The Goddess Test
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Become immortal or die trying.

Aimee Carter's Website
Among the many things you'll find on her website:*Carter began writing fan fiction when she was eleven years old.*The Goddess Test is a modern day sequel to the myth of Hades and Persephone.
*She wrote twenty full length manuscripts before she sat down to write The Goddess Test.
*You can find her through her e-mail, her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Myth:
The book is a twist off of the Myth of Hades and Persephone that can be broken down into four parts:I: Hades kidnapped Persephone:~she was picking flowers in a field and he took abducted her in plain sight. The ground opened up as he took her into the Underworld against her will.II: Persephone's mother, Demeter, searches for her daughter:~She was Demeter's only daughter. After ten days of looking for her daughter, ruining crops and land in doing so, Demeter was finally told that Hades had taken her beloved daughter into the Underworld to become his queen. She begged Zeus to free Persephone, and when Zeus hesitated Demeter spent the next year refusing to let anything crops grow, or any ground be fertile. It became apparent to Zeus that the human race would starve if this went on.III: The Deal:~Hades had tricked Persephone into eating one seed of a pomegranate. By eating anything in the Underworld, she would be forced to stay there for good. However, Zeus and Demeter talked Hades into letting her go for six months of the year and the other six months she would stay with his as his Queen. This resulted in the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Spring and Summer were the seasons when everything flourised since Persephone and Demeter were reunited during this time. But when Persephone was in the Underworld, Demeter would grow sad and let everything grow cold and die.IV: Persephone as the Queen:~Even though Persephone was never really happy in the Underworld, she remained faithful to Hades. To keep him faithful to her she would turn any other love interest of his into some kind of plant. She was a dreaded goddess among mortals just as much as Hades was a dreaded god.

Video Preview of the Book

Sneak Peak
At you can get a glimpse at what the story has to offer by clicking on "Click to Look Inside" above the picture of the book.
Click on the blue arrow next to the cover to start flipping through the pages or simply click on the link "First Pages" on the left.

The Bookpushers' Review
Click the link above to read the rest of the review for The Goddess Test and see how they justified viewing it as a 'B-' book.
"What I liked was the external plot surrounding the gods, because throughout the story, surprises were thrown in the way that I didn’t expect, and that’s always a good thing. It wasn’t predictable, and the reveal of the council took me completely by surprise. It was a great twist, but Kate’s reaction to it all was way too accepting. If I was her, I would be feeling pretty screwed up, but she seemed to accept it all easily — especially the revelation surrounding her mother. It’s very hard to explain without going into spoilers, but what I’ll say is that some things were left unexplained and without the world building rules."

My Review:
The Goddess Test was a really fun read. It has that "mystery book" feel to it with plenty of twists and turns throughout the plot that kept me engaged from cover to cover. Carter's writing style was easy to understand and the techniques she used with her imagery and character development helped me visualize what was going on and become attached to the characters. As far as the mythology aspect of her writing, this book is an out-of-the-box twist on the Hades and Persephone myth. The myth of Hades and Persephone is even addressed when the main character, Kate, asks Henry (Hades) about the whole kidnapping thing. This book shows Hades' side of the story and it doesn't portray him in the negative light that the original myth does. He's seen as a sensitive and caring person who has a lot of love to give. I don't necessarily know if this book would be teachable in a classroom for the whole class since it seems to be a more female-oriented book, but if there was a chance in the school year to give the students a choice of what they wanted to read and have two groups reading two different books, then The Goddess Test would be a good addition there. Other mythological elements fill the pages, as well, but I don't want to spoil the fun of reading it. I'll just mention that there are a lot of "hindsight" realizations when I had finished the book; everything is not as it seems. Overall, I would give this book a B+/A-.

Valuable in the Classroom:
Can be relatable to students in the classroom:
*balancing stressful home life with school and having a "personal" life
*balancing priorities and responsibilty
*feeling like you have no control over your life
*dealing with bullies and cliques
*making friends in a new envirionment
*having to make important life-changing decisions
*internal conflict and external conflict
*crushes and first loves
*personal growth

Possible Lessons/Assignments:
Kate doesn't know how to swim, but faces her fear of drowning by going into the river after Ava jumps in and becomes unconscious.
*Before reading that chapter/section, I would have the students in theirjournals, write a short explanation of their biggest fear.
*Once their fears were all established and a few of them shared withthe rest of the class, I'd have them write in their journals aboutsomething they'd face their fear for (Kate faced her fearto save Ava's life.)
*After their entries were finished, we'd either read the chapter together as a class or I'd assign it for homework.
*The next entry I'd have them write would answer this question, "Put yourself in Kate's position. Ava just deserted you in an unfamiliar area next to (or with) something you're afraid of. Would you have faced your fear, possibly risking your ownlife, to save hers?"
Kate has no idea what she's being tested on in order to become immortal. We eventually learn the tests are based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
*Project Idea 1: Students can work by themselves or in pairs to come up with apresentation (poster, PowerPoint, video, etc) with something they thoughtwould have made a better "goddess test" than the Seven Deadly Sins.
*Project Idea 2: Split up class into seven groups.
*Each group writes down three of the sins they would liketo research and do a project on to present to the class.
*I'll go through the preferences and assign the sins tothe groups I see most fit. (Example: I would assignthe sin, Lust, to the most mature group.)