High school romance is tough—even for a bona fide love goddess. Can Cupid succeed as a mortal matchmaker?
When Eros (aka Cupid) is expelled from Olympus for defying Zeus after falling in love with Orion, she is banished to what she believes to be hell. We call it New Jersey. If she ever wants to go back to the comforts of her old life, she will have to find love for three couples—without using her powers.
Eros, now calling herself True, immediately identifies her first project in Charlie and believes finding him love will be a piece of cake. Charlie is new at school and eager to break out of his old image of band geek, so it’s lucky for him when he falls in with the right crowd on his first day. But music is still his passion. That is, until he meets Katrina...
Katrina is floundering after the death of her father and takes refuge with a boy who, while not entirely supportive, will be there when she needs him, unlike her mother. Too bad True thinks any girl Charlie talks to is perfect for him. Can she get out of her own way and help Charlie and Katrina connect, or will she be stuck in New Jersey forever?
Title: Only Everything
Author: Kieran Scott
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Expected publication date: May 6, 2014
RATING: 3/5 STARS
THE COVER CONTESSA'S REVIEW:
I want to thank Simon and Schuster for providing me with an early copy of this book (through both Edelweiss and physical copy) to read and review. I love Kieran's writing and have enjoyed her other books so I was anxious to get to this one. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
I have to start out by saying that I really loved the theme of this book. I usually start by saying how great the cover is. And I do like it. Especially the colors. But that's not what drew me to the book. I love anything to do with mythology. So, when combined with modern day life, it just totally intrigues me. Take a contemporary story and put a twist on it, and you've got me hook, line and sinker. Don't get me wrong, I do love the cover, but I don't think the cover is what will draw people to this book.
One thing that made me really happy was to see the book was told in several points of view. I really love when authors can do this, especially when they can do it well, as Kieran does. I know how hard it is to find a voice for each character. And Scott was able to do that, making her characters distinct enough to help you feel each of their personalities and characteristics with every chapter you read.
True Olympia is the mortal version of Eros. Well, she was Eros, until she was cast out and given the task of helping others find true love, without her powers. Because True was once powerful enough to be able to help people fall in love, but now she only has her human traits to help her along. And she has always gotten anything she's ever wanted because of her power, now she's powerless to do so. I loved how True's character starts out with a bang. She is unused to being human, so she doesn't act human. But since she has no powers, she can't do anything she usually does, and her defiance of human traits leads her into some sticky situations. During the course of the book True learns and grows and becomes human, at least to the degree she needs to be not to be labeled a freak anymore! You really see her change from a stuck up snobby godlike creature to a regular human teenager with needs for friends and acceptance. It was fun to watch.
Charlie, oh how I loved him. He's this mix of dork and jock that you just did not see conning. He's compassionate and lovable and just downright adorable. I don't find him sexy or swoon worthy, to be honest, but he's definitely a character that bores his way into your heart. I was routing for his happily ever after for the entire book. He needed it. Having grown up in the shadow of his athletically successful brothers, Charlie always felt he was less than what his father wanted him to be. Throughout the course of this book, he really does learn who he is. He realizes he can like more than one thing and be a diverse human being. That it's ok to want more than one thing in your life and that people can accept you for who you choose to be. Charlie doesn't really give up his principles in this book, rather he embraces them and demonstrates people can love someone for who they are without wanting them to change.
Katrina, she's had it hard. She's harboring these deep, dark feelings throughout the book that weigh her down and confine her to a life that she really doesn't need to be in. After losing her father, her life kind of fell in the dumps, She got involved with people she normally wouldn't have and she let her grief consume her. She shows so much great development in this book. She comes out on the other end a strong and much more mature young woman who realizes that what has happened to her in the past does not have to define her. She can be who she wants to be and not compromise her principals to get there.
I loved the premise of this story for sure. Who doesn't love a Goddess who's been cast out of Olympus and had her powers taken away only to realize that she has to do what she normally does without having this advantage. It was like waiting for a ticking time bomb to go off. The plot was unique enough, although I'm sure similar plots have been done, but none that I have read. I liked that True struggled, that things didn't come easy to her and she had to accept it and change to accommodate it. I especially liked that she struggled with getting people to fall in love and made mistakes along the way. It was great having this book set in New Jersey, where I live (and where the author lives, as well). I could picture the town in my mind so clearly, though I don't know it myself.
The book starts off with a bang. I tore through the first few chapters. But then I kind of felt the pace slow down. Charlie is paired up with several girls before realizing who his one true love is, and Katrina spends her time with an abusive boyfriend who doesn't care about her at all. As a matter of fact, I hated his character, which I'm sure is what the author intended. I also had a few parts I found to be unbelievable as far as a teenage story would go: teenagers moving out of their house and the parents not even caring strikes me as odd. It was a bit over the top for my taste, even though I could see how it might be integral to the growth and development of the character.
I can tell from the way the book is set up that this will most likely not be the only book in the series (since True still needs to fulfill her challenge before being reunited with her own one true love). I would be interested to see where the author takes it, how she adds to True's growth and development and abilities.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I do wish it were a little quicker paced. I did like the romantic scenes portrayed between the matched pair, especially towards the end of the book. I found there were a bit too many flashbacks from True's point of view, a few of which I wasn't sure why they were included since they didn't seem to really add to the story at the time. I think fans of mythology spin offs will enjoy this book as well as fans of contemporary reads.