Title: Downcast (Olympus Falling #1)
Author: Cait Reynolds
Publisher: Booktrope May 28, 2015
Format: ARC via Netgalley
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Stephanie is a girl who is starting her senior year of high school and she’s not planning on an exciting year. She’s just hoping to continue to go on unnoticed by the popular, and often mean, crowd. Her mother is extremely strict and overbearing, which means the only time she can see her friends is during school. Helen and Morris are the only friends that she has and they sit at the bottom of the social ladder as well. They understand that she wears linen dresses with no form or style and brings tofu for lunch because her mom makes her. The only time she goes anywhere outside of school is when she goes to her part time job in the floral department of the local grocery store, where her mom also works. She’s accepted the drab life that she lives but everything changes when she meets Haley. Haley and his brother Zack are new to her school and she can’t quite figure them out. She can’t quite figure out if Haley’s apparent interest in her is genuine and is convinced he must have some sort of ulterior motive. Nothing is going as planned her senior year and the more she pushes Haley away the more he pursues her. Steph is not going unnoticed by the mean girls of the school anymore and her mom is starting to go way past strict.
I was immediately interested in this book because I knew it somehow involved Greek mythology. It’s not a mythology that I find often in the books that i read and I was curious how it would work into the story. I don’t want to tell you how it works with the story because half the fun of the book was figuring that out. I have read A LOT of books dealing with various different mythologies that involve immortal creatures…fallen angels or gods of some sort. Many of them I’ve enjoyed but a lot of times it doesn’t take long to figure out that its a different take on these immortal beings having children with mortals and these children having some sort of special powers and dealing with those powers. I mention this because that’s sort of what I was expecting with Downcast but I was happy to see something completely different!
Right from the start Stephanie is a likable character and if you weren’t one of the super popular kids in high school you sympathize with her right away. When we’re introduced to her friends Helen and Morris their personalities shine through. And then there’s Haley….I like him as a romantic male lead. Right from the start he treats her like a person and shows interest. He doesn’t back down because of pressure from other classmates and he treats her well. The mysteriousness that surrounds him doesn’t hurt his appeal either! I can’t forget to mention Haley’s brother Zack… I think he may have been my favorite. He was always so carefree and fun while providing a nice balance to the super seriousness of Haley. One sign of a really great book to me is a book filled with characters that come to life and Downcast was filled with them.
It’s hard to get into to many details of the plot without giving away too much. There are so many things that Stephanie is trying to figure out as the book goes on. As a result I was trying to figure them out too and I love when these things aren’t all obvious in a book. Who are Haley and Zack? Why is Haley so interested in her? What is going on with her mother lately? The story isn’t just about romance and intrigue either. For those of you who love a buildup to some action we definitely get that too! I really enjoyed the way Stephanie changed and grew as a person as she slowly began to realize things that were going on.
As a reader of many series one of the most frustrating things can be the ending. Cliffhangers are sometimes so painful! This book leaves you wanting more while also wrapping up the book in a satisfying way. There’s nothing worse for me than reading the last page of a book and feeling like there must be another chapter or page because it can’t possibly end that way. When I finished Downcast I found myself wondering what would happen in the next book without feeling like I was cheated out of a real ending to this book. So, would I recommend this book to someone else? Absolutely!