Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters – Emily Roberson

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Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: October 20th, 2019
Publisher: FSG
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Forbidden Love, Competition, Reality TV


This book was such a pleasurable experience. I feel like sincerely thanking the author for writing it because we all need positive distractions in our lives. I’m a university student who takes school seriously but I also need time to chill with a fun and surprising book. This story combines so many of the things I enjoy immersing myself in: mythology, retellings, forbidden love, competition and reality TV. I especially liked the ways in which Emily Roberson negotiated antiquity and modernity. On the one hand, Ariadne and everyone else in her world believe in the gods—Poseidon, Athena and such—and will do anything to please them. On the other hand, technology is very much present in everyday life and myths are understood as truths to be remembered but also, to some, truths to be questioned.

I was alternating between this book and another fantasy one and I loved going back to this one because Emily Roberson’s writing is so easy on the brain. She doesn’t over-tell, over-describe, over-do it. And she knows what readers want to see. I thought the way she contextualized the maze competition to kill the Minotaur was well done. She made me interested in the event, excited to see it unfold and apprehensive for both the competitors and the Minotaur himself. I also found the main character herself—Ariadne—to be easy to relate to, likeable and just a genuinely good-hearted person that I wouldn’t have minded befriending. On the down side, the ending was rushed so I’m not quite sure what will happen with some of the characters and I don’t agree with how the BIG REVELATION was discovered since it didn’t happen naturally with regards to the storyline. That’s why I can’t give it five stars but I really had fun with it and, who knows, you might as well.


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