Lovely War

Lovely War

Book - 2019
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The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music revealing that War is no match for the power of Love.
Publisher: New York :, Viking ,, 2019.
ISBN: 9780451469939
9780147512970
Characteristics: 468 pages ; 24 cm.
Summary: The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: "Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?" but her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music revealing that War is no match for the power of Love.

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Casiepaws
Apr 16, 2021

What an outstandingly beautiful novel full to bursting with feverish emotion.

Lovely War is a sweeping tale of romance, true love, fate, war, death, and humanity, told from the perspective of the gods. I was so invested by page 10 that I struggled to put it down, and by the end I had stifled sobs in public twice and just had to sit and hug the book for a while.

a
Alpha_zzz
Mar 14, 2021

DNF. Hard to believe in the Olympian gods and their magical powers.

m
makenziep1
Jan 06, 2021

I was in a reading slump and this book was so so good and really managed to get me back into reading again, I loved it and will definitely keep coming back to read it in the future.

s
Simba30
Dec 09, 2020

Lovely War is a stunning story of 4 lovers, one pair set during World War 1 and the other during World War 2. Shockingly, the story is a mashup of Greek mythology, historical fiction, and romance. The story begins with Hephaestus, husband of Aphrodite, catching her and Ares together. He agrees to listen to a story of love from Aphrodite in exchange for keeping her away from trial. The story of James, Hazel, Aubrey, and Colette, revolves around the wars as they navigate through tough circumstances and hardship. The author tackles many topics such as racism and women’s rights and it is a story packed with emotion. I cried so much when reading this book and I just loved it. It was a moving story and I would highly recommend reading this book.
Age Rating: 15+

m
maroon_lion_200
Nov 12, 2020

Loved this book, but I could have done without the romance between Colette and Aubrey. It was well-written, but I was much more invested in James and Hazel. If the second story-line with Colette and Aubry hadn't been added I would definitely have rated this book 5 stars.
That said, I highly recommend this book, and even though it was long, I read it in about a day and was hooked from the first page. The writing was amazing, and I haven't found a book that felt like this one yet, even though I've looked.

p
p_h
Nov 10, 2020

This book is narrated by the Greek gods Aphrodite, Ares, Hades, and Apollo. They tell the story of four characters (James, Hazel, Colette, and Aubrey), which occurs during World War I. James and Hazel meet one night at a party and quickly fall in love. James is sent away to fight, and Hazel goes to volunteer at Saint-Nazaire. She meets Colette there, and they soon meet Aubrey, a musician and American soldier. I loved the warmth and sweetness of this story and how Greek gods were the narrators. Along with the romance, the author also writes about PTSD and racial prejudice, and I think it was handled well. I really enjoyed reading this. Age: 12+

y
YourLocalReader
Nov 04, 2020

The Lovely War beautifully narrates the memorable love stories of two couples during the era of World War l. The story is told through Greek Gods and Goddesses to explain how music, love, death, faith, and war inspire humanity. James and Hazel meet days before James is due at the frontlines, but will their love be strong enough to bear the traumas of the battlefield? On the other hand, Colette and Aubrey’s love cracks under distance and discrimination based on their different races. I loved this book so much, and I could see myself raving about it to anyone. A perfect 5/5; the author’s writing style left little to imagine. The writing was detailed to illustrate the vivid, fast-changing setting. Each character was loveable; I didn’t hate a single person. They each carry different stories, ambitions, and heartbreaks that extend beyond the cookie-cutter mold for many stereotypical young adult fiction characters. Usually, authors juggling many perspectives would encounter issues with maintaining a distinctive voice without confusing the reader; this was not the case. There were many perspectives throughout the book, but it was so interesting how each character brought contrasting observations to the table. I am an ardent fan of historical fiction along with Greek mythology; mixing them sounds divine, which I haven’t seen a lot of marketing for this plot in young adult fiction. The author put a lot of research into the stories behind World War I and Greek myths to educate the reader with accurate descriptions of the subjects. It’s rare for me to love a romance book, but I would make an exemption for this novel. The romance was utterly believable to warm your heart thoroughly. I appreciate the author’s acknowledgment of how soldiers have to deal with issues like PTSD and acceptance throughout the book. There isn’t a lot of well done mental health representation in young adult fiction, especially the romance genre, but the author did superbly. The author highlighted an interracial relationship that I found to be incredibly enlightening. There was no hesitation in exposing the racism towards one of the African American main characters from his peers.

I think it’s wrong to categorize this novel as only a romance; since it has the elements of history, war, death, grief, guilt, love, friendship, and acceptance. The novel essentially captures what it means to be human and to feel lost during a time of deep crisis. I think this book touched me because of the time we are going through right now; this book reminds us that there is hope in humanity. I rarely cry during books, but this book made me sob. You can imagine how powerful the author must be to generate such revoking thoughts and emotions in a reader. I can not recommend this enough to anyone! There is something for everyone. If you are not a romance fan, stay for the history. If you are not a history connoisseur, stay for the relationships (platonic or romantic). There is something for everyone within this book. I can proudly say that this is one of my top 5 books of the year. The age recommendation is 13+: Mentions of violence in wars, racial slurs. TW: mentions PTSD ( just as a caution for anyone who might feel uncomfortable with the topic).

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin May 14, 2020

Not as deeply thought provoking as I wanted it to be...but I loved the sweeping romance of this WWI era historical novel, narrated by the Greek Gods.

THIS BOOK. I was so invested by page 10 that I struggled to put it down, and by the end I had stifled sobs in public twice and just had to sit and hug the book for a while.

Lovely War is a sweeping tale of romance, true love, fate, war, death, and humanity, told from the perspective of the gods. Put on trial for cheating by her husband, Hephaestus, Aphrodite claims that she will show him her reasons, if only he will let her tell him a story. That story spans the course of World War I, involves two couples, many countries, and the blooming of love in so many different ways, all set against the backdrop of so much death and destruction. Love is what makes us human, and, as it turns out, it also may be what the gods yearn for just as intensely.

I struggled to come up with a synopsis for this one because to me, it has everything, and it’s so wonderfully complex. It spans a wide time range, includes a broad cast of characters, and it’s told from the perspective of Aphrodite and other gods. Like? How does one summarize such a thing?

But I just keep coming back to how much I loved this. How much emotion is involved in all of these characters, human and god alike, and how genuine everything feels. How my heart fluttered right alongside Hazel and James, Colette and Aubrey, how the narration never made me feel too isolated from them like some other omniscient narration has, how beautifully Julie handles issues like racism and brutality and injustice.

It’s just. So. GOOD. And so well-written. If you like emotional tales full of vibrant characters and you can handle war stories, this is not one to be missed.

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ReadItOutLoud
Jun 10, 2019

ReadItOutLoud thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Let then start their dreadful wars, let destruction rain down, and let plague sweep through, but I will still be here, doing my work, holding humankind together with love like this.

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