“Everyone believes in you except for you, Kate”
This clever re-imagining of the Persephone myth sets us in the USA – Kate is caring for her dying mother, who has decided to return to the town of Eden to die. Kate starts to settle into a new school and falls foul of cheerleader Ava (imagine Quinn from Glee). An accident brings her into contact with the mysterious Henry who wants her to make a deal. I don’t want to write any more because it was the untainted-by-spoilers approach to this book that made it so riveting.
Anyway, I thought it was excellent. Good writing, moments of wisdom (particularly a poignant line about being the spouse of a ruler and the dichotomy of personality one must deal with in that position), and some cracking characters.
Kate is a bit perfect for my tastes, but her constant self-doubt is something that will resonate with YA readers and I suppose she is supposed to be Everygirl. Ava is a right little princess, stroppy, promiscuous, thoughtless but good-hearted underneath it all. Calliope and Ella both have more to them than meets the eye, and the key cast list is kept quite small, which is good for a short novel like this one.
There were any number of plot twists along the way, hardly any of which I saw coming, and the whole thing was just very enjoyable. The humour is gentle but recurring, and wholly appropriate in register. I would recommend it to readers from age 12 up – my 14-year-old sister bowled through it in an afternoon and gave it a resounding endorsement. I look forward to reading more of Carter’s writing.
Other reviews: Iris on Books