Troy High by Shana Norris, Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Rating: 4 stars
Narrator Rating: 5 stars
I selected to listen to Troy High over reading the physical book due to the narration style of Khristine Hvam. Hvam brought this Homer’s Iliad retelling to life narrating the intense feud between the Troy High Trojans and the Laseed High Spartans. When the school rezoning happened and one of the popular, beautiful Spartan cheerleaders, Elena, becomes a Trojan teenager, it is only the beginning of a series of increasingly unfortunate events. Putting forward into motion these events, Elena begins dating the protagonist’s, Cassie, brother. Elena decided the perfect time to tell her Spartan on-again-off-again boyfriend, was during one of the first Spartan football games of the season. For the Spartans, this meant war.
Cassie is a sophmore in high school. She goes unnoticed until Elena comes to the school. Elena and Cassie become fast friends, even though Elena’s Spartan boyfriend is the older brother of Cassie’s BFF (whom she secretly wants more with), Greg. Once Elena befriends Cassie, Cassie grows a new found popularity, that she is not wanting to let go of. Once Elena break’s up with her Spartan boyfriend, the Spartans launch a series of pranks against the Trojans. Not to be outdone, Cassie’s 2 older brothers Perry and Hunter lead the charge in retaliation against the Spartans. Caught in between is Cassie and Greg, each on opposing sides, trying desperately to remain friends.
There were very intense moments within the story, especially the culmination of the gifted Trojan Horse from Spartan’s 10th Grade Council at the Homecoming game. I felt that the story was easy to follow along with. I felt that, even though there were times Cassie came off whiney, many of the students dealt with very real issues that we have all experienced in some capacity in high school. I felt Cassie’s inner struggles about whether or not Greg reciprocates her feelings were very easy to relate to as I am sure at some point we have all been there.
I really enjoyed the narrator. Hvam has narrated many high rated series such as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Vampire Academy, and Shade of Vampire. She was able to adequately portray and narrate emotions for the characters and the gut wrenching, intense pranks/experiences.
I am glad the end happened the way it did, but I was starting to question it at some point. I really didn’t know for a while if it would end how I desperately needed it to. This may not be the best written book you will ever read, but it was quick, enjoyable, and brought a new way to retell a classic like Homer’s Iliad.