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Lovely War

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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  6,326 ratings  ·  1,625 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
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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 4.28  · 
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 ·  6,326 ratings  ·  1,625 reviews


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Chaima ✨ 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
Cindy Pham
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 ...more
Julie
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
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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.
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 ...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 ...more
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, in the
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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
Mel
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
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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.
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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 some
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Lena
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really 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
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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.
Jessica
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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a ∗
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Morgan
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
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oliversromeo
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: god-tier
this book pampered and fed my hopelessly romantic heart and then ripped it from my chest, stomped all over it in hot pink high heels, and then sloppily glued it back. just upside down.
Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)
Okay, finally going through and writing real reviews for the last few books I read, because holy hell, stop being a lazy reader, Jillian.

Aaaaaanyways....



A book hasn't made me cry in so long, and my ability to handle emotion is already challenged at best. So what do I do now? How do I recover?

......but also, what am I even supposed to read, now.....?

I can't even explain why I loved this so much, but I can definitely tell you it's going to be one of my favorite books of the year. It was honestly
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William Ngaruiya
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, loved the perspective of the Greek gods and I loved how Berry wrote about the black soldiers in the war.

Please give this book a try, it’s beautiful and the audiobook is MAGNIFICENT
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Kerrin Parris
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to describe the concept of the novel Lovely War by Julie Berry. It is a unique combination of World War I historical Fiction, Romance, and Mythology.

The book begins when the gods Aphrodite (love) and Ares (war) are having an affair in a Manhattan hotel room during World War II. They are captured in a magical net by Hephaestus (fire), who is Aphrodite’s husband and Ares’ brother. Hephaestus wants them tried on Olympus, but Aphrodite convinces him it would be best to keep things more
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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.
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.

Merged review:

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
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Whitney
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"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." -p. 262

If I have regrets about this book, it's that I let the physical size of it scare me off for a while. I absolutely loved this. The way this was presented kind of reminded me of Hadestown in that it mixes historical fiction and mythology. I was here for it.

The story intertwines the story of Hephaestus and
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Stephanie
Love is on trial in this beautifully told story of four people who met during WWI.

It is now the height of WWII and members of the Greek pantheon meet in a posh hotel room in Manhattan to uncover the questions regarding love and war. The tales of Hazel & James and Aubrey & Colette are told through the points of view of Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo and Hades. They have gathered to speak their peace on the mortals relationships to Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus.

Lovely War seamlessly bounces
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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 ...more
Abigail
Hazel saw him breathe in time with the music. She saw tears well at the rims of his dark eyes. This one, she decided. This lad, for me. And it was done.

It's been so long since I've read a World War 1 novel, and I definitely need to remedy that. I don't know nearly enough about this war. And let me say, I don't often expect historical fiction novels to make my "favorite books of all time" list. This one may just have a spot on that list.

Lovely War was indeed lovely. The writing is lyrical
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Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Agh okay why do I ALWAYS read a book in December that needs to go on my Favs of the Year list *face palm*

This book was freaking amazing and I so HIGHLY recommend listening along with the audiobook. The narration and cast are fantastic!

I got so many damn feels for the main cast. I knew I shouldn't cause...like...well it's Europe during WWII but I failed. I loved them. I want the best for them. I'd cover up a murder for them, okay?!

I loved the switching between our world and the trial or the gods
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Queen Cronut
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-literature, 2019
This book could slap me and I would thank it.

*RTC
Andrea
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2019-read
This is a love story on three fronts. Two involve soldiers involved in WWI, while the other is about Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus. This was a sweeping and immersive historical fiction with a bit of a fantastical twist. When Hephaestus sets a trap for his wife and her lover, he takes her to trial. He doesn't expect her to sweep him off his feet with an epic love story from thirty years ago.

When Hazel, a shy yet talented pianist, meets James at a chance party, they fall in love almost
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Lisa
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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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“The most ordinary mortal bodies are housed by spectacular souls.” 20 likes
“The first casualty of war is the truth.” 18 likes
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