Monday, December 17, 2012

Book 13: Goddess Boot Camp

Book 13: Goddess Boot Camp
Goddess Boot Camp, by Tera Lynn Childs

This sequel to Tera Lynn Childs’ book Oh. My. Gods. follows Phoebe in her first summer on the Greek island where the school for descendants of the Greek gods is. It turns out she does not have as much control over her powers as she should, so the gods are going to give her a test – and if she doesn’t pass, well, very bad things will happen. In preparation, she needs to attend Goddess Boot Camp with all of the ten-year-olds who need training. At the same time, though, she’s training for the trials for Pythian Games with her boyfriend Griffin, who she thinks is cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend, Adara. And Adara is a counselor at Goddess Boot Camp, along with her best friend Stella, who is also Phoebe’s evil stepsister.

While Phoebe struggles with all of these things, she begins to get strange messages from an anonymous source claiming that there was more to do with her dad’s death than she knows. Phoebe already knows that he used his powers – they are descended from the goddess Nike – in football, as he was a professor football player, and that caused the gods to smote him on the field. But she learns that there was a hearing about him, and the records of it are in the Academy’s library’s secret archives. When the library takes Phoebe down to the archives, along with her best friend Nicole, they learn that the file she’s looking for is missing. Phoebe spends her time training for the test, training for the Games, searching for answers about her dad, and trying to shake the feeling that Griffin is back together with Adara.

Her suspicions grow so large that she breaks up with him. However, a few days later Phoebe learns that Griffin is not cheating on her. As Adara explains, her mother has been chosen to be a handmaiden of Apollo, which means she can’t leave Mount Olympus for twenty-five years and Adara will not see her for that long. Griffin has been helping Adara prepare for this, as his parents were banished when he was younger. Since this is supposed to be an honor, Adara did not want other people knowing that she was upset, so she asked Griffin to keep it quiet. This led to Phoebe questioning what he did with her so much that was secret, and thinking he was cheating on her.

Then, Phoebe goes to meet up with the anonymous person who sent her so many messages about her dad and who has the file. Her friends and Griffin all worry that this person will hurt her, but it turns out to be Damian, her stepfather. He explains that he wanted to distract her from everything else that was going on so she could not over-think her powers and would be able to master them better. He gives her the file, but she chooses not to read it yet.

After all, Phoebe was steadily mastering her powers with help from Stella and still training for the Games. Damian and her mom return from their honeymoon in time to see Phoebe run in the trials for the Pythian Games. While in the race, she only needs to be in the top three to make it to the actual Games. She remains steadily there the entire race, but that the end another runner appears out of nowhere. Phoebe pushes herself harder than she has before, but is able to control herself so that she doesn’t use her powers. Right at the finish line, the other racer disappears, and Phoebe places third. It turns out that the race was also her test from the gods, and the other runner was the goddess Nike, her great-grandmother.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book 12: Cupidity

Book 12: Cupidity
Cupidity, by Caroline Goode

Roman-mythology-obsessed Laura is about to begin her senior year of high school, but feels inadequate because she has never had a boyfriend. Feeling dramatic one night, she calls for Jupiter to send her a boyfriend, unknowingly sending a message to the god Mercury. The Roman gods are still around, but they have been semi-retired for years, and jump at the chance to fill their old position. They send Cupid to Laura’s high school for 25 days disguised as Cupidity, the hottest new girl possible, with the task to find Laura a boyfriend.

Cupidity quickly befriends Laura and wreaks havoc among the strict social cliques with her bow and arrows. Laura gets dragged on double dates that result in creating the strangest couples that Laura has ever seen. This makes Laura wonder about Cupidity, and figure out that she is really Cupid. Laura sneaks a look at the bow and arrows … and accidentally shoots Cupidity and one of the boys from school. Cupidity promptly loses all memories before the high school – like that she is actually Cupid and not a girl. Immediately, Laura panics, and she starts trying to find a way to reverse the love spells. After speaking to Mercury, she embarks on a journey to find Venus, as she is the only one who could do anything about it.

