Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition
Source: Bought at Borders
Cover: I like this cover. I think it's interesting, full of great covers and I really like the angle of the feet and the title. It evokes the light fluffly feel of Childs' writing perfectly.
First Sentence: "I. Am. A. Goddess. An honest to goodness Goddess."
The Mini-review: While this novel evoked the same sort of feeling as the first, I was hoping for a little more pressure and higher stakes for Phoebe in this next installment. Unfornately, this novel fell a little flat.
Summary from the Cover Jacket:
Phoebe, who recently discovered she's a descendant of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe), is finding out that supernatural powers come with a crazy learning curve.
A few months ago, when Phoebe's mom married a Greek guy and moved her halfway around the world to the tiny island of Serfopoula, she had no idea that she'd soon find herself surrounded by the descendants of the Greek gods, let alone that she'd learnher own hertiage was more mythical than mortal. But because she still doesn't quite have her new powers under control, something that can be dangerous since the gods are known for smoting those who use their powers recklessly, Phoebe's ben enrolled at Dynamotheos Development Camp, also known as Goddess Boot Camp, for the summer. What kind of earthly torture will Goddess Boot Camp be? Well, it can't be worse than Hades, can it?
This summer will be all about learning her powers, reigning them in, training for the marathon at the Pythian Games (the only athletic event bigger than the Olympics), and serving Goddess Boot Camp with her love life and sanity in tact!
After the first installment in this series, I was relatively pleased even though it was a fluffy read. This time I was hoping Phoebe would be tested a little more and stretched a little too thin. After all, I really enjoyed Phoebe as a character. Unfortunately, my hopes were not realized and really dampened my view on this book.
This time around we get an even stronger Phoebe because she's now knows she's a descendant of a Goddess. She needs to control her powers and this novel focuses primarily on that. While I liked the Goddess boot camp plot, I really wanted to see Phoebe tested a little more. She receives these messages throughout the story and I was hoping they'd be a little more sinister than they ended up being. Now that Phoebe has this amazing power, I wanted to see a darker side to them, like a secret Hades club or something. I wanted Phoebe to have to learn to kick a little butt.
Sadly though, this series lacks a good antagonist which is what I was missing. We have Adara but she's just your typical mean girl and we have Stella who turns out to be Phoebe's friend. I was hoping mysterious note guy/girl would end up causing a lot of problems but even that turned out to be harmless for Phoebe in the end. I really didn't want to see this novel tied up into a neat little bow like the last one where Phoebe got all she wanted... but it did.
Another thing that bugged me was not getting the answer to Nicole's God/dess heritage. It's sort of dragged out in the first book so I thought we'd get it in this one but it is still left unanswered. I was also never a big fan of Griffin in the first novel and he's back for this one keeping secrets. I thought he handled things really poorly. I hate when the main character actually has grounds to feel mad and then pushes aside those feelings for the boy with the pretty fill-in-the-blank and just apologizes. I really felt Phoebe had a strong case to be angry and didn't treat Griffin unfairly since he wasn't being honest with her.
I still really enjoyed Phoebe's character. She was smart, observation and super funny. I wasn't wild about the fact that she was sort of scolded by Griffin for sticking up for herself around Adara. Let's face it, Adara isn't the nicest girl in the world and I like Phoebe's no crap attitude. I didn't think she was being unreasonable giving it back to Adara since Adara was dishing it out first. I'm not saying I wanted Phoebe to be mean but I loved that she sticks up for herself. I also really enjoy her single minded focus on running. Childs does an amazing job describing what running feels like for Phoebe and why she loves it. Some of the best passages in the novel have to do with running.
I had a bit of a problem with repeating ideas. For example, every time Adara or Stella was being mean were were reminded how they were "harpies" and while that's a cute joke (being that it pertains to Greek mythology) after the first few times it just felt like the author didn't trust the reader enough to remember it. There were several instances where this occurred.
The setting was really fun and I love the background characters. I would have liked to see a bit more of Nicole and Troy as I think they are particularly great. Again, I loved the inclusion of the ims and emails. I also liked that the addition of definitions at the beginning of every chapter for the different types of powers one can possess and the origins of those powers. Since there are twelve main Gods, there are twelve types of powers and twelve chapters. While this was a fun addition, it did make for some LONG chapters.
I think I had a lot of expectations for this series, and sadly, Goddess Boot Camp just didn't live up to what I was hoping. Like Phoebe's training for running, I wanted to see this series evolve into something bigger and it just didn't happen for me. It's a light easy read and if you go in with the expectation only, I think it will be much more enjoyable.