Author: Shana Norris
Pub: 2009; Amulet
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic, Mythology
Etc: Odyssey Retelling
The Short of It
High school life mirrors Homer’s Iliad.
The Long of It
Our narrator is Cassie. She’s a shy loner who lives in the shadows of her two older brothers, Hunter and Perry. And then Elena transfers to their school; beautiful Elena who was head cheerleader at Lacede. And even though she doesn’t really HAVE to, she befriends Cassie. Elena decides to ditch her Lacede boyfriend and begin to date egomaniac Perry. There’s a couple of problems with this scenario. One, Elena’s ex’s brother, Greg, is someone that Cassie has been crushin’ on FOREVER and now of course, Greg feels as though he has to side with his bro. And second, Hunter and Perry are football players. They’re the Trojans. They’re long-time opponent and rival school happens to be the one Elena came from. And they’re the Spartans. Ya see the parallels now?
The Thoughts about It
I have to admit readers, it has been a month or so since I read this book. I will admit also that it’s been MUCH longer since I read The Iliad. (Or was it The Odyssey. Am I the only one who gets them confused? Who knows. Maybe I read them both during my earlier lit courses. It seems as though it was probably expected, right?)
I thought this was a cute book. Perfect for my younger middle schoolers who want to read about boy drama. Because, really, it easily reads as that. The students “fight” on the football field and go back and forth pranking each other at school. There were moments when I seriously had flashbacks of Saved By The Bell. (Remember? That episode? Where Zach and the gang put together this prank? And of course it goes bad? And Mr. Belding…oh wait, back to the book).
What I did think to be neat happened AFTER the story was finished. Norris sorta fills in the “how is this relatable to the Illiad”. She identifies leading characters, and who they are in the classic. I TOTALLY dug this. My inner child nerdiness just knows that if it was me, and I was like twelve reading this book, I would immediately seek out The Illiad. And how cool is that? To encourage a youngster to pick up an intimidating piece of literature. Yay for Shana.
Overall, two thumbs up for the light fun reading. Sorry I can’t let you know how accurate it is as a retelling.