Eventually, she finds Venus and is able to convince her to do something. They arrive back at the school on the night of the homecoming dance where Cupidity has just been crowned Homecoming Queen. As the clock strikes midnight, the disguise spell wears off, and Cupidity becomes Cupid again. However, the love spell remains, and he believes he is still a mortal high school student. Venus reverses the spell for all affected, but some of the couples decide to remain together, showing Laura that true love does not have to be with who you are “supposed” to be with based on cliques or types. With the spell gone, Laura’s friend Peter realizes he is not in love with the head cheerleader after all, and he and Laura get together.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book 11: Quiver

Book 11: Quiver
Quiver, by Stephanie Spinner

The story begins at the Calydonian boar hunt, where the female hunter Atalanta draws first blood. This leads the prince Meleager offers the skin to her, which causes a large fight and many die, including Meleager. Upset that men died as a result of her, Atalanta goes to the Oracle of Delphi on the way home, and she has three dreams. One warns her that if she marries, it will ruin her. However, she thinks nothing of it because she has already taken a vow of chastity in the name of Artemis. But shortly after she arrives at home her biological father arrives – the man she only knew as the one who abandoned her at birth when she wasn’t a boy. It turns out her father is a king, and he needs an heir, so he tracked her down and she must go and live with him. He wants her to marry, but she refuses, remembering her vow and her dreams. Eventually, she agreed to marry only if her suitor could beat her in a footrace. Many men try, and many die. Eventually, though, this changes. Eros shoots Atalanta so that she falls in love with Hippomenes, and Aphrodite apparently gives him three irresistible golden apples to slow her down. Distracted by the apples and distressed at the idea of his death, Atalanta lets him win, and so they marry. They are happy for a time, but then they have sex in one of Zeus’ temples, are turned into lions as punishment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book 10: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Book 10: The Last Olympian
Percy Jackson: the Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan

The action in this last Percy Jackson book gets started immediately. Percy is called from his family vacation by fellow camper Charles Beckendorf to destroy Kronos’ ship and slow his approach from the sea. Beckendorf sacrifices his life to destroy the ship, and Percy dives overboard and passes out. He awakens in the underwater palace of his father, Poseidon, who currently fights the Titan Oceanus. Poseidon makes him return to Camp Half-Blood, and explains that he cannot help with the battle of Manhattan because of his fight with Oceanus. Once at camp, Chiron decides Percy needs to hear the Great Prophecy now, and Percy tells the campers that there is a spy at camp. Percy does not remain at camp long, as he leaves again with Nico di Angelo to work on Nico’s plan for Percy to survive the battle in Manhattan. After some struggles and events, Percy descends into the River Styx, gaining the same power that Achilles had.

Pery then returns to Manhattan and meets up with Annabeth and the other campers to begin the battle. Finally, the battle begins. Percy’s forces are joined by the Hunters of Artemis, saturs, naiads, dryads, centaurs, automatons, and Mrs. O’Leary the hellhound. Kronos has more, though, as Percy’s forces are forced back despite Kronos suffering some losses, too. At one point, Annabeth is badly injured when she saves Percy from being hit in his Achilles “heel,” and later Percy tells her that she did this and what it meant. The fight continues, and the Ares cabin shows up to save the day.

Percy and Kronos battle in the throne room of Olympus, and at one point Luke overpowers Kronos within his body. Percy gives Luke Annabeth’s dagger, and Luke injures himself at his Achilles spot to kill himself and therefore eliminate Kronos. The Olympians arrive and defeat the last of Kronos’ troops. They then return to the throne room, and grant Percy, Grover, Annabeth, Thalia, and Tyson rewards. Rachel Elizabeth Dare becomes the new Oracle. Athena gives the job of redesigning Mount Olympus to Annabeth. Grover becomes a Lord of the Wild.Ryson becomes a general of the Cyclopes’ army. Percy refuses the offer to turn him into a god, and instead have the gods swear on the River Styx that they will recognize all of their children, and the camp builds cabins for the children of every god, including Hades and the minor gods.

Upon returning to camp, Percy and Annabeth kiss and start dating, and the camp prepares for a life after the battle

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book 9: Abandon

Book 9: Abandon
Abandon, by Meg Cabot

17-year-old Pierce just wants to start the new school year at her mom’s alma mater in Florida as easily as possible. She doesn’t want to ruin her mom’s life any more difficult that it already is, but that’s hard when nothing has been the same since Pierce died. Two years prior, Pierce died in a freak swimming pool accident in February. It led to the end of her parents’ marriage – and to being claimed as the consort for a minor death deity, John. Pierce escaped from John’s castle in his underworld and returned to the land of the living. But from that moment on, bad things kept happening around her because the Furies are after her, and John shows up in the nick of time to rescue her from them.

