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Lovely War

Lovely War

Book - 2019
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The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music revealing that War is no match for the power of Love.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2019
ISBN: 9780451469939
0451469933
Characteristics: 468 pages ; 24 cm

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The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room during World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?"

The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but he... Read More »

The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but he... Read More »

The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but he... Read More »

Cheryl W./Recommendation: "The eternal battle between love and war perseveres in this astonishing teen title. Two story lines, one set in WWI and the other in WWII, converge with characters that will enrage your sense of justice and steal your heart."


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Delta_07
May 24, 2021

Lovely War tells the stories of Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette: a quiet pianist, an architect turned soldier, a ragtime genius, and a Belgian orphan. We follow these four as they navigate love, death, and the treacherous time of World War I, all the while being narrated by the goddess of love, herself, as she tries to avoid trial on Mount Olympus.
This book is amazing! However, a disclaimer first: This book deals with death, racial discrimination, and violence, so if this is not your style, you might not want to pick this novel up. Despite these dark themes, I think this book is extraordinarily easy to get swept up in, as you want to see what will happen next and if the characters will get the happy ending they deserve. The romances between the main four are sweet and not forced, despite their fast pace. All the characters, even the background characters, are well-rounded, making the horrible things that occur throughout the story more tragic. The meta-story with the gods, however, adds a sprinkle of humor and gives interesting insight on love and tragedy. Overall, this book is a new favorite and breathes some fresh air into the genre of historical fiction.

j
jjichyuchyu
May 17, 2021

Music, hope, determination, love, and friendship are all featured in this book about fate, romance in a war, prejudice in the army, and discrimination. The four main characters are endearing and wonderful, as I was moved by the humanity and hope that filtered through during a tragic time in history. While the romance does develop quickly, I still found the book to be charming and heart-wrenching considering the situations in which these characters have found themselves. I loved how it was narrated by Greek Gods as their tales discuss how deep hope can stretch even through a war filled with misery, and whether, even in a broken world, there's still a case to be made for love. Each of the gods’ voices was unique, and it was interesting to hear about their own personal interest in the lives of these four mortals. I strongly recommend any historical fiction fan and those who are interested in Greek mythology retelling to read this book.

c
Casiepaws
Apr 16, 2021

What an outstandingly beautiful novel full to bursting with feverish emotion.

Lovely War is a sweeping tale of romance, true love, fate, war, death, and humanity, told from the perspective of the gods. I was so invested by page 10 that I struggled to put it down, and by the end I had stifled sobs in public twice and just had to sit and hug the book for a while.

a
Alpha_zzz
Mar 14, 2021

DNF. Hard to believe in the Olympian gods and their magical powers.

m
makenziep1
Jan 06, 2021

I was in a reading slump and this book was so so good and really managed to get me back into reading again, I loved it and will definitely keep coming back to read it in the future.

s
Simba30
Dec 09, 2020

Lovely War is a stunning story of 4 lovers, one pair set during World War 1 and the other during World War 2. Shockingly, the story is a mashup of Greek mythology, historical fiction, and romance. The story begins with Hephaestus, husband of Aphrodite, catching her and Ares together. He agrees to listen to a story of love from Aphrodite in exchange for keeping her away from trial. The story of James, Hazel, Aubrey, and Colette, revolves around the wars as they navigate through tough circumstances and hardship. The author tackles many topics such as racism and women’s rights and it is a story packed with emotion. I cried so much when reading this book and I just loved it. It was a moving story and I would highly recommend reading this book.
Age Rating: 15+

m
maroon_lion_200
Nov 12, 2020

Loved this book, but I could have done without the romance between Colette and Aubrey. It was well-written, but I was much more invested in James and Hazel. If the second story-line with Colette and Aubry hadn't been added I would definitely have rated this book 5 stars.
That said, I highly recommend this book, and even though it was long, I read it in about a day and was hooked from the first page. The writing was amazing, and I haven't found a book that felt like this one yet, even though I've looked.

p
p_h
Nov 10, 2020

This book is narrated by the Greek gods Aphrodite, Ares, Hades, and Apollo. They tell the story of four characters (James, Hazel, Colette, and Aubrey), which occurs during World War I. James and Hazel meet one night at a party and quickly fall in love. James is sent away to fight, and Hazel goes to volunteer at Saint-Nazaire. She meets Colette there, and they soon meet Aubrey, a musician and American soldier. I loved the warmth and sweetness of this story and how Greek gods were the narrators. Along with the romance, the author also writes about PTSD and racial prejudice, and I think it was handled well. I really enjoyed reading this. Age: 12+

y
YourLocalReader
Nov 04, 2020

The Lovely War beautifully narrates the memorable love stories of two couples during the era of World War l. The story is told through Greek Gods and Goddesses to explain how music, love, death, faith, and war inspire humanity. James and Hazel meet days before James is due at the frontlines, but will their love be strong enough to bear the traumas of the battlefield? On the other hand, Colette and Aubrey’s love cracks under distance and discrimination based on their different races. I loved this book so much, and I could see myself raving about it to anyone. A perfect 5/5; the author’s writing style left little to imagine. The writing was detailed to illustrate the vivid, fast-changing setting. Each character was loveable; I didn’t hate a single person. They each carry different stories, ambitions, and heartbreaks that extend beyond the cookie-cutter mold for many stereotypical young adult fiction characters. Usually, authors juggling many perspectives would encounter issues with maintaining a distinctive voice without confusing the reader; this was not the case. There were many perspectives throughout the book, but it was so interesting how each character brought contrasting observations to the table. I am an ardent fan of historical fiction along with Greek mythology; mixing them sounds divine, which I haven’t seen a lot of marketing for this plot in young adult fiction. The author put a lot of research into the stories behind World War I and Greek myths to educate the reader with accurate descriptions of the subjects. It’s rare for me to love a romance book, but I would make an exemption for this novel. The romance was utterly believable to warm your heart thoroughly. I appreciate the author’s acknowledgment of how soldiers have to deal with issues like PTSD and acceptance throughout the book. There isn’t a lot of well done mental health representation in young adult fiction, especially the romance genre, but the author did superbly. The author highlighted an interracial relationship that I found to be incredibly enlightening. There was no hesitation in exposing the racism towards one of the African American main characters from his peers.

I think it’s wrong to categorize this novel as only a romance; since it has the elements of history, war, death, grief, guilt, love, friendship, and acceptance. The novel essentially captures what it means to be human and to feel lost during a time of deep crisis. I think this book touched me because of the time we are going through right now; this book reminds us that there is hope in humanity. I rarely cry during books, but this book made me sob. You can imagine how powerful the author must be to generate such revoking thoughts and emotions in a reader. I can not recommend this enough to anyone! There is something for everyone. If you are not a romance fan, stay for the history. If you are not a history connoisseur, stay for the relationships (platonic or romantic). There is something for everyone within this book. I can proudly say that this is one of my top 5 books of the year. The age recommendation is 13+: Mentions of violence in wars, racial slurs. TW: mentions PTSD ( just as a caution for anyone who might feel uncomfortable with the topic).

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ReadItOutLoud
Jun 10, 2019

ReadItOutLoud thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Let then start their dreadful wars, let destruction rain down, and let plague sweep through, but I will still be here, doing my work, holding humankind together with love like this.

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