I started off pretty optimistic with this book, since the first couple of chapters or so were pretty good. But after that, my feelings just became more and more convoluted, and by the end I just really didn't know what to think. I found myself becoming more and more disappointed, which was really frustrating because I started off really liking it.
Hope is a hard-working student and dutiful daughter, taking care of her mother with dementia while still maintaining great grades and competing on the swim team. When she receives a mysterious invitation that only a few others can read, her first thought is that she is going insane. But when she is sucked away to Mount Olympus in order to train and fight against the other competitors in order to obtain a spot as the champion of the gods, and be granted one wish, Hope realizes that her world is bigger than she could have ever imagined. It will take everything she has to win this competition--but is the price worth the reward?
I really liked the premise of this book, because I love Greek mythology, I love competitions, and I love magical elements. I especially love it when all three of those are combined. And there were some times where I really did feel myself getting pulled into the story, and that I didn't want to put it down. Unfortunately, that wasn't how it was for me the majority of the time.
One of my huge issues was that the characters seemed a little underdeveloped. Everyone had one major characteristic, and everything revolved around that. (ex. Hope was perfect and selfless, Amy was stand-offish and hoarded shiny things...) The only character I really liked was Gabriel, as he seemed to be the only character with more human emotions. I would say that my biggest issue with the book is Hope herself, because she seemed to perfect, selfless, and talented to be an actual human.
The story was also a bit choppy, at some points I was pretty confused because it felt like a step or a scene had been skipped in-between events. The story was probably the most interesting part, but the characters made it difficult to connect and get invested and as a result I found myself less eager to read. The love-story element also detracted from it, as it felt like the typical girl-likes-boy who pushes her away story.
I feel like with different characters that this book could have been extremely interesting, but with the current cast I just couldn't find much to get excited about. The first couple chapters had quite a bit of potential (the ones on Earth), but once we got to Olympus I could feel my interest waning. I was pretty interested in this book because of the premise, so I'm sad that it didn't work out.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way altered my review of, opinions on, or feelings towards the book.