Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty

Middle School Book Reports just got a whole lot more awesome because I have successfully connived Steven Wiggins into helping me!!! I’m sure he wouldn’t have agreed if the book series in question wasn’t all about different Greco-Roman gods and goddesses in middle school! It’s called Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams! Clearly Steven wanted to be the first classics major to really make a close study of this groundbreaking new text in the field.

You can tell he's secretly enjoying himself

Props to Caitlin for convincing me to read all of these!! Well, she mainly just posted a link to it on my facebook wall, clearly well aware that I require almost no convincing to read ridiculous tween book series based somehow on really violent and sexually explicit ancient source material! Of course I immediately checked out as many as the library had available. Therefore I’m not reading them in any order–this one is actually book 3–but they each seem to be a separate story so Steven and I were not completely bewildered. Well, Steven was, but that was mostly about the term “godboy”.

I can't be the only one weirded out by her gigantic insect eyes, right?

Summary of Amazingness
By Patricia
Aphrodite decides to give her frumpy friend Athena a makeover!! But then gets super jealous when school hottie Ares, her secret crush, starts paying more attention to her friend! Plus, Hephaestus, a sweet but ugly boy keeps sending her flowers and gifts to woo her and making everyone gossip about how they’re an item when everyone knows Aphrodite has got STANDARDS, you guys. Everyone learns a lesson about true love and being honest by helping Hippomenes trick his way into Atalanta’s arms, and Athena reveals that sleazy Ares just wanted her advice on how to get a city named after him. Then Aphrodite sets Hephaestus up with some other nerdy chick and everyone lives happily ever after.

Thetis is all like "Make me some armor for my son or I'll stuff you into a locker, NERD"

Faithfulness to Original Mythos
By Steven
Okay, so firstly let’s ignore the whole middle school metaphor thing. Or that in this continuity the instructors (Principal Zeus, Mr. Cyclops, et al.) are supposed to be >= 1 generation in age and stature above the students (Athena, Atlas, Pandora, etc.). The characters mentioned are all more or less representative of their Greek originals–with the juicy bits left out–and there were a few standouts outside the normal range of the Pantheon. Props to the author for including not just Medusa, but also her sisters Euryale and Stheno, and double props for providing Ares the posse of Kydoimos (confusion in battle) and Makhai (spirits of battle), even though none of the above are really provided any back story. Small mistake in making Makhai singular (it refers to the brethren of spirits associated with battle, including Kydoimos) but otherwise pretty accurate. The Atalanta story is pretty spot on and Hephaestus’ loss of Aphrodite to Ares and subsequent matchup with Agleia is quasi-accurate as well, if missing the whole sex-in-a-net thing. Small demerit (or prop? I can’t decide) for “Arachne’s Sewing Supplies” in the Immortal Market, where Athena goes for yarn and needles; isn’t that sort of bad taste on Athena’s part? Four out of five stars for accuracy, the fifth being that I can’t get over this middle school metaphor! And the term “godboy”, of course.

Tween Girl Life Lessons
By Patricia
1) Every girl is super hot if you just restyle her hair and slather on enough makeup!
2) If you don’t like the way your friends look, just change them!
3) Beauty-ology is a completely serious class that you need to study; Athena, as a nerd, is completely failing!
4) If someone’s not hot enough to be your BF (and it’s totally okay to judge them on their looks or disabilities, btws) just string them along for awhile until you can set them up with someone more their scene

Patricia’s Favorites!!!
Character: Medusa! Her snake hair is fab and she’s fatally dangerous to all mortal students at the school, but no one seems worried about that? Plus, she thinks “Bubbles” is an appropriately mean-spirited nickname for the Goddess of Love.
Part: Anytime anyone says a spell. Example: “Blow wind, blow. Off you go. Deliver this message, and don’t be slow.” Even Ron Weasley wouldn’t have trouble with that one!
Thing I Learned: I didn’t know that Hephaestus got married after his divorce from Aphrodite (in the book represented by him going over to talk to some other girl in the cafeteria)! Which is cool because I always felt bad for him before.

Her hair's so big because it's full of SECRETS. And snakes.

Steven’s Favorites
Character: The sentient makeup brush, hands down. Goodbye Pantheon, hello Beauty and the Beast! Pheme (goddess of Fame but also vicious rumor) gets a mention, too, if only for being written closest to her original form.
Part: The Immortal Marketplace: Arachne’s Sewing Supplies and Cleo’s (Cleopatra?) Cosmetics for the girls and Arts of Warfare for the boys.
Thing I Learned: I learned that adding “-ology” to any term immediately makes it an Immortal class subject. I’m now shooting for “Mortal-ology,” hopefully this series’ answer to HP’s “Muggle Studies.”

Goddess Girls Glossary of Ridiculous Terms
textscroll–like a textbook, but a scroll! Comes in colors
scrollizine–a magazine! Useful for getting makeover inspiration
godboy–the boy equivalent of a “goddessgirl”
lyrebell–how you tell when to change classes!

Next Time: Artemis the Brave!!

Or read them in order: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6

2 responses to “Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty”

  1. […] Next Time: Aphrodite the Diva!! Previously: Aphrodite the Beauty […]

  2. Brian says:

    The Wiggs’ write-up (you do call him The Wiggs, right? If not, why not?) makes me almost feel like I could read some of these books. Heh. Readabilityology.

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