Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Troy High

Troy High, by Shana Norris

Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 256
Reading Level: 14 and Up
Enjoyment Level: Medium/High

Here come a few more gods and goddesses… Actually, this is just a fun re-telling of a large part of Homer’s Iliad. A nice departure from the fantasy realm for me – I picked it up on a recent trip to the bookstore because it sounded kind of cool.

From amazon.com:

Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.

Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider at Troy High, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. Off the football field, an escalating prank war fuels tensions between the schools.

The stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school.

I’ll start this one off by just saying that parts of it fell flat for me, but not enough to make me dislike the book. It was some of the character interaction that left me hanging. Cassie’s relationship with her older brother and his character development leave a few gaps going from his original attitude to the one he’s got at the end of the story. She lets him walk all over her for most of the book, never standing up for herself until the end, and she readily forgives him without much fight, either.

I also felt like Cassie’s relationship with her best friend wasn’t as solid as it could’ve been. There are some major-blowout fights that should’ve given Cassie more pause to think and should’ve had stronger reactions, but the fights seem to blow over without many repercussions. It would’ve been nice to see Cassie dealing more with the consequences of her choices.

But I still enjoyed the overall story. It was fun to research the characters and the history of the Iliad to figure out who was who. I liked the idea of bringing Helen of Troy into the modern age. Transferring the Iliad to the football field gave it new life and made it interesting to me.

The author did a wonderful job with the Helen character, Elena, and her relationship with Cassie is one of the highlights of the book. The chemistry between the two of them is just right. Cassie learns a lot from Elena. I really enjoyed seeing their friendship develop, as it was something I didn’t expect at all.

So despite my picking at a couple aspects of the book, I did enjoy it. If you’re looking for a book that is a quick read and delivers an interesting re-telling, pick up Troy High.

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

1 comment:

  1. Ah, how varied are human responses to all the different things that can happen. Maybe Cassie is forgiving. If so, that's a good trait. Please visit my blog and leave a comment. Thanks!