Review: My Date from Hell – Tellulah Darling

This is actually the fifth Sassy Girl Swoony God challenge, and oh, it was such a hardship to have had to read a book which I was dying to read, a full month before anyone else got the chance to. I’m not sure how I survived.

Anyway, let me start by saying that even though I got a free copy of the book, I was in no way required to give a positive review. The very solid four stars I have given it are purely on the merit of the book itself.

Here’s Tellulah’s video for this week’s challenge:

And of course her post about last week’s challenge.

So, without further ado, here’s the 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.

(Please note that this review will also be posted on Silk Screen Views, but I don’t decide what books are posted on what days on there, I just provide drafts.)

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