Cover Image: Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

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Member Reviews

I am a sucker for a story involving Greek mythology so I couldn't resist this one. This felt like a refreshing spin on a classic tale!

The chemistry between Ariadne and Theseus was very well written and they were a great team. The one downfall to the entire story: instalove. I am never a fan of that as it is ever relatable and it can turn me off of a story. However, I still continued on with this to see if it got better. Thankfully it did but I could not believe the "romance" between the characters because of that.

Overall, I would recommend this to readers for something different to read.
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Do you think the Greek God of time would be for or against Daylight Savings Time? Is there a Greek God of time? Can we do a ritual or something and ask them?

Even though I barely know what day it is, I am losing my mind over this latest book tour by Rockstar Book Tours. Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters is the literary Baz Luhrmann mash up I am obsessed with.

“Killing a big-name monster is the fastest route to something even more valuable–fame, eternal glory, their name written in the stars.”

Take the legend of the Minotaur, set it in a modern Greek world where Gods and Goddesses, Kings and Queens, still rule the people. Add the myth of the maze and turn it into a worldwide televised reality gameshow, and you have Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters.

This is obviously an over-simplistic summary of this book. Roberson gives so much life to this myth. The Minotaur isn’t a senseless beast. Or at least, not entirely. The depth of his character is one of the reasons this modern retelling works so well.

Same with Ariadne, Theseus, and Icarus. This isn’t a callous legend, where the whims of gods highlight their cruelty and humans are fickle creatures merely doing what they’re told. These characters are complex and you can feel the turmoil and struggle they face as this story progresses.

“I thought I was special because I hid from the cameras, because I was my own person. But I always only did what I was told.”

The idea of putting these legends in the scope of reality television is BRILLIANT!!! It’s not that it captures a certain accessibility to make this story modern. These legends were the reality television of ancient Greece. The heroes were revered and the villains provoked terror. To place it beneath cameras and ratings and social media blasts is simply genius. I love that this gives teens not just a way to relate to the story, but also to understand how important these stories were to these ancient cultures.

Now, I realize I’ve been on a Baz Luhrmann kick, and I’m not even sorry about it. But seriously, to all the gods and goddesses, what sacrifice do I need to make to get him directing this delicious novel into a movie BECAUSE I NEED THIS NOW!!!

In fact, just do all the greek myths based on this idea, because legends told through the lens of modern reality television is exactly the entertainment I need in my life. I think it’s the only version of reality TV I can take, TBH, and it may not even be reality television, exactly, but I don’t care. I crave this story in full visual effect.

“Ariadne, we’ve just established that destiny is a manipulative pile of trash, have we not?”

While this book was focused entirely on the Maze and the Minotaur, Roberson sets up the expansion of not just these characters, but tying in for future legends as well. And if I can’t get Baz Luhrmann to direct all of these stories, I really hope Roberson writes more. At least give me that! Whatever legend she tackles next, I will be devouring it. Hades, even if it isn’t a legend, I’ll be grabbing it because I am a fan!

Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours and FSG Books for sending me a copy and including me on this tour!
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I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.

What an interesting and fun take on a Greek myth! I am a HUGE fan of mythology, and to have that modernized with the whole Hunger Games-vibed reality TV show was really great. There were enough twists and turns to keep me entertained, and who can beat some swoony vibes thrown into the mix?
All in all, a great read!
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Bloody and dark, but filled with warm family relationships too, this take on the Minotaur legend is uniquely suited for our modern, social media age. It's the Hunger Games meets Greek mythology meets the Kardashians, and I was rooting for Ariadne the whole way through!
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This is an astoundingly clever mash-up of Greek mythology, celebrity culture (think 'Keeping Up with The Kardashians'), and the Hunger Games; altogether the story of Ariadne and Theseus is told, where the gods are under the lens 24/7 just like Khloe and Kim, and ratings are always king. The monster is the Minotaur, Ariadne's brother, a tragic character, who is supposed to be killed by whoever solves the maze. Ariadne is caught between helping her new-found love or helping her family, with everything having been written by the gods.

Life's tricky when your dad is King of Crete.

It's kind of nauseating to read about Greek gods and goddesses caught up in the trappings of modern life, of cell phones, celebrity gossip, and social media, BUT its also really fun. Suspend your disbelief for a little while and imagine Ariadne with an iPhone. She is also a strong heroine in this novel who carries the whole storyline, making you root for her the whole way through.

Author Roberson is making Greek myth accessible for a newer generation at the same time questioning the way we value celebrity; she has written something decidedly clever and unique. Her writing is provocative without being too obvious, and it's both funny and intelligent.

