Zodiac Girls: From Geek to Goddess
Zodiac Girls: From Geek to Goddess by Cathy Hopkins is a re-telling of one of the oldest stories around. Girl goes to new school where she doesn’t know anyone, gets picked on by the school bully and fails to make the team, or in this case, the school play. Eventually, through misadventures and valuable life lessons, she comes to love herself, make friends and stick it to the aforementioned bully. What makes this re-telling different from all the others? Astrology. The heroine of From Geek to Goddess, Gemma, is chosen to be a Zodiac Girl. This means that for one month the planets, stars and a few Greek gods will help her on her journey from loner loser to queen bee.
Great premise, but the execution of the actual story was lacking. Hopkins tries to shove too many events into too few pages. Instead of just a couple of main events, we get several small, quick adventures that don’t really connect, giving the book a disjointed feeling. Also, for a book that’s supposed to involve magic and mythology, there’s not that much in the way of the supernatural that happens. It’s hinted at that several characters are Greek gods, but we never get to see them do anything superhuman. Most of the otherworldly help Gemma receives is via a magic cell phone and website, and even then, she is mostly just given vague, daily horoscopes that she could have read in the newspaper.
Still, the book does have its merits, the biggest of which being the character of Gemma herself. Outgoing, impulsive and fairly confident, Gemma does not mope when things go wrong, but instead looks for new and different ways to makes friends and improve her social life. She is positive and self-reliant, neither a goody-goody nor a brat. A good role model for any young girl.
Though not destined to become a classic, From Geek to Goddess would probably be an entertaining read for a child interested in Greek mythology or astrology. Even if they are not impressed with the story, the astrology wheel and Gemini Fun Facts page at the back of the book should be enough to make it worth their while.