Back in Florida, Pierce deals with trying to get off on the right foot. Unfortunately, the Furies and John are still right there with her. She navigates her new high school with Alex, her cousin who has lived with their grandmother since his father went to prison. But the popular kids try to befriend her so that they can use her gated community for an illegal school tradition, and when she goes along with it she alienates Alex. In the midst of this normal-high-school behavior, the cemetery sexton finally explains to her who John is. She makes the connection between their situation and that of Hades and Persephone, and learns that the Furies want to kill her to pain John because they hate him. Shortly after learning the truth, Pierce realizes that she loves John.

But knowing doesn’t help Pierce. The Furies kill a school official because she was in the cemetery when and where Pierce usually was, and Alex’s father is blamed. Then, Pierce’s grandmother shows up at the school to take Pierce home. She knows something is wrong, though, and discovers that her grandmother had been an embodiment of the Furies for a few years. Just in time to save her, John appears, and whisks them down into the Underworld. This time, though, Pierce can’t escape, but she desperately wants to.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book 8: Nobody's Princess

Book 8: Nobody’s Princess
Nobody’s Princess, Esther Friesner

Helen of Troy’s famous beauty started the Trojan War. But before she and Paris left Menelaus together, she was Helen of Sparta. Freisner’s novel follows Helen during her childhood, and provides an option to what happens between her famous conception – daughter of Zeus, born to royalty – and when Theseus kidnapped her in her early teens. As a child, Helen is already beautiful, but lacks any desire to do the princess and lady-like activities she is supposed to do. When she is forced to spin and weave because all women do it, she hears the message that it is all women can do and they – including she – are trapped. She spends the novel trying to find ways to be free before the day she ultimately is forced to marry and live the life expected of her.

First, she wants to learn to fight like her brothers do. At first she tries to hide who she is, but quickly she learns that she can’t disguise herself from everyone and the weapons master who tutors her brothers agrees to tutor her as long as she hides her lessons from her parents. The lessons are difficult, but Helen learns and keeps going back for more. Then, rumors of a great boar in the land of Helen’s aunt reach their court. Helen’s brothers, along with many of the soldiers and men from Sparta, set off to join the boar hunt, and Helen joins as a diplomatic presence. All of the great princes, warriors, and heroes have arrived to fight the boar, including Atalanta, the daughter of a king who fights better than most warriors. She teaches Helen more, including about riding a horse. When the boar is finally killed, Atalanta is the one who makes it possible. But that night, at the celebration banquet, the honor goes to someone else, and when he tries to give it to her, a riot breaks out. Many die, and as soon as it is appropriate Helen and her brothers leave again – but not before Helen frees a slave, Milo, who joins them.

They then journey to Delphi to speak to the Oracle of Apollo. Helen is skeptical, and does not wish to speak to the Oracle. Instead, she chooses to spend the day in the market, where Milo helps her ditch the soldiers meant to guard to her. While she enjoys her new freedom, she comes across Theseus, who she met during the boar hunting. He tries to grab her, but is stopped by none other than the Oracle herself. The Oracle and Helen begin talking, and Helen finds a friend in Eunike, the Oracle. When Helen’s brothers wish to go off on another adventure, Eunike helps Helen enact a plan that allows her to escape her role as Lady Helen as follow them disguised as a boy. Everything goes according to plan, and Helen and Milo set off after her brothers a few days later.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book 7: Troy High

Book 7: Troy High
Troy High, Shana Norris

Norris’ Troy High provides a retelling of the Trojan War but set in a modern high school. We view the story through the eyes of Cassie Prince, a student at Troy High, sister of Perry and Hunter, star players on the football team. Troy High’s greatest rival is Lacede High, home of the Spartans, where Cassie’s best friend Greg is a student. Greg is the younger brother of Lucas, the quarterback for Lacede and boyfriend of Elena Argos. Elena is a famous local beauty, and the recent school redistricting means that at the beginning of the novel she is about to become a student at Troy.

One key component in the story is that Elena is thinking about breaking up with Lucas before she even meets Perry. This highlights that Perry did not steal Elena, as discussed in The Illiad. Although Elena’s choice is influenced by Perry’s presence – and she does not officially break up with Lucas early enough – she wants to before she even meets him. However, almost as soon as she meets Perry she starts to date him, and then the high school version of the battle of Troy takes places. A series of pranks make the situation escalate, making Cassie and Greg’s friendship increasingly difficult while they are called to support their siblings and their schools.

