Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Goddess Girls # 5 & 6 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Athena the Wise by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Series: #5 in the Goddess Girls series
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 246
Received: Review copy from author
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Principal Zeus asks Athena to help Heracles complete his twelve labors. But when Heracles starts borrowing Athena's friends' things without asking, will she be able to help him set things straight?


Like all the books in the Goddess Girls series, Athena the Wise can be read as a standalone and it is not necessary to have read the previous books.

This series gets better and better with each book! Athena again narrates and she solidifies her spot as my favorite Goddess Girl with her brainy approach and ongoing struggles juggling all of her many activities (I can SO relate with her "more is more" approach!).

The twelve labors of Heracles takes center stage, with Athena filling her classic role as guide (this time on "dear ol' dad" Zeus's instruction). This myth translated well, keeping excitement and momentum high as Heracles grappled with each labor. Always packed to the brim with mythology, Athena the Wise does not limit itself to this tale, incorporating Athena's famed encounter with Arachne as well.

Complementing the mythology are the real world problems Athena faces, with which readers of all ages can easily relate. In addition to her over-achiever stresses, Athena grapples with the difference between revenge and vengeance and how to appropriately stand up for oneself.

Inventive melding of myth and modernity, adorably named objects (Zeus Juice, Teen Scrollazine), and hilarious puns make this series a sure thing. The honest portrayal of real-world feelings and problems youngsters face takes Goddess Girls to the next level and makes them an essential addition to youngsters' libraries.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Aphrodite the Diva by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Series: #6 in the Goddess Girls series
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 277
Received: Review copy from author
Rating: out of 5 stars

In book 6, an exchange student from Egypt, Isis, is encroaching on Aphrodite's match-making turf. Will she also edge Aphrodite out of her group of friends?


Like all the books in the Goddess Girls series, Aphrodite the Diva can be read as a standalone and it is not necessary to have read the previous books.

As much as I adore this series, Aphrodite seems to be the character I connect with the least. As in her first book Aphrodite the Beauty, it was clear to me that our personalities were not aligned. Consequently, the problems she faced were not problems I could empathize with as much as I could with, say, Athena.

But, this is part of the beauty of the Goddess Girls series. Like The Babysitters' Club of my youth, each character has their own unique personality, and so readers of equally varied personalities can easily find a character with which they will be able to relate. Aphrodite's experiences with popularity, (MG-level) romance, and struggles with low grades are sure to resonate with many girls.

I had to force my interest for the first few chapters, but after rivals Aphrodite and Isis reach an agreement and Aphrodite remarks that "Pinky swear was obviously a universal language," I knew I was hooked! She must be right, because the pinky swear part was when I finally GOT Aphrodite. It was smooth sailing for me after that point.

The myth of Pygmalion is explored in typical Goddess Girls fashion with all of the humor, heart, and updated realism I have come to expect from this series. The more modern issue of parents divorcing was also explored (though I won't say through who--spoilers!), and we finally get a peek into the softer side of Medusa. Particularly welcome was the introduction of the Egyptian Goddess Girls. I am crossing my fingers that an Egyptian Goddess Girls spinoff series is in the works!

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key

Do you have any questions about Athena the Wise or Aphrodite the Diva that I haven't addressed?

Feel free to ask in the comments!

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  1. :) The other day the first book came in at work and I know how much you love this series so I immediately snatched it up and cannot wait to read it!

  2. I'm finally going to the library - I haven't gone in a long time - so I'll be keeping my eye out to see if this series is available there. I love Greek myths and like that these books can be read as standalones since I can then read the ones about Athena and maybe skip Aphrodite. Lol, I'm not too fond of her personality either.

    I'd be really interested in an Egyptian Goddess Girls series. I don't know myths from other cultures as well so I think it'd be a really nice way to learn about the Egyptian gods and goddesses.

  3. I really liked both of this but I would say that Aphrodite's books are usually harder for me to get into, mostly because I was never that girl in school, though I was, at some point or another - all three of the other girls.

    That being said, I love how Heracles and Athena interact in Athena the Wise, they are so adorable.

    And I actually love the Pygmalion myth, so that was cool for me. I didn't entirely love the beginning of the book but it won me over by the end.

  4. Those sound adorable! I have a 10 yo neice who would love these! She takes after her auntie and loves to read!

    Thanks for the fantastic reviews-I've got a new series to get her started on!

  5. Two excellent reviews!! I have got to read these books. Though I may not have Aphrodite's problems, I'd love to read about her and Isis! And an Egyptian Goddess Girls would be awesome. Then they could do a Nordic one, Celtic, Asian....the possibilities are endless!!

    I love when you review this series! You do such a good job with these.


  6. Oh hooray for the Goddess Girls series! And I loved the colors you used on this one :)

  7. I really should read one of these. Everytime - and I mean everytime - you do a review for one, I keep reminding myself "You should read one". Great reviews :) I just ADORE these covers since they are so colourful and fun <3

  8. This series just sounds ridiculously cute. I do love greek retellings, though I worry that these are perhaps a bit on the young side for me... guess I won't know for sure until I try them out for myself. Or better yet, read them with one of the little people in my life!

  9. hi Joan Holub !Great for the Goddess Girls series!and i am also like you!!!!!!

    shelly nice


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