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Lovely War

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  44,167 ratings  ·  8,532 reviews
It's 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She's a shy and talented pianist; he's a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it's immediate and deep--and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenche
Hardcover, 471 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Emma_the_bookworm As a 14 year old, I really enjoyed this book! I didn't think that the romance was too much, and it definitely felt age appropriate. The writing style …moreAs a 14 year old, I really enjoyed this book! I didn't think that the romance was too much, and it definitely felt age appropriate. The writing style and the plot were easy for me to follow, and I never felt that the book was overly complicated or dense.

One of my favorite parts of Lovely War was that Greek Gods were tied into the story. I was only familiar with Greek gods from reading Percy Jackson, so it was fun to read about them again in a new setting, with different personalities then I was used to. I also loved that music played such a huge role in Lovely War, and that I got to read about the beginnings of jazz in the US.

The hardest part of this book for me was reading about the pain and suffering that comes with war, but I thought the author handled it very well. The book is not overly depressing, violent or graphic. However, there are some descriptions of life in the trenches, racial prejudice/hate crimes and PTSD. There is also discussion about racial prejudice in the military. I think that it would be a great way to start/continue a conversation about racial prejudice in the US, especially because one of the main characters is an African American soldier facing discrimination.

Lovely War had a very creative plot, with characters who I connected with and cared about. I would recommend this to any teenager who likes historical fiction, enjoys romance that isn't graphic, and appreciates music. I hope this helps! :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,167 ratings  ·  8,532 reviews

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Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I love this book desperately. I did write it, so the possibility of bias is real. :) I can't wait to share it with the world. The year-plus I spent researching, writing, and revising it was intense, and harrowing at times, but I'm thrilled with where we landed. Here's hoping you enjoy it, too.

Hazel, a pianist, and James, a builder-turned-soldier, meet at a London dance in late 1917, on the eve of his departure for the trenches of World War I. Aubrey, a Harlem ragtime musician, and Colette, a Be
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cried at least 7 separate times while reading this book. The four central characters are all endearing and lovely, and I was deeply touched by the humanity and hope that leaked during a tragic period of history, and the relationship between love and war. Huge props to Berry for incorporating the perspectives of black soldiers with such care and poignancy while giving Aubrey so much personality. While the romance does develop quickly, I still found the book to be charming and heart-wrenching gi ...more
chai ♡
Feb 26, 2021 marked it as will-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
The only tears I cried were a product of boredom

Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
im surprised i broke my WWI/WWII historical fiction hiatus, but i kept seeing so many positive reviews for this, so i made an exception.

and i understand the hype. its quite something to write such a lovely story about war - you wouldnt think its possible. and this is, lovely. but at the heart of it, it just feels like every other WW story.

the only novelty of this is that its told from perspective of greek gods and i love that. i found this part of the story the most interesting, so im bummed th
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love

This book is narrated by greek gods, but are we sure it isn't written by one too? Lovely War feels as if it is on a plane higher than us mere mortals. Julie Berry, I'm not sure what magic you cast over me but please never stop.

It usually takes me around 50 pages or so to get acquainted with a story, the characters and setting. With Lovely War, I was entranced from page one. By page ten I was laughing. By page fifteen I was swooning. By page twenty, I felt as if I knew these character
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars-2020
That shit hurted.
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
Classic WW story, but with a magical spin.

What’s cool, unique, fascinating (and totally unexpected as I went into this knowing absolutely nothing) about it is the fact that it is narrated by Greek gods. Yes, you aren’t trippin’. We have Aphrodite, Ares, and Hephaestus with special guests from Apollo and Hades. All of them telling stories about love and war that tug at your heartstrings and evoke so many emotions out of you.

Particularly one that is tied to four different characters and two sets o
Michael Finocchiaro
This book would have maybe gotten four stars because of the discussion of topics such as James Reese Europe and the introduction of jazz in Europe during WWI, the treatment of black troops during the war, and the horrors of the trenches. And yet, the framing technique of a story told by Ares, Aphrodite and Hephaestus did absolutely not work for me. The writing was ok, if sappy when the narrative concentrated on Hazel, James, Colette and Aubrey but it was stilted and awkward when the gods were sp ...more
Althea ☾
Whoever said “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, obviously read this book. The narration of the Greek gods gave the story a timeless feeling and I think we all need to read a story like that every once in a while (yes, it’s narrated by Aphrodite, Ares, Hades, Apollo… yes.)

”Let them start their dreadful wars, let destruction rain down, and let plague sweep through, but I will still be here, doing my work, holding humankind together with love like this.”

I loved the way it played on the cla
Jul 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
What makes this book different from others in this genre is that Greek gods are basically narrating the events and discussing them. Lovely War follows the story of two couples during WWI. It's also very heavy on romance and less on the actual war (although we see it, of course, but mostly relating to the story of the couples and less like usual WWII books).

So let's get it out of the way. I expected this book to have romance but not that much... I really can no longer stand so much romance with l
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
This book took me on a journey. Oof.

If you're looking for a historical fiction with outstandingly beautiful prose that you'll want to highlight and bookmark endlessly and some fantastical elements in the forms of gods and goddesses watching over mortals at war, then you have to read Lovely War, following four different characters, from different walks of life as their worlds converge during WWI.

