Lovely War

By Julie Berry,

Book cover of Lovely War

Book description

A New York Times bestseller!

A sweeping, multi-layered romance set in the perilous days of World Wars I and II, where gods hold the fates--and the hearts--of four mortals in their hands.

They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect turned soldier,…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

5 authors picked Lovely War as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This totally unique retelling blends Greek mythology with World War I and II history in a beautiful way that stuck with me long after I finished the last page.

There are tons of Greek retellings to choose from, but the added element of the World Wars storyline makes this one stick out from the crowd. Aphrodite strikes a deal on trial and must tell the story of two war-torn couples. The story has a big sweeping feel, full of tragedy and romance.

Lovely War brings to mind Greek epics in its scope and feeling, but the setting gives it a…

If you know me, you know I love a good myth retelling! But this book does one better.

Berry retells the myth of Aphrodite and Ares getting caught in Hephaestus’ golden net alongside Aphrodite’s favorite love story of all time—that takes place during the first world war between “a Harlem-born ragtime genius and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and devastating past”. This story also has crossover appeal and will forever be one of my favorites!

From Deborah's list on YA that made me cry.

Lovely War is highly literary but lush in its emotional pull. Months after reading it, it still stands out. As has been a running theme throughout this list, the First World War is again the setting of the book. The inclusion of Greek gods as narrators lends a magical realism to the story, something that is also present in my book, where historical fiction and magical realism are blended in a literary style. In a sea of black and white, Lovely War is in stark technicolor. 

A love story set during wartime. One might shrug their shoulders as if to say, Ho, hum. But this is a love story unlike any other. Aside from being exquisitely written, filled with stunning beauty and ugly truths, it is, in fact, three love stories: two between two mortal couples set during WWI, and the third, a love triangle among the gods (yes, Olympian gods) set during WWII. What’s ho hum about that? Again, it is the craft Berry wields that intrigues me. How does she tell a historical story from a fantastical point of view? How do the…

At the height of World War Two, Aphrodite meets Ares and Hephaestus in a Manhattan hotel room, seeking to finally make peace between her husband and her lover. To do so, she tells the story of two young couples amid the killing fields of World War One, battling war and racism alike in their determined quest for love. Lovely War is a YA novel thoughtful enough for adults, one that interweaves a gripping historical romance and the profound themes of  Greek myth.

From Jordanna's list on inspired by Greek mythology.

Want books like Lovely War?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Lovely War.

Browse books like Lovely War

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, Greek mythology, and World War 1?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, Greek mythology, and World War 1.

Romantic Love Explore 797 books about romantic love
Greek Mythology Explore 67 books about Greek mythology
World War 1 Explore 857 books about World War 1