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Lovely War

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,381 ratings  ·  432 reviews
A sweeping, multi-layered romance with a divine twist, by the Printz Honor-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa, set in the perilous days of World Wars I and II.

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 archit
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Hardcover, 480 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Julie The majority of it takes place in France, and both of the couples featured in the story make their way to Paris eventually.
Martha Definitely terrific book for teens. It's a lovely love story. It's got gritty stuff about the trenches. And the gods couldn't be more clever.

Community Reviews

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4.34  · 
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 ·  1,381 ratings  ·  432 reviews


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شيماء ✨
[me, screaming from an oversized megaphone] NOT TO DICTATE ANYONE'S LIFE BUT THIS BOOK BRAIDS TOGETHER TWO LOVE STORIES SET IN WWI AND IT'S NARRATED BY GREEK GODS AND YOU GUYS NEED TO ADD IT TO YOUR TBR
Julie
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jennifer
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.
Kate Quinn
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica
Stunning.

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
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Mel
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was on a whole new level of good.
Alexa
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.
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
It's 1917, which means WWI is currently happening in full force. We meet Hazel, who is normally a homebody, but goes out one night to play the piano at a party. While there, she meets James, a soldier, whose plans to become an architect are on hold thanks to the Great War. Their attraction is instantaneous, but what will happen when he is shipped off to war and she remains home in her sleepy little town? Then there's Colette, whose entire town in Belgium, suffered due to the German invasion. Her ...more
ellie ♡
5 | this book made me cry four time in a span of 100 pages. i was hoping to love this book, but i was not expecting this book to become one of my all-time favorite books. i am a sucker for historical romances, but this book was so much more. the writing, dialogue, descriptions, etc., was simply enamoring and i spent many nights staying up late to continue reading. i’m surprised that i haven’t seen much hype for this book, but i strongly urge everyone to pick this up. i already have plans to rere ...more
rachel
It's 1917, and World War I is at its zenith... thirty years after these four lovers' fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II.


give. it. to me.
Emily
this was absolutely INCREDIBLE. i’m honestly getting a little emotional thinking about how beautiful this book was from start to finish. i love me a little historical fiction and this delivered such a lovely and heartbreaking and gorgeous story taking place during world war I.

UNREAL.....SO GOOD. there were several moments in the book that made me swoon, berry does such an amazing job of writing romance and longing and all that good stuff. i am an absolute pile of mush.

don’t even get me started o
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Rachel McMillan
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
GUSH!

"If love demands brokenness, don't count yourself out."


How do you describe a book that is more of an experience than another read? I fell so immediately for the intrusive mythological voices-- the loudest being Apollo, Aphrodite, Ares and Hades as they tried in a mock court case the clash (or waltz) between love and war while embroidering the interconnected stories of a quartet of young people during the Great War.


The experiences here belong to Hazel, James, Aubrey and Colette and paint th
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Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Jennie
Cover Story: Big Coat Energy
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Mighty Aphrodite
Bonus Factors: WWI, Paris, Gateway Book
Relationship Status: Marry Me Before You Go

Read the full book report here.
Stephanie Thornton
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet love story told from the unique perspective of squabbling Greek gods, this is a fresh look at World War I that my twelve-year-old daughter can't wait to gobble up!
May Regan
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Me: *reads a Rick Riordan book where gods are stupid and people get hurt but are okay in the end but only kinda* noice 👌🏼
Me: *reads Julie Berry's book where gods are stupid AND funny and people get hurt but are okay in the end only not really and love kinda prevails and my heart is on the floor* n o i c e 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
Lisa
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mixing romance, war, and mythology, Julie Berry's Lovely War is an all encompassing and emotional story. While it is marketed as a historical romance, war and its effects are given just as much attention. Several of the secondary characters were real people, which adds to the realism of the story. Berry does not shy away from the gruesome details and Lovely War is rare in its candid handling of the events of World War I.

Narrated by a cast of gods and goddesses, we are introduced to Hazel, James,
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Panda Incognito
This book is SO UNSPEAKABLY GOOD. It is everything I could possibly want out of historical fiction, and the dual love stories are phenomenal beyond imagination. I have followed Julie Berry's career for ten years, and I don't think she can possibly top this book. She was born to write this particular novel in this particular way, and no one else could have done it this well. The themes! The attention to small details! The historical accuracy! The pathos! The plot and pacing! The use of Greek myth ...more
Christy
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Lovely War is a unique story, with Aphrodite narrating two stories of love through WWI. The way Julie Berry tackles this age old love vs war dynamic is stunning! I really loved how everything wove together and the ending, including the historical context that we so miss in American history classes.
║ madalin ║
"Woodwinds chasing one another in lilting ribbons of sound, swirling around the balconies. Then brass and winds together. A marcher and a dancer. A soldier and a piano girl.
Hazel pulled pulsing sound into her lungs. Beside her, a grave-eyed young man made the air crackle around him. She made a wish. Let tonight never end. Let the music play on and on."


