This was our book of the month :
I just finished reading it yesterday (just started then too...) because I was busy with other books and I have to be honest and say I haven't read much since the start of the pregnancy.
It was a really easy read, with easy English and concepts which were simple to grasp. I'd say the main target group for this book would be young teens, aged 10 to 14.
Basically it's the story about Percy, a 12 year old with dyslexia and ADHD, who gets posted from school to school each year and is branded as a troublemaker. He never knew who his father was and his mother, who is a gentle and caring soul, is married to a really smelly, slob of a man.
Through some events, Percy learns he's a half-blood, the son of the god Poseidon, which makes Percy a demigod. He ends up at camp half-blood, with a bunch of mythical creatures and others like him, where they train and learn all summer long. Some of the campers stay throughout the year, because it's too dangerous for half-bloods to be in the real world.
After a week at the camp, Percy is given a quest, and he learns that Zeus' lightning bolt was stolen and his father, Poseidon, was accused of the theft. Percy, his best friend Grover (who is a Satyr) and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, must go on a journey to the Underworld, where they must retrieve the bolt from Hades (because they believe he took it).
A lot of things happen on their journey; they fight Medusa, a chimera and the Furies amongst others, but eventually they reach their destination, only to find Hades didn't steal the lightning bolt and his helmet of shadow was stolen as well.
It's an innocent story, about a misunderstood young boy who really just wants his dad's approval.
Without giving away too much, Percy manages to return the helm to Hades as well as the bolt to Zeus and stop a war between the gods, only to uncover a greater plot. Tam tam taaaaam...
OK. First up, I have to say that I was put off almost immediately, when I discovered the book was written in the first person. I REALLY don't like to read this kind of book. Sure, there are some first person books that redeemed themselves in my opinion, like the Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. But overall, it's torture to make me read first person novels and I rarely finish them.
I found this whole story sweet. If you know me, you know I've always loved ancient mythology, so this kind of thing has been cool to me forever. But sweet was it. Where the Harry Potter series is also for kids and the story begins with a younger character, it's got a quality to it that even grown ups can relate to and enjoy. The language is simple enough for kids, yet the humour, logic and references were sometimes more for adults and I really enjoyed the series. Percy Jackson didn't bind me at all. If I never read the rest of the series, I'll be fine, because the childishness of the book almost put me off. I know I'm annoying fans worldwide right now by saying that!! :)
Maybe if it had been written in third person I would feel differently. I bet you I would have felt differently if I'd read this when I was twelve myself. But in the end, for an almost 28 year old, it was cute and fluffy and I won't be bothered with the rest of the series.
Would I read it to my kid? Sure, why not. But would I read it out of free will? Unlikely.
Also, if you're a purist like me, DO NOT watch the movie. Because they cast a brunette as a blonde character, they left out entire fight scenes, changed the layout of many of the structures and pretty much gave away the traitor way before his time in the book. Not to mention bringing in characters that were DISTINCTLY left out of the book. Persephone anyone? Even Twilight did a better job at casting and keeping truer to the storyline. And that says something.
Overall, I'd say (from my perspective) 5 out of 10. It was mildly entertaining, learned the life lesson not to give up and to stay true to your friends, and was a pretty easy read. If I were a kid, I might have gone with 7 out of 10.
Enjoy your weekend!
Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,