Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Book Review: "Pandora Gets Jealous"

 "Pandora Gets Jealous" by Carolyn Hennesy seemed to jump out at me from the stacks of the library. I am a Classicist and love all things ancient Greek and Roman, so when I saw that this was an upbeat, modern young adult fiction about Pandora opening the box, I thought I would give it a try.

The story takes place in Ancient Greece, with Pandora as a moody, awkward teenager who has recently turned 13. Her father, Prometheus, is a titan who was entrusted with a box full of sorrows, plagues, and hope. As part of his punishment for stealing fire years ago, he has to guard the box and ensures that no one opens it. We all know that it is Pandora who opens the box, but like with any good story, the entrainment is in the details of how the author handles it.

As Pandora's punishment for opening the box, Zeus orders her to collect all of the evils that she has unleashed within six months. In this story, Pandora goes after the first plague, jealousy. The book is nicely set up for a series, one for each of the evils that Pandora needs to collect.

I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would initially. Although Pandora experiences a lot of teenage angst, she takes responsibility for her actions and works to correct them, which I thought was nice. Knowing so much about Greek mythology already made parts of this book quite funny and clever. There was also an interesting juxtaposition of ancient Greek culture with modern values.

Overall, this book is funny, easy to read, and has a cute take on giving Ancient Greek culture a modern twist. I would have no problem recommending it to the "tween" audience.

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