First and foremost, Lovely War was an historical romance about two couples whose lives intersected during the Great War. Creatively shared, but not in an overshadowing way, through the testimonies of the Greek gods Ares, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Hades, who all had hands in the circumstances of the couples lives. Predominantly, this was James, Hazel, Aubrey, and Colette's experiences with small moments with the gods between "acts." Those moments gave credence to the circumstances that the characters found themselves in and propelled their stories forward.
Besides the focus on two touching romances, the novel was an intense depiction of some of the invasions, war front battles, as well as racial prejudices brought overseas and into the conflict. The author expertly depicted the British, Belgian, and American importance during WWI. I had felt like James and Hazel’s story was more developed than Aubrey and Colette's, but both were full of meaningful and poignant moments of love, death, grief, and in the end, hope.
Note: This book is classified as YA, but as a reader of both adult and YA, it reads more like adult fiction to me. I think that the mild fantasy element brings a lighter touch to balance the bleak and grittier parts and quite possibly, the reason for the YA classification. Regardless, I highly recommend this story to historical romance readers and those who simply enjoy well-written historical fiction with a light touch of fantasy.