Purists may have a hard time with a book like this but it's hard not to get caught up in the idea of it. If you liked the Hunger Games, like Greek myths and can see the funny side of celebrity culture, give this is a go.
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Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters is a wonderful spin on mythology that we're all familiar with. I loved the concept and the writing was a ton of fun to read!
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This was. So. Fun. It went a lot of directions I didn't see and it went in some real dark, heavy places, but it always had the lighter tone that kept it from being a heavy read. And the beginning was a little predictable, especially if you know the myths, but the ending definitely threw me. I'm not super familiar with the myths, so it was a delightful surprise how most things went down.
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I loved this retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur through the eyes of Ariadne and in a more modern time period! I’ve been feeling a mythology binge, and this fulfilled my needs!
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The premise of this book stood out to me for a while - the Kardashian's meets Mythology! But also has a Hunger Games vibe... it was really cool. I regret waiting so long to read this, but I haven't been in a fantasy mood as of late and this just didn't interest me, but this had just the right amount of contemporary vibes to get me interested. That, and I LOVE mythology. 
This was really interesting and I'm glad I finally got to it!
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Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters has some salient strong points in its themes.    I like how the book takes a critical look at celebrity culture, putting tabloids and reality TV on blast, as well as the exploration of family secrets and the need to "keep up appearances".  However, I found it to be too "teeny" even for my taste (and I usually enjoy YA novels and teen comedies).  Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters is a bit melodramatic, and the Labyrinth Contest aspect was reminiscent of the dystopian YA novels that I despise, such as The Hunger Games.  Ariadne also has a case of "I'm not like other girls" which bothers me on a good day.  Overall though, I enjoyed parts of the story and did laugh at times.
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I really enjoyed a great many things about this book. Characters were fleshed out and the plot was well spaced. Some of the secondary storylines could've used a bit more page space but all in all an enjoyable read!
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If you like Greek mythology, this will be a fun book for you.  The text follows Ariadne, Theseus, Icarus, the Minotaur, and all of your favorite character's from the Minotaur's myth. Lifestyles bases the events in an updated Crete where social media, streaming, and "likes" abound.

The character development is interesting. The plot is similar to many dystopian life/death competition (very Hunger Games-esque), but the characters are well-known to fans of Greek myths. There are some story lines that don't feel quite complete, and the text even points out the issues with following Theseus' story to the end, and then mimics the same error it points out. 

Did I enjoy the book? Yes.

Would I read it again? Probably not.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Maybe
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While reading this, my mind kept going and thinking this would be what the Capitol Hunger Games would have looked like if Katniss didn't kill a certain someone. Also, the reality show parts were Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Pretty Wild inspired. The Greek mythology and pimping out the young goddesses was very disturbing and sickening throughout. The relationship between Ariadne and the minotaur was extremely sad and made me cry. I would definitely love a sequel.
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I couldn't really get into this one. I didn't find a connect to the characters or the story. I think this was a bad case of its not you but me.
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This book was great fun. I was really drawn in by the unique concept of reality TV combined with ancient Greek mythology. It was really funny and really nicely combined the modern world with ancient Greeks. I'd definitely recommend to others.
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and RockStar Book Tours for this free copy.

Wasn’t I just talking about how I needed some contemporary novels mixed in with some gods and goddesses involved? This is literally what this book gave me, and I’m all for it.

I usually don’t really pay much attention to Ariadne and her story, but I liked this little twist on the usual mythology surrounding her. She actually became someone that I may end up liking more than their source material. And Theseus, although I do kind of wish that it could have been another person that wasn’t in the original myth that was involved more. But it’s okay, really. I still enjoyed the story.

Something about having the gods involved in a reality show type of thing… is super intriguing because I usually don’t get into reality shows! So reading it in a book was one that I didn’t think I’d actually be able to enjoy, but this proved me wrong. Although, I really think that having them be mythical gods made it cool enough? It’s kind of hard to explain but, seeing them in such a human type of concept makes them seem so much more approachable.

Although I don’t know how I would feel if I had to watch kids try to kill a monster but are the ones that end up getting killed or whatever. It’s almost like Battle Royale and The Hunger Games but with deities, you know?

Of course, we know that Ariadne and Theseus are supposed to be endgame, because if we follow the actual story that’s kind of what happens – but then again I don’t really remember the story – so I wasn’t really expecting anything else, but I thought the whole falling for Theseus thing was kind of cute!

