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All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
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Babymouse: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
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Fullmetal Alchemist 21 by Hiromu Arakawa
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The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash
The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino
Images of Nature: The Photographs of Thomas D. Mangelsen by Charles Craighead
Just Like Bossy Bear by David Horvath
The Library by Sarah Stewart
The Lost Art of Reading by David L. Ulin
NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg
Punished! by David Lubar
Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 06 by CLAMP
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
xxxHolic Volume 12 by CLAMP

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Comments for Oh. My. Gods.

Oh. My. Gods.: 01/13/14

cover art

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs is a paranormal YA that draws on Greek mythology. Phoebe Castro is a star distance runner on her high school track team. If she can keep her grades and ranking up, she's a shoo in for a USC track scholarship. But her dreams are put on hold when her mother comes back from a trip to Greece with a new husband and, for Phoebe, a new step sister. Worse, yet, the whole new blended family is moving to Greece and Phoebe will have to finish out high school on a small Greek island, at an exclusive academy.

Here's the point where I couldn't help but compare Childs's version of things to Rick Riordan's in the Percy Jackson, and later, the Heroes of Olympus series. Riordan's conceit for any modern, western influences creeping into his retelling of Greek mythology was to say that the Greek Gods follow the influence of western culture and that center is now Manhattan island. Childs, instead, keeps the action in Greece. While I appreciated the sense of isolation that (and the need to keep the truth about the school secret) being moved to Greece from Los Angeles creates for Phoebe, I have trouble believing that Plato's Academy would be run like an American high school and that all the teens would speak fluent English.

Rather than making the adjustment period a cultural and linguistic one, Childs falls back on the school clique trope. Phoebe doesn't fit in because she's new, her step-father is the headmaster, and she's not a demigod. To draw attention away from the oddity of an American style high school in the middle of the Mediterrean, Childs focuses on Phoebe trying to make the track team. For mysterious reasons (that become clear at the end), she is forced to train every single day, twice as long as anyone else on the team. She also has to at least place in the next meet or be dropped from the team.

If you ignore the questions raised by the school's location, it's a fairly enjoyable high school drama with paranormal elements. Phoebe isn't exactly the most likable of characters but some of her anger is understandable given how much she is being bullied at school and how much she misses her two best buddies from Los Angeles.

Four stars

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