The Lovely War beautifully narrates the memorable love stories of two couples during the era of World War l. The story is told through Greek Gods and Goddesses to explain how music, love, death, faith, and war inspire humanity. James and Hazel meet days before James is due at the frontlines, but will their love be strong enough to bear the traumas of the battlefield? On the other hand, Colette and Aubrey’s love cracks under distance and discrimination based on their different races. I loved this book so much, and I could see myself raving about it to anyone. A perfect 5/5; the author’s writing style left little to imagine. The writing was detailed to illustrate the vivid, fast-changing setting. Each character was loveable; I didn’t hate a single person. They each carry different stories, ambitions, and heartbreaks that extend beyond the cookie-cutter mold for many stereotypical young adult fiction characters. Usually, authors juggling many perspectives would encounter issues with maintaining a distinctive voice without confusing the reader; this was not the case. There were many perspectives throughout the book, but it was so interesting how each character brought contrasting observations to the table. I am an ardent fan of historical fiction along with Greek mythology; mixing them sounds divine, which I haven’t seen a lot of marketing for this plot in young adult fiction. The author put a lot of research into the stories behind World War I and Greek myths to educate the reader with accurate descriptions of the subjects. It’s rare for me to love a romance book, but I would make an exemption for this novel. The romance was utterly believable to warm your heart thoroughly. I appreciate the author’s acknowledgment of how soldiers have to deal with issues like PTSD and acceptance throughout the book. There isn’t a lot of well done mental health representation in young adult fiction, especially the romance genre, but the author did superbly. The author highlighted an interracial relationship that I found to be incredibly enlightening. There was no hesitation in exposing the racism towards one of the African American main characters from his peers.
I think it’s wrong to categorize this novel as only a romance; since it has the elements of history, war, death, grief, guilt, love, friendship, and acceptance. The novel essentially captures what it means to be human and to feel lost during a time of deep crisis. I think this book touched me because of the time we are going through right now; this book reminds us that there is hope in humanity. I rarely cry during books, but this book made me sob. You can imagine how powerful the author must be to generate such revoking thoughts and emotions in a reader. I can not recommend this enough to anyone! There is something for everyone. If you are not a romance fan, stay for the history. If you are not a history connoisseur, stay for the relationships (platonic or romantic). There is something for everyone within this book. I can proudly say that this is one of my top 5 books of the year. The age recommendation is 13+: Mentions of violence in wars, racial slurs. TW: mentions PTSD ( just as a caution for anyone who might feel uncomfortable with the topic).