Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters by Emily Roberson

The classic legend of Theseus and the Minotaur gets a modernized update in Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters by Emily Roberson.

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

I want to start by clarifying one thing: I’ve seen a LOT of early readers compare this book to The Hunger Games, and there’s a good reason for that. Suzanne Collins has openly said that her best-selling dystopian novel was largely inspired by the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. So the similarities are there for good reason, as Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters is a fairly straight-forward retelling of the same myth.

I loved the way Roberson gave a modern twist to this classic Greek myth, using reality TV, celebrity, and social media as a way to re-frame the narrative. But despite these modern twists, the book is a fairly faithful retelling of the original myth. Perhaps just a little too faithful; the ending felt a bit rushed and haphazard, and I wish perhaps the author had taken a few more liberties to wrap things up in a more satisfying way.

Still, anyone who enjoys Greek mythology, will find plenty to enjoy in this fun twist on a classic tale. Look for Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters in stores now.

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