I absolutely loved how this book was written from the perspective of Aphrodite, Hades, Ares, and Apoll
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
It's so strange but I feel like many books I read come in twos, echoeing ideas randomly but close between different reads. This one and The House of Styx (Venus Ascendant, #1) by Derek Künsken : the idea that the goddess of love, the epithome of it, Aprodite/Venus goes without it and is actually not just lovely but lonely, destined to bring it to everyone but herself. In The House of Styx it's the planet Venus: lonely and bound under all the chemical deluge going on. Here: it's the Aphrodite herself, walking across societies and times and lovers a ...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
An unbelievably charming book. The sections with the Greek gods are pitched for a YA audience, but the rest of the book straddles YA and Adult beautifully, telling a story that’s warm and tense and lovingly crafted. At times not even my cold, cold heart could keep me from sighing. Highly recommended.
Kendra Cusworth
5 stars

The Lovely War is truly nothing short of perfect.
I feel a little dim being that I am at something like a loss for words but that is how finishing this book made me feel. I've not read a book in a long time that felt like the most perfect picture of hope and longing and darkness and light.

The Lovely War is a brilliant depiction of historical fiction with a pinch of greek mythology. Aphrodite has been caught in an affair and is demanded an explanation by her husband, Hephaestus. Aphrodite p
Jennie Damron
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm blown away by how amazing this book truly is. It's more than a romance, more than a war book, more than racial division. This book is everything and the writing was done with such grace, compassion, anger, and love. The characters even the side characters, I loved them all and felt for them deeply. This book had me laughing, feeling giddy, heartbroken and weeping, also felt such love and sympathy for the time and people the Great War affected. I learned so much more about this war than any s ...more
brb going to be crying for the next week over this book.
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rtc
review to come

Buddy read with this lovely human. We had a great time roasting this book 😏
marta the book slayer
UPDATE: I haven't been able to find a playlist with the songs mentioned in this novel and since I loved it so much I decided to make my own:Spotify Link. If you are currently reading this and stumble upon any songs I missed lmk!

“Let them start their dreadful wars, let destruction rain down, and let plague sweep through, but I will still be here, doing my work, holding humankind together with love like this.”

Never in a million years would I have thought that a crossover between historical fic
Kate Quinn
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Julie Berry pens an utter delight in LOVELY WAR, an effervescent confection of a novel filled with humor, tragedy, romance, and myth. Four lovers meet in the chaos and terror of World War I--a shy English pianist, a gentle architect turned sharpshooter, a French singer scarred by German atrocities, and a brash musician bound for one of the all-African-American regiments heading overseas. Hovering over this love-struck war-bound quartet is the goddess of love herself, trying to ensure them happy ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
the book thief meets the invisible life of addie larue in this heart wrenching story of art, war, death and love. (hence the title, lovely war)

this is historical fiction done right. there was diversity, prejudice, historically accurate language, and amazingly complex characters while still remaining to be an accessible young adult story.

the narration by the greek gods added a whole new layer of intricacy to this novel that i haven’t ever read before. (we stan aphrodite and hephaestus in this ho
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
2019 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

A lovely War story filled with music. I enjoyed both couples journey. The bits about the Gods trial was my least favorite, otherwise it’s a great story.
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a delightful read, one that I was a bit apprehensive going into it, but ended up really enjoying! The premise of the story is a unique one: two young couples — Hazel and James, Colette and Aubrey — fall in love amongst the turbulence of World War I, their story narrated not by any human characters, but rather by a few famous gods and goddesses from Greek mythology. After being caught by her husband Hephaestus in an affair with a fellow god (Ares, god of war), Aphrodite, the goddess of l ...more
No book has ever made me cry harder than this did - I mean, I was sobbing so hard I actually had to stop reading this. I just have no words except I'm angry with myself for having put off finishing this for so long! This was so incredibly beautiful and is without doubt or hesitation a new all time favorite of mine. Review to come when I can actually manage to be coherent, but if you haven't already please do yourself a favor and go pick this one up. ...more
Sarina Soren
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I should have listened to Ares and gotten out of this boring love story when I could.
I love the idea of this book. I love much of the execution of it too. But it just took too dang long to get anywhere.
I get it. The tension builds as WW1 continues and the reader is left wondering what happened to the world's four most perfect lovebirds. Increasingly, though, I found myself wishing for more and more interruptions from the Greek gods. Those were funny, astute, and occasionally insightful moments. The romance itself was just sort of...
* long sigh *
Maybe I'm spoiled because
sophia ⋆.ೃ࿔*:・
I'm speechless.

I am in love desperately with this book, and I don't think I can accurately write how Lovely War made me feel. This book deserves so much more than just 5 stars. If I could give it a million, I would.

I have never, ever cried that much while reading a book. I think I just found my favorite read of the year. And probably ever. I have never read a book quite like this one, and I am so insanely happy I decided to buy it.

I love Lovely War with my whole entire heart and soul, and it
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Read this if you like:

♥ historical fiction (specifically WWI)
♥ adorable romance
♥ multiple storylines
♥ soft bois
♥ greek mythology

This was a delightful treat. Y'all need to stop sleeping on Julie Berry.
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Someone liked my review for this book and I realized I never said anything about it, which is absurd since it’s still the best book I read this year so far.

This is a world war 1 love story told from the perspectives of Aphrodite (the goddess of love), Ares (war) and Hades (death). As you can imagine, I was a little stressed when Hades was on scene.

This was so phenomenal. From the writing style, to the plot, to the characters, to the story, I loved it all. So much innocence and love in such a b
winnie ʚïɞ
reread march 2020; five stars ∗ didn’t think i could have enjoyed reading this more the second time around and yet here i am, having binge read this whole book in one day. i can’t even begin to explain why this book has my whole heart but just know that it does and it has good reasons. this book is definitely in my top five favorites books of all time, and even though i just finished rereading it, i already want to pick it back up from the beginning. that’s how you know a book was good ∗

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