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Lovely War

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  17,231 ratings  ·  3,818 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, 480 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  · 
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 ·  17,231 ratings  ·  3,818 reviews

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chai ♡
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
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
sarah xoxo
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
That shit hurted.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: golden-books
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
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
bee  ˘͈ᵕ˘͈
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 ∗

5 | this
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.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars!

rick riordan you have 24 hours to respond
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A friend read this book before me and told me how much she loved it so I knew I had to get it, too.

Lovely War is a YA historical fiction novel set during World War I and told from the perspectives of various Greek gods, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, among them. The book focuses on two couples, Hazel & James, and Collette & Aubrey.

At a time where racism, prejudice and hatred were in full bloom, being black was tough. Aubrey Edwards himself is a young man from Harlem, talented Jazz musician an
Katie Gallagher
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For other fun bookish stuff, visit my blog!

This is one of those books with a cover that just called to me. (It’s also one of those covers embracing the white-uppercase-sans-serif-with-stuff-over-it trend.) But still, I went into Lovely War a bit trepidatious—I’m not the biggest historical fiction fan, and I spent a good portion of my time in school history classes daydreaming about being elsewhere.

Well, there was no reason to fear; this book swept me off my feet in a major way. I’d heard som
“Let me take your coat, such a pretty pink!”

This tale is EVERYTHING that I never knew that I wanted in a story. I don’t even read Historical Fiction but I picked this book up because the cover is stunning.

Have you ever begun to read a book and you immediately resonate with an author’s every word; automatically appreciate their writing style? I will be picking up everything written by Julie Berry.

Absolutely phenomenal! I highly recommend the audio book with original music. Also, the narrators’ v
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
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alexa by: Hannah • So Obsessed With
I decided to listen to this one after picking it out for Hannah, who has read it and loved it!

There was honestly no way I was going to be able to give this story anything but a full five stars, and that was something I knew very early on. Berry deftly weaves mythological figures and their roles into a story of love and of war, and I was hooked a few sections in all the way till the end.

Listening the audiobook was also a great decision, as this full cast audio was spectacular.
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think I might be gushing about this book for the rest of my life.
That being said, it’s almost too good I don’t even have the words to describe it, I loved everything about it.
Beautiful is really the first word that comes to mind. The construction, the format, the writing, the plot, the characters; everything came together so perfectly.
The whole premise of the book sounded so interesting to me and I absolutely love how all of the ideas in it were pulled together. Lovely War covers so many dif
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Each of Julie's books is so different and so breathtaking. Here she presents dual stories: the Greek myth of Hephaestus capturing his wife Aphrodite with Ares, presented against the backdrop of WWII. But Aphrodite, as her defense, tells the story of star-crossed lovers she followed and aided during WWI.

Rich historical details about war, about the birth of jazz and ragtime, the clashing of cultures between the British, French, Belgian, and American allies, the first African American so
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not crying you are.
BRILLIANT!! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!! There are a lot of books that I enjoy, and entertain me but there are very few that make me emotional on multiple different spectrums. The fact that Lovely War is the first book in years to make me cry, it easily became a favorite of mine and quite possibly the best book I have read this year.

Lovely War is genuinely one of the most heartwarming books you could pick up. Aphrodite claims that Love and War are eternally drawn to each other and she uses her fellow
Brogan Lane
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-tbr, favorites
From page 1, I knew this book would be 5 stars.

How in the world have I only known about this book until this year? It’s a crime! This is a stunning book! I have never felt such awe with a book like this one, and I don’t think I ever will again. Julie Berry’s writing is gorgeous and breath-taking. The intertwining lives of these four young people during the First World War was so beautifully crafted that I just wanted to cry all the time. I’ve mentioned in my reviews for The Guernsey Literary an
”if music stops, and art ceases, and beauty fades, what have we then?”

second reread: april 26, 2020 - april 29, 2020

it’s been only a month and i’m already rereading this, which is shortest length between any rereads, love that for lovely war mwah. i adored this novel as much as i did the first time <3

first read: march 14, 2020 - march 19, 2020

lovely war is one of my favorite stand alones. it provided me a new perspective on the costs of war. it was relatively lighthearted, though i’d put a t
Dannii Elle
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, and yet this is the one emotion she can not experience. Allure follows in her wake however, and none feels her pull more than Ares, the god of war. This inexplicable connection between love and war leads the great gods to stand trial for their coupling and Aphrodite calls upon mere mortals for her testimony. She shows how love and war will always thrive in the presence of the other, as two timeless world war love stories can attest to.

Historical romance is not m
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I do not think I could have loved this book more than I did. Full gushing review here: ...more
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Literally Leander: First Impressions - September 4 3 Oct 16, 2020 02:53PM  
Literally Leander: * Final Thoughts - September 2 6 Oct 14, 2020 01:30PM  
Challenge Corner: Lovely War by Julie Berry--Starting Restarting July 22nd, 2020 16 10 Jul 26, 2020 10:46AM  
ARTBA 2020: Lovely War 3 10 Jul 20, 2020 07:12PM  
Play Book Tag: Lovely War (5 stars) 1 10 Jul 08, 2020 09:02AM  

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