It all leads up to the big football game between the schools. A few weeks before, Cassie has a dream where her eldest brother Hunter is seriously injured during the game. With Hunter out of commission, the Spartans win. Then, after the game, a float rigged to explode by the Spartans destroys the Trojan gym. The Spartans have officially won, and the war is over. As the book ends, Hunter’s fate remains unclear – a serious shoulder injury needing surgery could mean the death of his career if the surgery does not go as planned. Other than that, though, everything is peaceful again. Perry and Elena are happy in their high school romance, and Cassie and Greg embark on their own.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book 6: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

I'm back! I'm so sorry to have disappeared for so long, but I'll be back more regularly now. I moved, had a virtual book tour (for my novel Aureole, if you hadn't already heard), and then had a minor procedure on my knee. But I'm back, and we're returning with another Percy Jackson book. Did I mention that I love them?

Book 6:
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan

Per usual, Percy Jackson is just trying his best to attend orientation for a new school when he fights with monsters and destroys part of his new school. Kid can’t seem to catch a break! But, of course, it was just the beginning of his adventures. After escaping the school, Percy heads to Camp Half-Blood, where everyone is in the midst of preparation for the struggles that lay before them. Percy meets a new member of the staff, Quintus, the new sword master. Then, during a battle drill, Percy and Annabeth accidentally discover an entrance into the Labryinth. The Labryinth is the one created by Daedalus to hold the Minotaur, but over the years has kept growing and now stretches across large parts of the world. It turns out that Luke is planning to lead an army through the entrance discovered by Percy and Annabeth to attack the camp.

They realize that they have to use the Labryinth to find Daedalus to ensure that Luke doesn’t find Ariadne’s string, which would help him navigate the extremely confusing maze and make it to the camp. Annabeth receives a prophecy, and they set off with Grover and Tyson, too. Over the course of their adventures, they interact with Nico, the teenage son of Hades who still blames Percy for the death of his sister. Percy and Annabeth also end up splitting up with Grover and Tyson, who go off to search for the god Pan. Percy and Annabeth go to Mount St. Helens, where they find the telekhines – “sea demons – who attack them. Before Percy causes Mt. St. Helens to erupt, he and Annabeth have an argument, leading her to kiss him before fleeing. The eruption pushes him out of the volcano, but also drains his energy.

When he wakes up, he is on the magical island maintained by Calypso. She treats his wounds, but he decides to leave and return to the world that needs him. Then he once again meets up with Rachel Elizabeth Dare, the mortal girl who can see through the Mist and therefore can help him make it through the Labryinth. The meet up with Grover, who has found Pan, but Pan is dying, and he asks them to spread the word that he has died. Once he does, his spirit passes into all present, especially Grover. They finally find Daedalus, who actually is Quintus, and they also learn that Kronos has gained enough strength by Luke. Unfortuatnely, Luke has already found Daedalus and gotten Ariadne’s string, and he sends an army to destroy Camp Half-Blood.

The camp fights a losing battle, and most of them are either injured or killed. But then Daedalus and Briares – Tyson’s hero who they met from their Labryinth journey – arrive. Finally, what turns the battle around is Grover scaring away the enemy using Pan’s power Panic. But even though their enemies have left, there is still the threat of the Labryinth, and Daidalus sacrifices himself to close it, as it is tied to his life.

To close the book off, the camp says good-bye to those who have died. Nico leaves, Grover leaves to spread the message of Pan, and Percy returns to his mother’s to celebrate his fifteenth birthday. There, Nico arrives with an idea on how to defeat Kronos. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book 5: East by Edith Pattou

Book 5:
East, by Edith Pattou

In a Norse family down on its economic luck in the sixteenth century, Rose is the eighth child born to a superstitious mother. A few times while she grows up, she sees a white bear in the woods, and it saves her life once. Later, when Rose is in her late teens, the family is about to be ejected from their farm and one of the daughters is very sick and near death. The white bear appears and says that if Rose goes with him their other daughter will get better and their economic troubles will end. After a week of family debates and considerations, Rose agrees.

She goes to live with the bear in a castle in a mountain, and by this point the reader has been able to gather that the bear was once a French prince but a troll princess captured him. To punish his daughter for her actions, the Troll king put a spell on the boy, and certain conditions had to be met before either the bear to be turned back into a boy or the princess (now queen) to earn the boy. Rose is unaware of this, but she knows something is not right about the bear. She tries to befriend him, keep herself busy, and also to befriend the two people – actually trolls – who keep the castle running. The bear watches her weave, listens to her try to learn to play instruments, and in man form sleeps in the same bed as her every night, although Rose is unaware for certain that it is him.

