by Simren Handa
In My Date From Hell, book two in the Blooming Goddess Trilogy, Tellulah Darling has crafted a perfectly imaginative and witty novel filled with quirky, interesting characters which appeal wonderfully to the YA market. I laughed numerous times at some of the lively one liners and, overall, thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sophie, Kai, Festos, Theo, Hannah and Pierce. Each character was distinctive in their appeal and as a protagonist, I thought that Sophie was believably vulnerable; a sixteen year old with issues and complications, plenty of snark and feisty charm, battling through the trials of growing up in la la land with her friends. And while Sophie and Kai’s romance is the pivotal one (not exaggerating– Sophie and Kai’s romance is literally a main focus to the plot), this is GayYA. I’m going to focus on Festos and Theo who provide a running side romance that is equally, if not more, beautiful, complicated and fun to read about.
Tellulah Darling, as a writer, does not fail to disappoint with Theo and Festos’ characters; similar in their pedantic technicalities over Greek names, different in practically every other way and rich in background plot that touches on the theme of a rather painful betrayal on Festos’ part featuring a liver, a vulture and an apologetically bashful Festos. This couple grabbed me and kept me on their ride. Theo’s character: driven, rather moody and insouciant, complimented Festos and his bright, openly fabulous persona. Darling kept her readers on the edge with constant plot twists, sudden, exciting cliffhangers and choppy sentences that kept the pace of the story fairly fast. It worked hand in hand with her explosive romance-driven story-line; where Theo was initially unforgiving of his red haired former lover, it doesn’t take long for him to warm up to Festos and their love story to develop rapidly.
The reader doesn’t have a huge amount of time to investigate the nuances of Theo and Festos’ tumultuous romance, which was a slight let down. Anything that we read is through Sophie’s eyes alone as the book is in first person, however, the rather biased account is in the couple’s favour; as Sophie roots for the two to get together, the reader is drawn in to the energetic, vibrancy of the author’s writing and begins to get drawn into the fast-paced plot.
As a compliment to the story, A Date of Godlike Proportions, is a novella which precedes My Date from Hell, and is perfect for those who want to zoom in a little bit on Theo and Festos, their gorgeous, dysfunctionally perfect relationship. The short, sweet story tells the tale of Theo’s guilt, the reason behind his self-deprecating tightness and gives the relationship more vulnerability and a deeper, more meaningful reason to enjoy the two gods. I would recommend reading it after book one and two.
Tellulah Darling has sparks of talent that run through her story, creating characters that I genuinely began to care for. Even antagonistic characters such as Bethany and Jack had dimensions to them that is difficult for an author to pull off, it surprised me, somewhat, that such a rapid, action based, intensely plot-driven book had the time or the effort to pull off characters that had so much depth and variety in terms of emotions and backgrounds. Of course, the story is not perfect; the book had some excusable typos which detracted me from the plot and made me backtrack slightly, but typos are alright when you’re reading a book as riveting and entertaining as this one. As a writer myself, I find typos annoying but able to look over. And while I hate comparisons, I’ll make a positive one: this book really reminded me of a more adult, less intricately developed Percy Jackson with the Greek theme and the unique, interesting and imaginative take on the idea of Greek gods. I will definitely be reading the last book.
How can I not after that cliffhanger?
Find out more about Tellulah Darling and her books here.
Simren is an 18 year old student with a passion for reading and a glutton for romance, adventure and wit. She writes as much as possible in her free time, be it journalism, fiction or reviews.
Find her on twitter @Simren2105, or drop a comment down below.