Sophie’s life is never going to get back to normal. After that fateful kiss from Kai that unlocked her true self (AKA Persephone) and battling a dragon, you think poor Soph could catch a break. Nope, not yet. Zeus and Hades are more determined than ever to find (and destroy) the ritual location, so Sophie needs Persephone’s memories more than anything. The only catch is to unlock those, she must go on a mission for Aphrodite to prevent Hermes from making Bethany a celebrity, all the while acting like she and Kai are on a romantic date. That’s right, Aphrodite thinks the pair should give it the old Greek try and date. Tons of chaos ensues and we’re left wondering, yet again, if Sophie can pull this off.
Sophie is just as snarky and sassy as in MEFH. Smart and very irrational when it comes to all things Kai, Sophie still has that kick-ass heroine vibe that I’ve come to adore. No damsel in distress to be found here. She actually saves Kai a time or two. And speaking of Kai……can I just say wow? I mean, I liked him before even though he was a jackass, but I LOVE him now. He reminds me a great deal of Daemon from Onyx, you know, when D was trying to win Katy. Kai really turns up the charm in this installment, trying to show Sophie that he really does care for her, and not just because she’s Persephone’s reincarnation. Seeing Kai’s sweet side really sealed the deal for me (and for Sophie, though she takes forever to admit it).
Then there is the rest of this ensemble cast. Hannah and Theo, plus a few new additions: Pierce (aka Cupid), Festos, Aphrodite, and Hermes. Hannah is still her normally geeky self, with one glitch: a major crush on Pierce. Watching Hannah try to balance science and attraction was epic. I love that there is an attractive geeky character. I love that Hannah is never portrayed and ugly or mousey, like most geeky or smart characters are. Theo is just as sarcastic and grumpy as ever. I loved Festos immediately. It’s obvious he and Sophie are kindred spirits, being so similar. Pierce I was initially on the fence about, but he won me over. I didn’t care for Aphrodite or Hermes, both seemed like selfish asshats.
I’m still battling with myself over the rating. 4 stars or 5 stars? Goodreads doesn’t allow half-star rating, so there is no viable way to compromise. Ultimately I’m going with 4 because of the major cliffhanger. If you thing the ending of My Ex From Hell was bad, well you were wrong. This is much, much worse. If the novel would have ended a little sooner, it would have been absolutely perfect, but they….he…she…
****SPOILER****It was PERFECT. Kai and Sophie finally admit their feelings and Sophie has recovered Persephone’s memories, though she hasn’t had time to sort through them yet, and then we learn that Felicia is really Demeter and she is the one who killed Persephone because Persephone was a back-stabbing bitch who was going to seize power and leave everyone else in the dust. Which would have been fine, we could live with that, but Kai takes the irrational route and blames Sophie for everything and runs off before saying she betrayed him. Felicia runs away and then Bethany FUCKING STABS HER. Hannah and Theo arrive to find Sophie bleeding out on the pavement and cue curtains. How can you leave me like that? HOW? Stupid Sophie, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL KAI YOU LOVED HIM BEFORE YOUR MEETING? Things would have turned out alright and he wouldn’t have run off then. Hopefully. I NEED the next novel, like I need my next breath.****END SPOILER**** Let’s just say it doesn’t end the way we were all hoping for, K?
This novel was everything I was expecting and more. Sophie’s journey forces her to grow a bit and realize some hard truths. Darling’s writing style is just as believable and honest-feeling as her previous works. I am yet again floored by her ability to create such a realistic, grounded character with all the crazy tearing her world apart. Another accomplishment is the ability to write characters who are similar but still feel different. Sophie and Festos are so close in personality and all of characters show signs of Darling’s signature snarkiness, but they never felt like they were just carbon copies of the original character. They all have enough individuality to make them stand on their own.
She also has this amazing ability to write twists that I didn’t see coming. Call me naïve, but I didn’t see the ending of this coming, at all. It smacked me in the face as hard as it did Sophie and I cannot believe how that all came together. Sophie, with the people and the things, and just…fuck me, that was not what I was expecting. I know I was sincerely (and naively) hoping for a happy-ish ending to tide me over until the final installment and I knew that things wouldn’t go as smoothly as I was dreaming, but DAMN.
In all honesty, I really did love this. In spite of the appalling cliffhanger, it has everything that I need for a book to be shelved with the rest of my favorites. It has the clever dialogue we have come to expect from Tellulah Darling, with a plot that will have you sighing and keep you guessing until the last minute. The tag line from her website is so highly appropriate that it’s what I’ll leave you with: Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?
****Thank you to Tellulah Darling for providing me with a eARC in exchange for an honest review****