After about a year of living with the bear, Rose becomes extremely homesick, and is allowed to go home for one month. True to his word, her sister is healthy and the family is returned to economic success. Rose does not trust her mother completely because of some of her actions due to her superstitions, but accepts a gift from her the day before she leaves to return to the bear. One night, curiosity overwhelms her, so Rose uses the gift: candle and flint that will shed light on any darkness. It works, and Rose sees the bear’s true form: after so many years of being under an enchantment, he is a young man. But because Rose has seen him, it also fulfills a condition, and the Troll queen can now come and collect him, and he is now a human again all the time.

Rose feels awful, and wants to set things right, so she decided to go after him. She journeys up past the coldest parts of the north and eventually reaches the Troll kingdom. She infiltrates the castle by pretending to be a “softskin” servant, and works in the castle while making a plan and finding Tuki – one of the trolls who served in the mountain castle – again. During the wedding of the Troll queen and the former white bear, Rose intervenes in a way that causes him to be married to her, not the queen, and then the Troll castle to be destroyed. They, along with some of the captured humans, journey back down south.

They meet up with Rose’s father and one of her brothers, and in the night the former white bear disappears. Rose understands that he needs to figure out who he is now that he’s no longer a white bear, but she goes after him anyway because she knows now that she truly loves him. She finds him at the castle in the mountains, where he has learned that his name is Charles. Charles and Rose get married, and live happily ever after. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book 4: Oh, My Gods by Tera Lynn Childs

Book 4:
Oh, My Gods, by Tera Lynn Childs

Phoebe is close to achieving her dream: as long as she keeps a B average and keeps running the way she has been, the coaches at the University of Southern California will give her a full-ride scholarship. But then her mother tells her that she’s met the man of her dreams and they’re getting married – and they’re moving to Greece to be with him because he is the headmaster of an incredibly prestigious school. As if this wasn’t bad enough, once they move Phoebe learns that all of the students at the Academy are descendants of the Greek gods.

Phoebe struggles to adjust, which includes dealing with an evil stepsister, but meets some friends to help navigate the school. She also makes the cross-country team – but on a probationary level, because Griffin, another runner, sabotaged her with his powers. Now, Phoebe can only make the USC team if she comes in the first three places at her first race and if she works harder academically than she ever has before. She makes a deal with her evil step-sister, Stella, and as a part of it begins working closer with Griffin. Just when she realizes and accepts that she has feelings for him, though, it turns out that the deal with Stella was actually a plot to humiliate her, and Griffin was in on it.

At the big race, she wins, and at the finish line her friends from California are waiting. But becomes convinced that someone used their powers to help her win, meaning she cheated. After speaking to Damian, though, it turns out that her powers were just trying to be used, and she is a great-granddaughter of the goddess Nike. Griffin also talks to her and tells her that he broke up with his evil girlfriend and wants to be with her. Phoebe also speaks to her friends from California, who tell her that while they would love to go to college together at USC, maybe somewhere else would be better, as they already want to go so somewhere else. In the epilogue set in December at the formal wedding of Phoebe’s mom and Damian, we learn that Phoebe has been training her powers and can hold her own against Stella, she is still good friends with her friends from California, and she is dating Damian and they plan to study an extra year and then go to Oxford together. All is well in her life. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I think everything looks much cleaner now...

I deleted most of the old posts. Nice and easy to find everything!

Hope this makes it easier to read.


Book 3: Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Book 2:
The Titan’s Curse, Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has been fighting monsters and searching for half-bloods with his friends Annabeth and Thalia since The Sea of Monsters ended. Grover has found two siblings – Bianca and Nico di Angelo – at a school, and in the ensuing battle against a manticore, Annabeth gets taken. The goddess Artemis arrives with her Hunters, and Percy’s next adventure begins with the search for Annabeth and the goal to save Artemis before the Olympian Council at the winter solstice. Grover and Thalia go on a quest with a Hunter named Zoe and Bianca, who has also joined the Hunters. After some adventures, Percy officially joins them, and they race across the country to San Francisco to stop the most recent component of Kronos’ plan to return. By the end of their journey, Bianca has been lost and Zoe has been killed, but both Annabeth and Artemis have been rescued. They have also learned that one of the children born of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon will sacrifice the Ophiotaurus at the age of 16 and will start the war among the gods. Thalia – daughter of Zeus and one day away from her sixteenth birthday – chooses to join the Hunters and take Zoe’s place as Artemis’ lieutenant, thus becoming immortal. This leaves Percy as the only child of the Big Three able to turn sixteen and the only one thus able to fulfill the prophecy – other than Nico di Angelo, who Percy learns is the son of Hades.

