Saturday, January 07, 2023

Aphrodite the Beauty Graphic Novel

Holub, Joan and Williams, Suzanne. Aphrodite the Beauty Graphic Novel 
(Goddess Girls #3)
August 23, 2022 by Aladdin
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Mount Olympus Academy is full of plenty of drama, which makes sense, since the Greek gods and goddesses often found themselves immersed in intrigue and emotional chaos. Medusa has finally been returned to the school, with a warning that she is not supposed to unleash her powers on anyone. Aphrodite is getting a bit tired of the constant attention of all the God Boys, so she turns her beauty know-how to Athena, who doesn't seem to care as much about her appearance. Aphrodite thinks that everyone should fall in love and get married, and thinks that Athena could use a push in that direction, although she doesn't plan on pushing her in the way of Ares, who is insufferable, kind of cute, and someone in whom Aphrodite is interested. Instead of having her attention returned by Ares, the lame Hephaestus seems interested in her, sending her roses and even making her a gorgeous golden bracelet. He's nicer that the other boys, but she just doesn't feel "that way" about him. He is helpful, though; she's trying to help out a suitor of Atalanta, whose father is allowing men to race for her affections. Sadly, if they lose, they are put to death. Hippomenes wants to win Atalanta's hand, but would prefer not to die in the attempt, so asks for Aphrodite's help. It is Hephaestus who makes the golden apples that Hippomenes is able to use to win the race. Aphrodite is glad when Athena warms to her new look, but the two have some difficult moments when Aphrodite is jealous. Luckily, Artemis, Persephone, and other friends help them understand how they can work together toward common goals. 

Mount Olympus Academy, much like the school in Cooke's Oh My Gods! is filled with fun twists on classic mythological deities. These don't stray much from the canon; Artemis is more interested in her dogs, Ares is kind of a blowhard, and Medusa takes offense at every little thing and is always prepared to unleash the power of her serpentine locks on anyone who crosses her. Aphrodite's interest in love and beauty will resonate with fans on Tessier's Chloe books or Simonson's Junior High Drama.

Not only are the illustrations colored in lots of pinks, teals, and purples, but the goddesses have a glittery, sparkly effect all around them. There are plenty of fun details in the pictures, although I thought that Athena looked pretty much the same both before and after her makeover! 

This is one of the latest series to be turned in to graphic novels. Some of the first were, of course, Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club books, and lately we've seen Simon's Cupcake Diaries, several of Mary Down Hahn's books, Howe's Bunnicula, and Night's You're Invited to a Creepover series get a similar treatment. 
The original Goddess Girls series is 27 books long, so there is a lot of opportunity to turn these into graphic novels. Hand these to readers who enjoyed McMullan's Have a Hot Time Hades or Holub and Williams' Grimmtastic Girls or Thunder Girls series. 

As a former Latin teacher who spent many quality hours with my own personal children watching Disney's Young Hercules series, I can't say that I personally like these very much. All mortal maidens should be wed? That just about made my mind explode. The subplot with Aphrodite not liking Hephaestus was slightly disturbing. Clearly, I read way more into these than I should. The target demographic will like these, but they are just not my personal favorites

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