by Shana Norris
Genre: Young Adult, mythology, retellingsPublished: August 1st 2009 by Harry N. Abrams
Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena–who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders–transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten.The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its incendiary cast of mythic proportions.
First line: It was a late Sunday afternoon when I kissed my best friend.
About the characters:
Cassie – the main character is not likeable. It's like she's this helpless heroine caught between two rivalring kingdoms (well, in this case, schools).
Greg – I don’t like him; he’s completely clueless about Cassie’s feelings towards him; he could have chosen not to take sides in the rivalry between Troy and Lacede but instead, he helped his brother carry out his stupid pranks, then tried to justify himself by insisting that he had no choice
Hunter – I sort of liked him because he is a real brother to Cassie, actually cares for her and tries to protect her, unlike Perry who does nothing but tease Cassie in front of the school
Elena – although she’s kinda shallow, I liked the fact that she’s a friend to Cassie, although the latter was thinking that Elena only uses her to get close to Perry. She sincerely cares for Cassie and helps her have other friends
Lucas – a pathetic loser who can't accept the fact that his girlfriend dumped him for an enemy (not that I can't blame him for being angry)
About the story:
It was kinda lame, the whole rivalry thing between the two high schools. The thing that bugged me though was the pranks. Putting laxatives in the cafeteria food? What if someone's allergic to laxatives and ate that spaghetti? Things could've been serious, right? And I think cutting off the Trojan statue's head is destruction of property. I can't believe these high school students would go that far just because of the long-standing rivalry between Troy and Lacede. And the worst thing is that the ones wholly responsible for those pranks got away with it. They weren't punished because the ones who were caught did not have to guts to tell the truth.
Here comes the reason why I find Cassie irritating. She could have ended the 'war' between her and Greg's school. She knew everything so she had it in her power to go to an authority and put a stop to those pranks. But she did not because 1.) she wanted to protect her brothers, 2.) she did not want to be an outcast again, and 3.) she insisted that this war has nothing to do with her friendship with Greg. And look what happened to that friendship. Her reluctance to do what is right made her a coward in my eyes and no, I can't tolerate characters like that.
The pace of the story’s somewhat slow although it became better towards the end. I expected that Troy High would win the homecoming game since it’s the school of the main character. But it’s a good thing they didn't. It lessened the predictability of the story.
It was an easy and light read. All in all, it was okay but not the kind of book I'd like to read twice.