Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Troy High by Shana Norris

Book Description via Goodreads:

Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.

Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider at Troy High, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. Off the football field, an escalating prank war fuels tensions between the schools.

The stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its cast of mythic proportions.

Source: Abrams & Chronicle Books – Amulet Books, Emma Sanders (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Elena, the face that launched a thousand ships, sent a different kind of attack to troy High. It was an attack made out of the desire for vengeance – one that will start a war between two football teams and two schools. Caught in the middle of it was Cassie, the sister of Perry and Hunter, the stars of the Troy High football team, and the best friend of Greg, the president of the student council of Lacede.

Shana Norris did an excellent job with this retelling – not only did she retell the tragic side of the Trojan war, but inside it, she also weaved the story of Cassie, whose loyalty to her family and to her best friend was tested. With football stars for brothers, a football star for a father and a former cheerleader for a mother, Cassie stood out by being in the school band. Her desire to belong and to be noticed affected her decisions. Like in most YA novels, this desire to belong – one of the needs of man – was explored. Troy High was not only an echo of the Trojan War, it was also a story about a teenage girl who attempted to fit in, claim her place and remain neutral throughout the rivalry.

The rivalry of Lacede and Troy intensified with every attack and drove the students to avenge their respective schools, pushing their school spirit to the limit. I got to see what it meant to stand beside a sibling, as well as the hesitation, dedication and musings behind this act. Cassie’s every move was watched. She was judged based on her loyalty. No consideration took place. Like most teenagers, Cassie experienced pressure. The advantages and disadvantages of popularity were experienced by Hunter and Perry. Perry took advantage of it, relished the attention given to him while Hunter was expected to lead, to make the decisions and guide the student body. He was both a leader and a brother – responsible but a little reckless.

The romance was what I would call typical: cheerleader falls for football player. It was an instant attraction, love at first sight. However, it was different for Cassie and Greg. Their friendship was affected by the rivalry, not getting the chance to bloom into something more. The awkwardness of it was quite cute to read about. I found the hesitation in their every move and the worry they felt about each other’s reaction.

Funny and youthful, Troy High is a perfect retelling of the Trojan War in a high school context. Although at first, I thought it was a bit off with a little too much dialogue intensity on the ‘war,’ eventually I found an enjoyable story in this novel. Troy High followed Cassie’s narrative of the war between the two schools – Lacede and Troy and how this affected her life romantically, socially and emotionally.



  1. I think I want to read this now! Great review. :)

  2. Whoa... hold up. I did not know this was a Trojan War retelling! I've seen this book posted around dozens of times! Maybe I should have caught on from the title? Stupid Brodie! Love your review! I'm quite interested to read this now, it sounds like a fun, entertaining read and a unique way to incorporate the Trjoan War!

  3. @Kate Thank you! :) Maybe it's already available in Fullybooked!

    @Brodie Yes! Lol. Another yes - Troy High VS Lacede High. Trojan War retelling in school/football context!