Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: Goddess Girls #7 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Artemis the Loyal by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Series: #7 in the Goddess Girls series
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 272
Received: Review copy from author
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It's time for the annual Olympic Games, and the four goddessgirls are not happy! It's boys only--and the girls at MOA are not pleased.

Led by Artemis, Athena, Persephone and Aphrodite, the ladies of Mount Olympus hatch a plan to get Zeus to open up the games to everyone. Will they succeed--or end up watching from the sidelines again?


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

The seventh book in the adorable Goddess Girls series revisits Artemis's perspective as she tries to petition for female participation in the Olympic games.

While the message of equality between the sexes is definitely worthy, it's also been done sooooo many times and I wasn't exactly excited to dive into yet another rehash. That storyline also has a tendency to veer into man-hating territory with a "Girls Rule and Boys Drool!" message, which is a total dealbreaker for me.

But, I do love the Goddess Girls series and I have been continually impressed with the creativity and depth authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams manage to pack into each book, so I was cautiously optimistic that Artemis the Loyal would at least hit similar marks.

Not only did Artemis the Loyal live up to the previous installments in the Goddess Girls series, but it totally blew my expectations out of the water! The authors took the tired subject matter in a direction I wasn't expecting at all, breathing new life into the tale and advocating positive values.

And, in typical Goddess Girls style, equality isn't the only message touched upon. The sibling relationship between Artemis and her twin brother Apollo is explored, as well as a friendship between Artemis and a new boy, and a (totally younger MG-level) romance between Artemis and another boy.

My familiarity with Greek myths is decent, but at this point I'm beginning to reach my limits. I recognized the Actaeon storyline (creatively altered for the modern MG reader!), but most of the other references were out of my league.

I was hoping this would happen at some point so I could see how interesting the stories would be for someone unfamiliar with the original myths (which, I imagine, describes many Goddess Girls readers). I'm happy to say I was thoroughly entertained. The story flowed smoothly and without any "gaps" that sometimes occur with retellings.

Artemis herself was a character with whom I could easily relate and sympathize. The other three Goddess Girls (Athena, Persephone, and Aphrodite) all make appearances and it is always sweet to see how they support one another. Medusa also plays a part, providing another tiny peek behind her gruff demeanor and making the eighth book Medusa the Mean one of the most anticipated upcoming releases among my library girls (and myself!).

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key

Do you have any questions about Artemis the Loyal that I haven't addressed?

Feel free to ask in the comments!

Are there any plot topics you think are played out? Have you been surprised by an author taking a worn plot and making it fresh again?

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  1. I love the idea of these books-I would have eaten them up when I was in elementary and middle school (and honestly high school). I loved Have a Hot Time, Hades! and that series so I'm sure I would have enjoyed ones specifically focused on the women of myths would have pleased me even more. I need to beg my library to add more of these to their collection!

    1. Oh good, I was wondering about that series! I have the Cupid book, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

      Please do beg your library! I can't rave about these Goddess Girls books enough.

  2. Cute! As you probably know, my sister Haven and I are totally hooked on the first one... We can't wait to dive into more! :) Thanks for the review!

    1. Yay! I was wondering how you both were liking it. I'm so happy you're enjoying them. :)

  3. I love that you loved it!!
    I can't wait to read it! :) I love how the books always give you a little more than you expect. I wanna see if I can still pick up the myth references - I LOVE myths!

    I can't wait for Medusa the Mean either, I hope I can like it because so far she hasn't been a likable character.

    1. I think you'll love it! This is one of the most consistently great series out there.

      I think Medusa the Mean will be sweet. After the little glimpses of her softer side in this book and Aphrodite the Diva, I think there's a lot more to Medusa underneath her meanness. I'm sensing defense mechanism. :)

  4. I got the first book in this series based on your enjoyment of them. I'll let you know if my students love them like you do!

    1. I so hope they do! My library girls go nuts for them.

  5. Yay! I was just going to ask you about the Girls but your review answered my question. Too old for the girl I had in mind. (4) I've got to get my hands on the first one of these so I can read it. Funny, I'm totally opposite of you. I am totally a "Girls rule, boys drool" kind of girl. I used to be anyway. Until I started reading YA. Things change when you start reading about really gorgeous guys and the things they'll do for the girls they love. Maybe I'm not a boys drool person anymore. AT ALL! LOL


    1. Haha yeah, it's hard to be all BOYS DROOL! when you're drooling over the boys :P

      It looks like the authors are writing another Greek myths series for younger kids, so that may be perfect for your younger reader.

  6. I'm not very familiar with this series but I love the cover. I'm also happy to hear that it can be read as a standalone.

    1. The covers for this series are so cute and perfect! I agree about the standalone part. It's such a relief to know that you can pick them up in any order and once you've finished the book, you don't have to worry about things like cliffhangers.

  7. Just read the first one and reviewed it on my blog. LOVE IT!! I'm totally obsessed with these books now. I've gotten all of them. Looking forward to the special and the Heroes and Training series. Great review :)

    1. Aw, I'm so happy you loved it! I can't say enough positive things about this series. I'm really looking forward to their Heroes and Training series too! Oooh and yes, I've been drooling over the super special (it's like getting a Babysitters' Club super special!)

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