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ARC: The Widely Unknown Myth of Apple and Dorothy

Modern retellings of Greek myths are trendy in the book world, but The Widely Unknown Myth of Apple and Dorothy by Corey Ann Haydu takes it a step further and creates a Greek myth set in the modern world.

A group of descendants of Greek gods live on a hill in the human world. They observe humans and try to live similarly to them, but they are immortal. Every winter solstice they climb a ladder into the clouds and visit Olympus to keep their near-god status.

The story of Dorothy and Apple starts when Dorothy's mom decides one year not to make the climb. That means she will become fully human. She thinks she will live a long, human life - but tragedy strikes shortly after her decision and death comes to the near-god community for the first time.

The gods give the near-gods an ultimatum to either become fully gods or fully humans. Dorothy and Apple have to make this decision while being influenced by their friendship, their parents and their loss.

The old myths inform the present decisions and the girls are taken on an emotional journey. They explore grief, depression, peer pressure, and generational trauma; as well as found family, friendship and hope.

For the characters being 12-years-old, the book is kind of strange. There are some pretty deep thoughts being explored and I feel it would have made more sense if Dorothy and Apple were nearing adulthood. However, this is billed as juvenile ficction. So I guess it's written to maybe help kids digest big life changes?

Some of the back-and-forth starts to feel repetitive about three-quarters in.

This would also be a heavy read for some people who are dealing with their own loss of a close family member. It sort of reads like you've lost someone to suicide are are deciding how to deal with your own depression and whether or not to move forward in your own life. So, major trigger warning.

Ultimately, it was a lovely little story of how to overcome when you feel like a shadow of yourself and how the people around you become part of that journey. I liked it as an adult, so hopefully it would be a fun modern myth for a younger audience.

Stars: 3/5

Busy Girls Rating: 4/5

Thanks to HarperCollins Children's Books and NetGalley for the advance copy. The book is available on September 19, 2023.

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