Title: Troy High
Author: Shana Norris
Summary: Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.
Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, 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.
The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its incendiary cast of mythic proportions.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 of 5)
My Review: mmmmm… Where to start? I’m really into Greek mythology, especially modern retellings. So, cliche as this book looked like it may end up being, I was excited to read it. It was a fast read, mostly because it was purely fluff. There was nothing to it. YAWN. The one part that I truly loved about the book, was the only thing that the author made up. Which leads me to think that Shana Norris might actually be a decent author, if she’s not restrained to high school drama and overused mythologies. Honestly, what I hated most about the book was the high school, and how it was portrayed. It was so stupid, and TOTALLY unrealistic. That is NOT how school social structures work. They group dynamic was awful, and it was clear that the author didn’t really know what goes on inside modern high schools. I understand that she needed to elaborate and exaggerate to bring the myth to life, but it wasn’t very well done. Except, as I already stated the part that wasn’t part of the myth.
Hero/Heroine: There are basically just two heroines in this story. It’s told from the point of view of “Cassie” (AKA Cassandra, seer and prophetess of greek fame), and she’s in this best-friends-maybe-more-awkward-teenage-problems relationships, and that’s the only part of the book that I liked. I truly enjoyed their friendship.
Cassie: Ehhhh… Everything about this book was too cliche “Mean Girls” style. The author says she did a lot of research into high schools, but YAWN… That made this book boring. Cassie was your stereotypical super cliche “outsider” character. There were some parts of her that felt real, but overall… eh. She made a lot of stupid choices just because popular kids were paying attention to her.
Elena: Super gorgeous, super popular, super stupid, super indecisive, super fickle. She started a city-wide “war,” and was completely oblivious to it. She was perfectly happy to be all empty-headed blonde who’s going back and forth on relatinoships.
Plot: Can you tell I didn’t like this book? Well, the plot consisted of a bunch of back-and-forth pranks between the two schools, the Helen and Paris relationship that started it, and the forbidden love of Cassie and her Trojan love interest. There. Entire book.
Content Advisory: There might be some minor cuss words, I can’t remember for sure. Some making out.
To Sum it Up: Well, I didn’t really hate this book. I enjoyed it in the moment, it was a fun-ish read, but in hindsight I just felt like it was a waste of time. The relationship between Cassie and her friend was basically what kept me reading the book. They were totally adorable and awkward and I loved it. For ages 11+.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?