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The Goddess Test
Cover of The Goddess Test
The Goddess Test
The Goddess Test Series, Book 1
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It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.


It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.
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  • Available:
    1
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    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.2
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    I spent my eighteenth birthday driving from New York City to Eden, Michigan, so my mother could die in the town where she was born. Nine hundred and fifty-four miles of asphalt, knowing every sign we passed brought me closer to what would undoubtedly be the worst day of my life.

    As far as birthdays go, I wouldn't recommend it.

    I drove the whole way. My mother was too sick to stay awake for very long, let alone drive, but I didn't mind. It took two days, and an hour after we'd crossed the bridge to the upper peninsula of Michigan, she looked exhausted and stiff from being in the car for so long, and if I never saw a stretch of open road again, it'd be too soon.

    "Kate, turn off here."

    I gave my mother a funny look, but turned my blinker on anyhow. "We're not supposed to exit the freeway for another three miles."

    "I know. I want you to see something."

    Sighing inwardly, I did as she said. She was already on bor¬rowed time, and the chances of her having an extra day to see it later were slim.

    There were pine trees everywhere, tall and looming. I saw no signs, no mile markers, nothing but trees and dirt road. Five miles in, I began to worry. "You're sure this is right?"

    "Of course I'm sure." She pressed her forehead to the window, and her voice was so soft and broken that I could barely under¬stand her. "It's just another mile or so."

    "What is?"

    "You'll see."

    After a mile, the hedge started. It stretched down the side of the road, so high and thick that seeing what was on the other side was impossible, and it must've been another two miles before it veered off at a right angle, forming some kind of boundary line. The entire time we drove by, Mom stared out the window, enraptured.

    "This is it?" I didn't mean to sound bitter, but Mom didn't seem to notice.

    "Of course it isn't--turn left up here, sweetie."

    I did as I was told, guiding the car around the corner. "It's nice and all," I said carefully, not wanting to upset her, "but it's just a hedge. Shouldn't we go find the house and--"

    "Here!" The eagerness in her weak voice startled me. "Right up there!"

    Craning my neck, I saw what she was talking about. Set in the middle of the hedge was a black wrought-iron gate, and the closer we got to it, the bigger it seemed to grow. It wasn't just me--the gate was monstrous. It wasn't there to look pretty. It was there to scare the living daylights out of anyone who thought about opening it.

    I slowed to a stop in front of it, trying to look between the bars, but all I could see were more trees. The land seemed to dip in the distance, but no matter how I craned my neck, I couldn't see what lay beyond it.

    "Isn't it beautiful?" Her voice was airy, almost light, and for a moment, she sounded like her old self. I felt her hand slip into mine, and I squeezed hers as much as I dared. "It's the entrance to Eden Manor."

    "It looks.. .big," I said, mustering up as much enthusiasm as I could. I wasn't very successful. "Have you ever been inside?"

    It was an innocent question, but the look she gave me made me feel like the answer was so obvious that even though I'd never heard of this place, I should have known.

    A moment later, she blinked, and the look was gone. "Not in a very long time," she said hollowly, and I bit my lip, regret-ting whatever it was I'd done to break the magic for her. "I'm sorry, Kate, I just wanted to see it. We should keep going."

    She let go of my hand, and I was...

About the Author-
  • Aimée Carter was born in 1986 and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She started writing fan fiction at eleven, began her first original story four years later, and hasn't stopped writing since. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys seeing movies, playing with her puppies, and wrestling with the puzzles in the paper each morning.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 7, 2011
    In Carter's first YA novel, the Greek pantheon isn't just down to Earth, it's occupying Eden, Mich., and attending high school. Kate Winters doesn't notice anything special about classmates Ava, James, and Dylan, but pale-eyed Henry gets her attention when he appears to resurrect Ava from the dead after a malicious prank goes horribly wrong. Kate can't quite believe that Henry is the god of the underworld, as he claims, but she also can't dismiss him. Kate's mother is dying of cancer, and Kate is willing to grasp at anything that might win her one more loving maternal conversation. The bargain she strikes with Henry is a grim one, but the full enormity of what she has undertaken—"live forever or die trying"—is not revealed until it's too late to recant. Carter wears her influences openly, with many passages reading like outtakes from Robin McKinley's Beauty by way of Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Nevertheless, the narrative is well executed, and Kate is a heroine better equipped than most to confront and cope with the inexplicable. Ages 13–18.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2011
    Propelled by its high concept—ancient Greek deities, reality TV plot—this romance-series debut starts promisingly but soon sinks into a queasy blend of genres with cardboard characters and interchangeable deities. Manhattanite Kate Winters, 18, has relocated to Eden, Mich., where her ailing mother wants to live out her last days in her hometown. At her new school, Kate encounters two instantly besotted guys and one jealous mean girl, Ava, who abruptly dies in a freak accident on the way to a party she's manipulated Kate into attending. Enter the mysterious Henry, aka Hades, who offers to restore Ava to life if Kate will take his ex-wife Persephone's place. Having inexplicably bonded with vapid Ava, Kate agrees, although it means spending six months a year in the underworld. Her light sentence is carried out in a halfway house between worlds, where she enjoys dressing up, being waited on, taking Greek Deities 101 and falling for the tortured Henry. But it's not all guys and parties; Kate must pass seven pantheon-administered "tests" in order to win the prize (Henry and immortality); if she loses, Henry will fade. That plus agonizing over whether he loves her occupy her abundant spare time. Better takes on this familiar paradigm abound. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2011

    Gr 7 Up-To fulfill her dying mother's request, Kate Winters and her mom move from New York City to Eden, MI, where Kate will finish her senior year and her mother will live out her last days. Though her primary concern is spending time with her mother, Kate attracts the attention of several of the students in her small high school, including mean girl Ava. When a prank on Kate backfires, resulting in Ava's death, Kate makes a deal with the mysterious Henry in order to save Ava's life, which ultimately results in Kate agreeing to spend each autumn and winter with him at Eden Manor. There, she discovers that Henry is actually Hades, who has been looking for a suitable replacement to co-rule the underworld ever since Persephone left. The only problem is that the prior 11 candidates have all died trying to pass the tests set up by the council of deities, and Kate is Henry's last chance to remain alive as ruler. Though most of the characters are not as well developed as Kate, it is obvious that her mother's long battle with cancer has prepared her for the tests she is to face and the possibility of co-ruling the underworld. Carter's liberal take on the myth of Hades and Persephone is unique. Many girls will be drawn to Kate's budding romance with the brooding Henry in this evenly paced paranormal romance.-Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Goddess Test
The Goddess Test Series, Book 1
Aimée Carter
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