As a lover of Greek Mythology, the title was the first thing that drew me in. I didn't know how one became Athena if it wasn't going to be the goddess's story but knowing the aspects of her made for a promising main character I'd follow around for a while. And Scarlet didn't disappoint. She starts as this standoffish girl in high school, who doesn't fit in nor stands out. The demons she faced made me instantly want to see her victory, and that had everything to do with how strong her will was. She had all of these rules that kept her motivated and gave her control over her life. While some of them were restraining, they made her a good sister with good intentions. It was just that she wasn't exactly living.
Cy was unexpected and constantly kept me wondering. First, who doesn't love a chivalrous Texan boy with enough charm to challenge a leprechaun? Add in five little sisters who adore him and his love for fixing up cars, I was hooked from the first time he called her, "love."
What I do want to mention is that this book is about religion. The theme of Mormonism is heavy, and while that may draw readers away, it didn't feel like a sales pitch to me. I thought it was brave of Lore to use such an element to influence character actions and development. What she did well was making Scarlet unsubscribe to the religion or any religion. In a community where she was from the only non-Mormon family, there's a lot of discussions had that both supports and challenges religious views. If I can also learn while reading a contemporary romance that's a bonus for me. I learned a lot about religion, but I also learned a lot about Greek Mythology, astronomy, and science. All things that are difficult to comprehend but used so effectively that I now feel smarter.
I won't give any spoilers, but this is a love story. It's full of youth and identity-searching in the beginning. High school never fails to push limits or be the landscape of our greatest mistakes. There's also a lot of heartbreak because both Scarlet and Cy were still learning how to balance their separate obstacles - obstacles that exuded a lot of emotion from me and I thank Lore that she split them throughout the novel so that I didn't suffer two-fold from the beginning. I don't know how I would've survived.) These two made me believe in love and that's a mark of a good love story, no matter how sidelined I was by the number of tears I ended up shedding.
Becoming Athena has family drama, coming-of-age, signs from the gods, and discussions of religion. This story made me question my faith, made me think about mortality, and watch for signs of opportunity. I am wowed by Katherine Lore's writing. This was a moving debut and an author to watch out for.