This 1993 novel tells the story of two friends on a Greek vacation.
Now, when I say “friends,” what I mean is that we’re told that they’re friends and they spend a lot of time hanging out with each other and the entire book is pretty much about the developments in their relationship. However, for two lifelong friends, they really don’t seem to like each other that much. I mean, when I was in high school, I had friends who I secretly disliked but I never went to Greece with them.
Our friends are named Helen and Josie. Josie has a rich father, who is a screenwriter and who is accompanying the girls to Greece. Helen has a less rich father because this is a Christopher Pike book and someone always has to come from a poor but honest family. Both Helen and Josie are recovering from near-death experiences. Helen attempted to commit suicide. Josie had a heart problem of some sort. You would think that, having come close to dying, Helen and Josie would be all about celebrating life but actually, they’re still fighting over Ralph. Ralph used to date Helen and then he dated Josie and then he left town.
One thing that I quickly discovered while reading this book is that it’s not always easy to remember what happened to Helen and what happened to Josie. Even while I was reading it, I kept mixing up who had which tragic backstory. I probably should have kept better notes but, honestly, when you’re reading a 200-page YA novel from the early 90s, your first thought is not going to be, “I better go grab my notebook because these 200 pages might be too complicated for me to keep track of.”
Anyway, Josie hooks up with Tom, who is British and sensitive and who refuses to have sex on a nude beach without a condom. Helen kind of hooks up with Pascal, who doesn’t speak English. Josie steals an ancient artifact. Helen serves Josie a hamburger that’s full of ground-up glass. There’s a big storm that overturns a boat and …. wait a minute, what? Ground up glass in a hamburger!? AGCK!
Anyway, it’s all because Helen and Josie were apparently possessed by two angry Greek goddesses during their last visit to Greece. Apparently, these angry Greek spirits have been trying to kill each other for centuries or something like that. I couldn’t really follow it and, to be honest, I think Christopher Pike just made it up as he was going along.
That said, I kind of enjoyed the book, just because of how silly it all was. I mean, Helen and Josie seriously are the worst friends ever. The book may not make sense but between all of the strange dreams, the deadly hamburgers, and all the passive aggressive insults, it was never boring. If nothing else, it made me think about the vacation that I took the summer after I graduated from high school. My sisters and I traveled all over Europe and we saw all sorts of ancient ruins and we managed to do it without stealing any artifacts or trying to kill each other. I’m proud of what we accomplished!