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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Element Girls: The Lost Goddess by Giulietta M. Spudich is a story about the bond between four friends. Tess has three best friends she can't do without. Tess is rarely apart from Elizabeth, Susie, and Amelia but recently things seem to have changed with Amelia who doesn't want to hang out with her anymore. When Amelia disappears, the three friends are willing to do whatever it takes to find her, even if it means traveling on their own to Hawaii. When they discover that the amulets each of them wear contain their powers, they must learn to harness their new abilities if they stand a chance at saving their friend.
Giulietta M. Spudich explores two separate journeys weaving between the three friends as they travel to Hawaii and Amelia who was taken and brought face to face with someone from her past. The two separate journeys put each girl on her own path but also reinforce the bonds of friendship and the necessity of working together. Spudich gives the four friends different personalities. These varying personalities enable young readers to be able to see themselves in the story by allowing them to find their different traits and commonalities in the four girls. The arc the girls find themselves on will open up the wonder and power found in friendship while also looking at the power you can find in yourself.
Spudich uses this journey to show young readers that our gifts might not be what we want or think they are but that doesn't mean they can't be how we find ourselves when we embrace these gifts. At the heart of the story is the bond between friends as their relationship with each other is how they get through every struggle and is what gives Amelia hope after she's taken. Friendship is a key element in each journey and this bond gives them strength, allowing for them to be brave and strong. The four elements also play a huge part as these are at the root of the girls' powers and, as the elements balance each other, the girls also balance each other. Element Girls: The Lost Goddess is a delightful adventure full of heart and is a great journey in friendship with danger, magic, and set in the stunning location of Hawaii.