Sometimes you finish a book, think about it for a week or so after, and then move on. And then sometimes, you finish a book and you're not sure if
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Lauren
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Oh my god. Simply heartbreaking and beautiful and told from such a unique and intriguing perspective. I loved this WWI novel of love and hope. Loved it.
A.L. Sowards
What a lovely novel! The author really did her homework and had solid research (I’m picky about that sort of thing). The writing was beautiful. And I loved the characters.

The story starts with Aphrodite and Ares being caught by Hephaestus. As part of her defense, Aphrodite tells the story of what she considers two of her masterpieces. As the story progresses, they are joined by Apollo and Hades, who help tell the story.

Hazel and James meet at a dance in England just before James ships off to war
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Jenn
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and lovely and sometimes emotionally difficult to read. Julie Berry has created such an inventive way to tell a story about love during wartime: through the eyes of the Greek gods and their provenances: war, death, music, and, of course, love. I loved the characters and the details - I thought the characters in the war were incredibly rich and interesting, but also enjoyed the way she characterizes the Greek Gods. But since this is about World War I, there were some difficult and tragi ...more
Shannon
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book! My fourteen year old daughter got this book at our local bookstore and devoured it. She immediately said I should read it. It took me a few weeks, but she was right - this is an excellent book.

In Lovely War, Aphrodite and Ares are put on trial by Hephestus. To show the value of her work, Aphrodite tells the stories of four young people during World War I. I've read lots of books set in World War II, but this book was so illuminating about the conditions of WWI. It was hard an
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Emily
This was such an unexpectedly good book! I picked it up initially for the Greek gods narrating a story about the Great War, but it was so much better than just that. Every character is well-written and the Greek god narrators truly enhance the story. The hardships that the four main characters endure and the bonds they make would be an incredible story on their own, but Aphrodite's perspective, as well as that of Hades and Apollo, adds depth and an outside perspective. This is a story about love ...more
Kalie
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's true, I don't often read historical fiction centered around the world wars because, for me, the setting often feels rote and repetitive, focusing on the same viewpoints and the same struggles when there are other angles an author can take. There are exceptions to this, of course, but it's not a sect of historical fiction that I will pick up often unless it comes from an author I've previously enjoyed or heavily recommended. Fortunately, LOVELY WAR includes a unique narrative hook (a war sto ...more
Gina Dalfonzo
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just WOW. This book was so beautiful, I didn't want it to end. (Seriously, I deliberately put off reading the ending for about half a day.) I was enthralled, delighted, and more than once brought to tears. Please read this book.
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
4.5 out of 5 stars - Whoa....Julie Berry is an amazing writer. She tied together WWI, romance, and mythology beautifully. I didn't care for the mythology portions of the story as much as the other sections of the book, but it still worked for me...surprisingly. This is one of the best YA books I've read this year. Full review to come.
Meredith
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so amazing! I’ve never read a historical fiction on ww1 before and this was heartbreaking and real but also so sweet and so well written. Hazel and James had a really special place in my heart but I loved Aubrey and Colette too. Ugh just read this ok? It’s unbelievable.
Kip
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, this book! I have a new Julie Berry favorite. I love everything about LOVELY WAR. The setting was so vivid, the characters so filled with emotion, the writing so gorgeous, and the story so layered and rich and divine. Both teen and adult readers will surely be captivated by the romances (more than one!), the thrilling, terrifying battle scenes, and the deeper meaning behind it all. Historical fiction at its finest right here. I can already tell this is going to be on my "favorite ...more
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“The first casualty of war is the truth.” 4 likes
“You may ask me, as others have done before, whether it was kindness or cruelty to allow them to meet, so soon before his departure, with so little time to discover each other. Whether the pangs of loss do not invalidate the bliss of love. Especially where war is concerned, and Death runs rampant with his bloody scythe. You may say that it was wicked of me to allow James to find Hazel, and Hazel, James, if three days were all they would have. I don’t call it cruelty. I do not apologize.” 3 likes
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