to those who know a bit about Egyptian mythology. (That knowledge isn’t totally necessary going in, but it could lead readers to seek out more information!) Also, it’s a stand-alone novel, so many readers won’t feel the pressure to keep up with yet another series.

The Chaos of Stars is a great book for middle grade and teen readers (and adults, of course). Despite the main character having supernatural parents, I think the issues she faces will resonate with a variety of audiences. She’s looking to break free of expectations, she’s examining her relationship with her parents, and she’s dealing with the often scary feelings of first love. (I’m 35, and I’m still working on a couple of those things.) Kiersten White addresses all of those issues with her characteristic humor and candor, and, through Isadora, I think we can all learn a little more about ourselves and our relationships with others.

If you’d like more information on this book and others by the fabulous Kiersten White, check out her website and Twitter feed. You won’t be disappointed. The woman is hilarious!

Happy reading!

The Goddess Test

Girl moves to a new town.  Girl meets boy.  Boy is brooding and mysterious.  Girl falls for boy.  Boy has deep, dark secret.  Girl must decide if boy is worth giving up everything.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?  I will admit that this setup has become a bit of a formula for a lot of young adult fiction, but do you want to know a secret?  It works.  And when you throw in a hefty dose of Greek mythology into the mix, like Aimee Carter does in The Goddess Test, it works even better.  (As we all know, I love me some Greek mythology.)  The Goddess Test gives new life to an often misunderstood Greek deity and shows how far one girl will go to save herself and those she loves.

Kate Winters’ mother is dying, and it’s up to Kate to make one last wish come true.  Her mother wants to move back to her childhood home in Eden, Michigan, so Kate uproots her entire life and moves to a place she’s never seen.  She’ll have no friends, no ties, and she’ll slowly watch the only family she’s ever known fade away.  But the small town of Eden may have more in store for Kate than she ever dared to expect…

On a night full of fear and hopelessness, Kate meets Henry.  She is entranced by him, but she’s not really sure why…until he brings a young girl back from the dead.  It seems that Henry is really Hades, Greek god of the Underworld, and, in exchange for this girl’s life and more time with her mother, he wants Kate to accept a proposal that could change her world forever.  (And by “forever,” I really mean forever.  We’re talking eternity here.)

Kate agrees to Henry’s terms, but she must first pass a series of tests.  She won’t know what the tests are or when they are coming.  All she does know is that eleven girls have attempted these tests before her, and all eleven have died.  Kate is Henry’s last chance.  If she fails, she’ll lose Henry, her mother, and everything she’s ever known.  If Kate passes, she’ll become Henry’s wife and goddess of the Underworld.  But does Henry even care if she passes or not, or is he still pining for Persephone, the wife who left him behind?  Is passing even possible when so many before her have failed?

Kate isn’t always sure what is going on around her, but she knows that she must pass the tests before her, for Henry’s sake as well as her own.  Even though someone seems determined that she fail, Kate will do everything in her power to become a goddess or die trying.  Will she succeed?  Find out when you read The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.

The Goddess Test isn’t incredibly deep, but it is a fun, quick read that puts a different spin on the Greek myths that we know and love.  And there’s more!  The sequel, Goddess Interrupted will be released in April of 2012.  Judging by the synopsis on the author’s webpage (http://www.aimeecarter.com/About_the_Books.html), this sequel will be made of awesome!  The cover alone is enough to get me to read it.  Check it out below:

If you enjoyed Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series or Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs, you should give The Goddess Test a try.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(By the way, I apologize if this post is less than my best.  Today was my first day back at school after summer break, and I’m a little wiped out.  I’ll do better next time.)

Goddess Boot Camp

Goddess Boot Camp continues the story of Phoebe Castro.  We first met Phoebe in Oh. My. Gods. where she got a new stepfamily, moved to Greece, started attending a high school full of descendants of Greek gods, met the perfect guy, and found out she was the great-granddaughter of Nike, the goddess of victory.

In Goddess Boot Camp, Phoebe is faced with the struggle of learning to control her considerable powers.  In order to help with her control, Damian (Phoebe’s stepfather and headmaster of her school) enrolls her in the Dynamotheos Development Camp, better known as Goddess Boot Camp.

Phoebe is already dealing with boyfriend issues, preparing for the Pythian Games trials (think Olympics but bigger), and finding out what happened to her dad.  Now she must also attend summer camp to learn to harness her powers before the gods decide to smote her.  Oh, and did I mention that two of her camp counselors are Stella, her evil stepsister (and descendant of Hera), and Adara, her boyfriend’s ex?

Phoebe is just about to lose her ever-lovin’ mind.  All of the pressure is really getting to her.  Camp is cringe-worthy, her boyfriend is acting mysterious and secretive, and some weirdo is sending her cryptic messages her dad.  The only thing that seems to save her sanity is running, but even that has the pressure of the Pythian Games attached to it.  How can Phoebe possibly learn to control her powers with all of this emotional turmoil?  And can she learn control before the gods decide she’s run out of time?  Figure it out for yourself when you read Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs.

This is a fun, light read, and I encourage you to check it out if you liked Oh. My. Gods.  Also, if you like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series but want a little more romance with your Greek mythology, this series may be just what you’re looking for.