Saturday, January 23

Troy High by Shana Norris

The Gist:

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.

My Review:
Unfourtunately, I've never had the pleasure of reading Homer's Illiad, but this book definitely makes me want to. I'm usually not the biggest fan of stories re-told, but Shana Norris takes it to a different level. First, she decided to switch the point of view from Elena (Homer's Helen), to Cassie (Homer's Cassandra). Because of the change, it allows her to tell a more unique story, rather than a modern day retelling of the story. 
When looking at all of the characters, Norris does a really excellent job of making them all come alive. You feel for Cassie, in particular, being stuck in the middle of things.
   I appreciated Norris's ability to give equal weight to both of the major events in the novel- the war between the two high schools, as well as Cassie's love for a Spartan. You're able to feel Cassie's thoughts as she's torn between loyalty and love. 
    While this is a re-telling, Norris's novel stands on its own. Strong characters, emotions you can really feel, and an inspiration to read Illiad, this book is a great light read. I give it:

Four Stars

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