Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Suggested Age Level: 15-17 for mild language

SUMMARY


Phoebe Castros is a normal teenager. She lives for running, and just received word that she qualified for a full scholarship to USC, the school she has been planning to attend ever since she was a young kid. She has a great support system of friends, and her life is going pretty well for a teenager. Until her mom falls in love with a descendent of a Greek god, and Phoebe is forced to pick up her life and move to Greece so that her mom can be with him. Phoebe is forced to spend her senior year on a tiny island in Greece at an elite prep school with a bunch of kids who are all descendants of Greek gods as well.

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At first, she doesn't fit in and people call her horrible names (such as kako, which is a derogatory term for somebody who isn't Greek). She does make fast friends with Nicole and Troy, who seem to accept her for who she is. She meets a boy, Griffin, who she is immediately attracted to and wants to date, but he is dating a mean girl named Adara, who isn't a huge fan of Phoebe. Then there's Poebe's evil stepsister (yes, I'm aware of the cliche) who wants to do anything in her power (literally) to make Phoebe's life miserable. All Phoebe wants to do is put as much distance between her and the island as she can and go home to start college. Her relationship is rocky with her mother, who she was always close with before.

The only light in Phoebe's life is the school track team that she decides to try out for. Phoebe runs into the typical problems, such as the mysterious boy who seems to enjoy toying with her emotions, the stepsister who plays mean tricks on Phoebe for her own enjoyment, the stepfather who is trying to win Phoebe's approval, and the mother who is helpless to her daughter's anger. Phoebe's relationship with her best friends back home is even tested a time or two, as they can only communicate with one another via email and IM. At the very end of the book, the author leaves the story open to a sequel as we find out that Phoebe herself is a descendent of a god-- a secret that her father kept secret even from Phoebe's mother. At the end, Phoebe wins the race, gets the boy, and reconciles with her mother and stepsister.




REVIEW


The book was engaging and interesting, and I could see where there would be some relevance to adolescents. I, however, took notice of the author's writing style, which at times seemed disjointed and choppy. I'm curious as to whether this was her first book. Sometimes it takes a couple books for an author to find their footing within their own writing.

The fact that Phoebe ended up being a descendent of a god was very predictable, and I saw coming. Her mother upheaving Phoebe and expecting her to instantly adjust to a new life seemed unrealistic, and the evil stepsister was very cliche.

At one point in the book, Phoebe was talking to her friend on the phone and heard her ex boyfriend's voice in the background, only to learn her friend was dating him. She proceeded to break up with him and kick him out while Phoebe was still on the phone with him, then returned to her conversation as if nothing were wrong. That to me was very unrealistic because girls are usually NOT ok with their friends dating their exes, and this not be a big deal but I found it very out of place with the rest of the novel. I was also surprised by the amount of cursing in the novel, considering this is a work of Young Adult Lit. Overall, though, the book was cute and I did enjoy the read.
I wouldn't teach this in a classroom, but would make it available in my classroom library.
I gave the book three out of five stars.
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Tera Lynn Childs's official book trailer for Oh. My. Gods.

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Other Helpful links:
http://www.greekmythology.com/
http://teralynnchilds.com/books/oh-my-gods/