- Title: My Date from Hell
- Author: Tellulah Darling
- Series: Blooming Goddess #2
- Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
- Format: ARC
- Source: Author
- Reviewed by: Erica
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.
With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?
The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.
Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?
The YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology fireworks continue to fly in My Date From Hell. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book two of this teen fantasy romance series. Breaking up is easy; dating is deadly.
Review: Having really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy I was understandably excited to be offered an ARC for its sequel, and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint. Be warned though, this review contains spoilers for the first book.
At the end of My Ex from Hell we left Sophie at the mercy of her father Zeus, with whom she is not on the best of terms, to put it mildly. It was a major cliffhanger, and thankfully we go pretty much straight into the action at the start of this book. Zeus wants to know how and where Sophie and Kai had planned to overthrow him and Hades. The trouble is of course that Sophie still doesn’t actually remember everything from her past life as Persephone, including the details of their plot, and the last time she saw Kai he had betrayed and abandoned her and her friends to die.
Sophie manages to escape (of course, or there wouldn’t be much of a book to follow), and returns to her school only to discover that her arch-nemesis Bethany’s popularity has grown to world-encompassing proportions, thanks to her magical popularity tattoo and the help of mega media mogul Jack, who is actually Hermes. Oh, also, Sophie has only one chance left not to be expelled. Which would be bad, since the school is the only place where she’s safe from Zeus and Hades’ minions.
Cue a convoluted plot involving Aphrodite wanting Bethany stopped (because no one should be more popular than Aphrodite) which results in Sophie and her friends hopping all over the world in search of Jack/Hermes.
What I liked: oh, so many things. The bickering and bantering is as snarky as it was in the first book, and the book often had me sniggering. The reunion of Sophie and Kai is very, very sweet and sexy, and it confirmed my notion that Kai really isn’t the dick he appeared to be in the first book. In fact: I really liked Kai in this book, even if his actual behaviour isn’t much different than in book one. The devil is in the details, really.
I like that Theo is gay without being camp, because too many authors make their protagonist’s gay best friend the most ridiculously clichéd camp ‘get outta here, girlfriend!’ kind of person. I liked the various spins on the traditional Greek gods while at the same time keeping important details (like Hephaestos’ manky foot). I loved all the scenes between Sophie and Kai, which were everything they needed to be to illustrate the journey of two people who are attracted to each other yet don’t really want to like each other, but kinda have to.
What I didn’t like: there were a few times when I was confused, and it took a while before I understood what was going on, such as when Kai was hit by Aphrodite’s arrow. Did it have an effect? Didn’t it? I’m sure it took me three chapters to fully understand what had actually happened. There were a few other places where I felt the same – sometimes the plot felt a bit rushed and I would have liked to see a little more explanation about where a character came from and what he was suddenly doing there. It’s not that the explanation is missing altogether, it was just very perfunctory.
That said, the writing is solid and very entertaining, and the book ends with a major plot twist that I didn’t see coming at all, and another cliffhanger that makes me want the next book yesterday. If My Ex from Hell was a just-about 4-star effort then My Date from Hell is a very, very solid 4-star effort, almost a 4.5.