“Lovely War” by Julie Berry

“Lovely War” by Julie Berry

This book is marked YA for Young Adult, a category that troubles me because most of the young adults I know read all kinds of books.

For starters, I hate the title of this book. War is not lovely. I’m often accused of being overly literal… And we are often told we need to read/think/live outside our “comfort zones” in order to grow/learn/whatever. Was this title an intentional manipulation? I’m not in the mood for such.

This book is a romance about World War I. It is interestingly framed by a “trial” among Greek gods, the Olympian crowd – Aphrodite, Apollo, etc. The interventions of gods into the lives of mortals are interesting.

Fine! But is it necessary to be so didactic? I don’t think the reader needs to be told (in 12 pages of historical notes) what to think about war, race, gender, ageism, etc. The Bibliography (14 titles) is quite sufficient for the reader who wants to go deeper into that time period. Doesn’t Julie Berry realize that her readers can find supporting/interpretive/analytic material with a few keystrokes?

Right now, a wrenching romance about World War I is not what I need. Maybe I’ll finish this book later.

I just want someone to tell me a good story!


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