I’m a little weary writing this review, just because I don’t want to sell the book short and because I’m scared of spoiling it for whoever reads this review prior to reading the book.
I haven’t read Darling’s Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide To Getting Girls (and I will be!!), but I love that my introduction to her work is My Ex From Hell. The book in a nutshell is brilliant. It has a unique combination of romance, comedy and a fresh voice that you won’t find from anyone else.
Here is the plot without actually telling the story:
On one end of the ring we have Sophie, who is a 16 year old girl in a boarding school, her best friend, Hannah, a gorgeous Swedish looking (is she actually Swedish? I can’t remember now) and the third musketeer, Theo, their gay guy bestie. On the other end we have Bethany (and some insignificant, in this book anyway, of her followers). Then we have Kai, a gorgeous transfer to the school, who Bethany decides is hers *enter epic eye-roll here* and who makes Sophie relive things from the past.
But this is where things get complicated – Sophie is actually Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, in human form. And Kai is actually the some of Hades, Zeus’ brother. And here is where we kind of have a 3rd end to the ring: Zeus and Hades want Persephone dead.
The whole book is written from a nowadays sixteen year old girl, very hip, very much immersed in pop-culture, and very, very, VERY funny.
What more I love about the book, are the supporting characters. Hannah and Theo are who you’d want to be your best friends if you were to relive high-school again. They are loyal, loving, funny to a boot and as crazy as Sophie seems to be.
I found myself highlighting pretty much the entire book, since there were so many quotes I loved, that made me double over – burst out loud – laughing, like:
Sophie and Hannah: “You think I’m a freak?” I asked carefully. “Only sexually. Maybe physically. Definitely mentally.”
Sophie and Theo: He glanced at the bottle in surprise as he pushed his glasses back up his nose. “Vodka? Thought she’d be more of a peach cooler girl.” He launched into his “commercial voice.” “Parents, do your daughters come home smelling like an orchard? Is their giggle quotient higher than usual? They may be in thrall to the dangerous wine cooler. Gateway drug of the terminally insecure, its usage results in excessive clumsiness and the condition ‘trophy wife-itis.’ The lethalness of which only manifests after age thirty-five and ends in gutter living and suicide.” By this point, I was trying not to pee, I was laughing so hard. “Shut up,” I hissed.
“You dirty little Hobbit!” Hannah exclaimed. “You smooched your cousin.”
I shuddered. “My cousin?” I thought I might throw up.
Theo had the good grace to look sheepish. “Human standards of familial taboos don’t apply to the gods. Even so, first cousins can legally marry.”
“In the backwoods of Alabama,” I groaned. “Just give me a banjo and teach me the ‘Deliverance’ theme now.” I slapped my knee. “Yee haw!”
And the quote portion of the review ends here, because in all honesty, I’d just as well quote the entire book.
The way Darling used the Greek mythology to her advantage is nothing short of fantastic, literally. And making it work with modern day culture makes it all the more fun to read.
Anything Tellulah Darling writes from now on goes on my automatic ‘to-be-read’ list. Miss Darlin, you’ve got another fangirl!
This one is definitely a 2013 must read.
Thank you NetGalley, Te Da Media and the author for this advanced copy.