But yeah! I know this review was all over the place but I liked it! I think you should definitely give it a try. Have fun with it, be wary of some people acting very… demanding so yeah. Just be on the lookout for that.
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I hadn’t really heard much about this book before seeing the blog tour announcement, but I was instantly intrigued by the cover and the description. I love the idea of taking very old mythology stories and transplanting them into today’s world, and Ms. Roberson did a great job of this. It was actually believable to me that something like this story could happen today; it almost makes you wonder what contemporary real-life events may be told millenia from now as “ancient mythology”! 

Ms. Roberson had fun with the story, and there were a number of light moments and times I laughed when reading about folks like Theseus and the Paradoxes and Icarus using modern technology. However, at the same time there is some pretty incisive and biting social commentary on reality television culture and the possible pernicious effects of social media (e.g., “influencer” culture). It also makes you wonder what really goes on behind the scenes on these “reality” shows. I guess we intuitively know that much of what we see is scripted and heavily edited, but reading about cameras following the characters everywhere and plotlines for supposedly real-life shows being storyboarded just kind of bought it home. I don’t watch or follow or know anything about the Kardashians, but they were all I could think about when reading, especially with respect to Ariadne’s sisters, Xenodice and Acalle, known as the Paradoxes. 

The characters were definitely larger than life, which I suppose is to be expected when dealing with figures from mythology! But I had some serious, deep-seated reactions to them, for sure. Ariadne’s mother and father, Pasiphae and King Minos, in, they were really quite despicable. My favorite character was probably the Minotaur, not so much because he plays a heavy role in the story, but because I swear my heart cracked a little each time he was on the page. I also really liked the portrayal of Icarus, and I would be *very* interested in a book from Acalle’s perspective, because hoo-boy do I think she has a story to tell!

Basically, if you love mythology and/or reality/influencer culture, you should pick up LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS by Emily Roberson. There’s a lot to like here, and a lot to ponder, as well. This is a solid debut!

RATING: 3.5 stars!

**Disclosure: I received an e-ARC of this book for purposes of this blog tour. This review is voluntary on my part and reflects my honest rating and review of the book.
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Ariadne has spent the last ten years as the mysterious keeper of the labyrinth, the one that cares for the beastly Minotaur inside and leads the 14 contestants every year inside for the reality show, The Labyrinth Contest. But nobody knows that she is really a sad teen girl who wants nothing more but to have the show/game end and for her baby brother to get some peace. This year is different though, and it might just be the arrival of Prince Theseus that causes the change. 

I love all things Greek mythology so I was super excited to get my hands on this story. The best way to describe this book would be Greek mythology meets pop culture reality television. It was the traditional story lines (with creepy bull infatuations and all!) found in the mythology but set in a modern-ish setting with every single technological update and the world's love of racy reality TV and ratings. Everything most of the characters did was to get ratings and it was so over the top at times I could not help but to cringe. As someone who does not like watching reality TV, I always eat up the books about it, but this was a little too shock value to me. The side characters were one dimensional for the most part, basically just playing a role expected fro the show, the only one who was fully fleshed out was Ariadne and she was almost a stereotype of the perfect wholesome, big-hearted girl that I could not connect to.

To be fair, it could very easily be me just not feeling the story since I see tons of other people raving about the book. I personally could not get into the story or connect to it, reading the book was more of a chore, and overall the story was pretty sad. Overall, Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters was an incredibly original idea, one I have never seen before that mixed two very different topics to create something cohesive
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This contemporary retelling of the Minotaur myth remains true to the spirit of the story while adroitly parodying current reality TV culture. Ariadne's wealth and family celebrity may not be one that the everyday teen faces, her struggles to find her place in her family, understand the will of the gods, and deal with family loyalty, grief and revenge are universal. The portrayals of Theseus and Asterion/Minotaur  are equally well done.  I don't believe the cover is nearly as enticing as this highly engaging read.
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A very fun and original take on the Minotaur myth by way of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Hunger Games. While an enjoyable, fast read, this book is ultimately a disappointing execution of an intriguing conceit, and I found myself at times wishing that the book were either 1) told instead as a graphic narrative, because the stories strengths are more in ideas and set-pieces than in its prose or 2) longer and more developed with more attention paid to world-building and the inner lives of the secondary characters. This is such a strange twist on mythology, but the plot (with few changes from the original myth) ploughs on ahead so quickly we're not given enough time to dwell in this world or given enough insight into Ariadne's supporting cast for the critiques of a reality TV-obsessed culture to pack any real punch. The exception to this is the development of Ariadne and Asterion's relationship, which was touching and well-handled, and added something new and humane to the original myth.

That said, wanting to spend MORE time in an author's world is not such a bad thing, and so I would still recommend this as a fun and original reimagining that refreshingly doesn't bowdlerize Greek mythology for a YA audience (that wooden bull... that wooden bull...).

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an digital advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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