by P. J. Hoover
Piper lives in a world of extreme heat. It's a cool day if the temperature dips below 100˚, and it often goes over the danger level of 122˚. Piper's mom is overprotective to the extreme, and she has one friend, Chloe. She claims to love her mother, but I found this a little hard to believe because she always complains about her. Then come two new boys, Shayne and Reese, and both of them are extremely good-looking, and both of them have an interest in Piper.
Then Piper's mom suddenly leaves because her father is nearby, and he is not allowed anywhere near her. Within the first few chapters, Piper hardly does anything that her mom would like. She breaks about every rule she can. She gets a tattoo. She goes on a date. But really, she wouldn't do anything to hurt her mom because she cares about her.
On one of her excursions, Chloe is killed (except not really). Shayne, who is nearby, tries to comfort her, and he does so by bringing her down to where he lives - the Underworld. Shayne is really Hades, the ancient Greek god. In this aspect, Piper is also a bit patchy. She recognizes Charon because she has studied Greek mythology in school. However, she does not know that there is an assembly of gods, and she does not know about Cerberus. Her knowledge, like her character, is inconsistent.
Ares also shows up, and he has some powers that I have never heard of him having before. There were other strange myths in the story, but I am not a mythology expert, so I have no idea how true they are, and the author is allowed some creative liberty, which she uses. Past the first hundred or so pages, the story gets better. The beginning was terrible because too many things just happened conveniently, and it made the book look like a bad romance. The events were generally explained, though I didn't like some of the things, and I still don't know how everyone managed to find Piper at once.
The book is a 2.5. I enjoy these types of books, but it has been done much better. Rick Riordan, for instance, manages to incorporate more of the well-known myths, and it was amusing, whereas this book took a while to get going, and even then it was a bit wobbly. Once you figure out what's going on, you end up way ahead of Piper, and a lot of the book is her catching up to you. Also, I could not get my head around Hades being a hot teenager. The image just did not work for me. This book is chicken noodle soup, except the chicken isn't the best in the world. You eat it, and every once in a while, you reach a chunk of chicken or carrot and wish it tasted a little better. The soup is familiar, and you know what to expect.