Published by Soul Mate Publishing on September 9, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Time Travel
Source: ecopy from Author
When Donna is sent back in time to Classical Athens, she's furious at Dr. Stephens for sending her against her wishes. Then a Greek soldier purchases her to be his wife.
She's forced to learn a new language and culture and faces her fears of never returning to her own time. The society hates her, especially because they think she’s an Amazon, which forces her to confront her issues—being compared to her genius brother, borderline abusive friends, and a cheating boyfriend.
But her husband, Peleus, is kind and patient. He counters all the negative voices from her past, but those voices drive a wedge between them. She must let go of her fears, her inhibitions, and insecurities, and admit her feelings, or she could lose him and the life they’ve built.
Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a new adult time travel romance by Katie Hamstead. Even though the book is marked as new adult, I feel like it read more like a young adult novel. The main character is 18 years old, so she is borderline between the two genres but the maturity level of the characters pushed it, in my opinion anyway, towards the younger young adult side of the spectrum. Speaking of immature characters, I almost put this book down (DNF) three times within the first 30%. One time at only 6%, which would make it the quickest I had ever put a book down and didn’t pick it up again. But I decided to give it another chance, and then I decided to give it another chance. And the third time I stuck with it. And while Dancing in the Athenian Rain was no where close to my favorite book ever, it did make an impressive recovery in my opinion. Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book that gets so, so much better as it goes on. The second half of the book is very good, so good that it made up for the less than impressive beginning. What I am trying to say is, if you are like me, and you find yourself not enjoying the first part of the book (and I will tell you my problem with the beginning) push through it if the premise interests you, because once Donna gets to Greece, the book completely changes. In a great way.
I love the idea behind Dancing in the Athenian Rain. A girl that is not understood in her time, goes back to ancient Greece and she is able to come into her true self. Watching Donna gain confidence and start to love herself was my favorite part of the story. She starts the book out with no self appreciation at all. It was sad really. The people around her were so unbelievably awful (no, really, they were unbelievable) that they had convinced her that she was totally worthless. Part of the problem was herself. She shouldn’t have allowed them to influence her opinion of herself that drastically, but it has to be hard with such negativity around you all the time. She should have ditched them one page one. Her so called best friend and boyfriend were so awful. They were the reason that I wanted to DNF. They didn’t even seem like plausible real people to me because they were so beyond horrible. Why on earth was she friends with those people? But that is besides the point, because they are not in a majority of the book. (which is why I encourage you to continue on with the story if they are what annoys you.)
Once Donna gets to Greece the whole mood and tempo of the story changes. Even the writing seemed to change. There was a sophistication and maturity in Donna in Greece that was not present in the modern day Donna. I liked her a whole lot more. She did take a while to grow on me, but my fondest for her got there as the book went on. I loved author Katie Hamstead’s depiction of Ancient Greece. She wove bits of history throughout the story and they worked well. There were lots of twists up her sleeve too that took me by surprise. Some were more surprising than others, that’s for sure.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of time young adult travel romances and of stories of ancient Greece, Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book you should consider checking out. I had some major problems with the beginning, but once I pushed through them and the setting changed to Ancient Greece, I liked the story a whole lot more. Donna has some truly awful friends, but if you are able to push past them and write them off as terrible people, you will enjoy the story a lot more.
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