Hey everyone! I am so excited for publication day today because I get to gush about Lovestruck by Kate Watson. In addition to my review, I also had the opportunity to ask Kate a few questions as well!
Author: Kate Watson
Publication Date: 02 April 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy (Greek Mythology)
Publisher: Flux Books
Sixteen-year-old cupid-in-training Kali is in an Olympus-sized mountain of trouble. Rule number one in arrow-toting matchmaking: don’t stick yourself. But accidents happen, and Kali instantly falls hard for her indie rock, bass-playing target, Benicio.
The God of Love is going to kill her. Even if he is her dad.
Being the daughter of Eros isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For one thing, a girl can get jaded when her parents have the most beautiful and fatalistic love story in history. For another, immortality royally sucks when the Oracle condemns you to eternity in the wrong profession. Do the Gods care that Kali wants to ditch the love stuff and be a muse?
To reclaim her heart and her destiny, Kali is left with no choice but to defy the Gods, tempt the Fates, date the mortal love-of-her-life, and hope she doesn’t lose her best friend, Hector, in the process.
The myths say that it takes two arrows to make a match, one arrow into both of your targets. Wrong. Of course, those same myths show my kind as chubby, cherubic, obnoxious, diaper-clad babies name “Cupid” because evidently the Romans weren’t satisfied with causing the fall of Ancient Greece, they also had to steal and bastardize an entire pantheon of Gods for their use… – Kali, Lovestruck
Kate Watson’s Lovestruck follows the life of Kalixta, goddess and daughter of Eros (god of love aka Cupid). Kalixta and Deya are in Erote training together, which is the formal training curriculum where you learn how to become successful at matchmaking. Feta is the top of their class for perfect love matches, while Kali has has required a few match reversals…but hey who’s counting. It’s hinted at that Kali used to be the top of her class but everything changed after the Thunderclap. Kali begrudgingly continues Erote training (mostly on the account of who her father is). Everything changes when Kali accidentally pricks herself with her own love arrow while trying to make a match between her assignee, Ben and his best friend…
After being fed up from being a pawn of the Fates, Kali decides that she is going to reclaim her heart and choose her own destiny rather than one that has been decided centuries before she was born. Kali and Deya are temporarily excused from Elote training and assigned to Earth, so that they can undo the colossal mismatch between Kali and Ben. Another complication to this plot? Kali’s best friend Cosmo, who is incredibly gorgeous, has been in love with her since they were kids (another accidental poke from the love arrow! Also, where can we get some of these said arrows? asking for a friend)
I really enjoyed watching how this Kali and Ben’s love connection (or forced connection) played out. Also, I was team Cosmo from the beginning, so every time his playful advances were turned down, I was SCREAMING at Kali. I mean come on. He’s a gorgeous god. Just saying.
I love stories about Greek mythology…especially a certain god of wine (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, am I right?!) I’ll be honest, the story of Eros has never really appealed to me because a man flying around in diapers and shooting arrows is more creepy than romantic. However, Kate knocks this one out of the park! And the humor? Absolutely spot on.
Kali was such an easy character for me to love. She’s intelligent and headstrong. She refuses to let anyone control her destiny. I completely emphasized with Kali in her disdain of her love life be predetermined by the Fates, but the lesson she learns in the end had my heart bursting at the seams.
My only critique of the book was that there were a few parts that were a bit slow during the middle of the story when the focal point of the plot shifted from main characters to the side characters (probably because I was obsessed with the main characters lol). Other than than, it was a wonderful read!
What was your inspiration for the premise behind Lovestruck?
The inspiration was actually an image: I was at work and suddenly had an image appear in my mind of a Cupid standing in a crowded hallway with a dot of ichor on her finger. She was staring in horror at the boy she’d just accidentally matched herself with. It was so vivid, and I instantly wondered what would happen because of it.
Was any research required to write this story? If so, what kind?
There was so much research required. I must have spent hundreds of hours reading about Greek Mythology and trying to make their world translate to modern day. And even with all that time, I barely scratched the surface of the Greek Mythology that’s out there. It’s daunting, but awesome.
Did you have any input on the cover design? Was there something that you had to convey on the cover?
I was very fortunate to have a lot of input on the cover, and the incredible designer, Sarah Taplin, was remarkably patient with that input, turning it into something so much more than I knew how to articulate. I knew I wanted an arrow going a little rogue, but my thoughts were fairly scattered from there. One of Sarah’s concepts was a night sky with constellations, and as soon as I saw that one, I knew that was the right direction to take it. From there, we went back and forth on colors, fonts, heart constellations, and Sarah took every disjointed suggestion I made and translated it into something beautiful and whimsical and flirty. I couldn’t love the cover more and think it fits the tone of the book perfectly!
What was the writing the process like for Lovestruck? Did the story come together quickly?
The idea of Kali standing in a hallway having just accidentally stuck herself first came to me about ten years ago when I was at work. I wrote the idea down and then over the course of the next few years, I would add little notes to the idea randomly until I probably had about ten pages of ideas. In 2013 when I needed a NaNoWriMo project, I had enough ideas (and enough excitement) built behind it that I was able to write 75,000 words in 20 days! My best NaNo win ever.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Apart from every scene with Hector? 🙂 My favorite involves Kali’s friend, Teresa. Kali has the best friends in the universe, and Teresa comes through at a really pivotal moment. Writing her scene had me weeping big, fat tears.
Did you always know that you wanted to become an author?
Yes! Since I was a little girl, I knew it. My mom gave me journals for me when I was young, and I listed that I wanted to be a writer, an actress, or an airline stewardess in my First Grade journal. Ha! I think I chose the right career for me.
If you could sit down for dinner with any three authors (living or dead), who would you pick?
Jane Austen, JK Rowling, and William Shakespeare.
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