Title: Lovely War
Author: Julie Berry
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5/5 paws
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields. Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans. Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.
“The most ordinary mortal bodies are housed by spectacular souls.”
I think I might be gushing about this book for the rest of my life.
That being said, it’s almost too good I don’t even have the words to describe it, I loved everything about it.
Beautiful is really the first word that comes to mind. The construction, the format, the writing, the plot, the characters; everything came together so perfectly.
The whole premise of the book sounded so interesting to me and I absolutely love how all of the ideas in it were pulled together. Lovely War covers so many different things from war to romance to discrimination to mortality and it does so in such an exquisite manner. Each topic is covered in great detail without feeling like the book is trying to do too much.
The biggest thing that stood out to me at first was the writing itself. I adore the writing style. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was about it that pulled me in so much but I feel like each character had such a distinct voice that were each captivating in their own way. I loved the descriptions and the overall flow of the novel as we follow the events across time.
The romance and relationships will completely pull at your heartstrings. These are deep and impactful connections that resonated so much as I was reading. I genuinely cared for all of these characters and their relationships and was so eager to see how things turned out for them.
The fact that this was told through the perspective of Greek gods made for such an interesting experience and I think that, while the love and war storylines were enough to stand on their own, the side trial of Aphrodite added the perfect extra layer.
If this book even sounds mildly interesting to you, I highly recommend giving it a try. It has easily become one of my new favorites of all time.
What was your last 5-star read?