Book 2: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Book 2:
Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini

Helen Hamilton, a shy Nantucket teenager, starts having strange dreams and hallucinations of three weeping women about the same time that the extended Delos family moves to the island. Then, she finds herself drawn to Lucas Delos, and she wants to kill him. After they save each other’s lives, that stops, and quickly they seem to start falling in love. Amidst this, the Delos family reveals that they are descended from the Greek god Apollo, and Helen is descended from a different god, making them all Scions. The Delos family – a part of House Thebes – helps train Helen so she can master her newfound powers, especially so she can protect herself, as others try to kill her, like the Delos’ cousin Creon. Helen and Lucas fall in love, but it turns out that they can’t be together because if that happens they might start a new Trojan War. Then Daphne, Helen’s mother, reappears, trying to get Helen to safety. Before Helen can share this information, Creon attacks. The Delos clan works with Helen and her mother – the last of House Atreus – to fight Creon, and Hector Delos kills him. Daphne reveals that there are other Scions from the other two houses still alive, which means that Lucas and Helen could be together. However, Daphne has told Helen that her true father was Ajax Delos, making her and Lucas cousins. As revealed essentially to the reader only, though, Ajax died over a year before Helen was conceived, so Daphne lied. Finally, the entire group learns about Helen’s strange dreams, which indicate that she can descend into the land of the dead. The book ends with the reader wondering who Helen’s real father is, whether she and Lucas will figure it out and be together, and what it means for Helen’s future that she is a Descender.

Book 1: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Book 1:
The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan

About to Rearrange...

Okay. I'm going to rearrange things. I think it's probably too confusing for me to do separate posts about each segment of each book, so I'm going to repost what I've done so far, but with one post for each book.

Sorry about the confusion and the messiness. Hopefully this will all be set by tomorrow.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Mythology Overview

The main intention of this blog will be to examine the presence of mythology in certain young adult novels. Authors use components of myths in a number of ways, from direct interaction with them to simple allusion. Other ways that they use them include archetypes and the hero pattern. Joseph Campbell examined the hero’s journey in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), and summarized it as: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Some YA books include the entire hero’s journey, while others just the bare bones of it. The hero’s journey includes a number of steps, in this order:
-       Call to Adventure
-       Supernatural aid
-       Threshold Guardian(s)
-       Threshold (beginning of transformation)
-       Acquires a helper
-       Acquires a mentor
-       Experiences challenges and temptations
-       Meets another helper
-       Has a great revelation at the abyss, which includes death and rebirth
-       Goes through a transformation
-       Atonement
-       Receives the gift of the Goddess
-       Returns
The beginning and end are both included in the known, but from the threshold to the gift of the goddess is the unknown.
(source: Wikipedia)

Another part of myths and the hero pattern that has prevalence in these books is the idea of archetypes. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an archetype as "the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies" (source: Merriam-Webster). Generally, archetypes tend to be a stereotype or an epitome, and there are many different kinds found in literature. Some include:
-       The hero, who puts others ahead of himself
-       The villain, who employs strength or cunning to undermine the hero (and usually remains hidden for most of the story)
-       The mother figure, who cares and guides others
-       The father figure, the leader and protector (depending on the culture, sometimes the mother and father figures become intertwined or reversed)
-       The underdog, the character who is always at a disadvantage but pushes through hardship to win respect (works especially good when the reader can connect)
(source: eHow)

These are only some of the archetypes prevalent in our literature, movies, tv shows, comics, and music, but they are an incredibly important part of mythology, too. As I read the books, I'll be on the look out for all of these different components, and will be sure to share my findings with you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Welcome to Kate Reads Myths! I'm Kate, and I'll be your guide through mythology in young adult novels. I do five things: read, summarize, identify the elements of mythology, explain their connections to the real world as well as other novels, and briefly review.

Before we get to all that, though, let me introduce myself.

I'm a college senior in Tennessee studying Secondary Education and English. I've always been a huge reader, which mostly started from Harry Potter. I also have a mild obsession with classic literature, but I read everything from chick lit to historical fiction. Unsurprisingly, I read a lot of both. I also dabble in writing - my first novel, Aureole, came out this year - and have a heavy music background.

My big thing here, though, is mythology in young adult (YA) lit. I've always loved mythology, and they provide a number of teaching opportunities. From that angle, I'll be examining many books and the different parts of them to see how we can help students better understand and appreciate this component of literature.

Besides, in my humble opinion, myths are pretty cool.