Release Date: November 17, 2011
Mae Dae Publishing
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.
As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.
Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.
Did you know that I'm a mythology geek? Especially Greek mythology. I love it, I can't get enough of it, and I'm thrilled by all of the current retellings and inspirations coming from mythology in YA right now.
Knowing all of that, I'm sure you can just imagine how ECSTATIC I was to discover that my FAVOURITE MYTH was getting a YA makeover; the story of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche.
- You're a myth-lover (like me):
If you're someone who loves myths and retellings, this is one book that you cannot miss. Absolutely not! I was so impressed with how closely Jessie stuck to the traditional tale, and basically just elaborating on it to help her readers connect with Eros and Psyche. Their background, their motivations, their rampant emotions are all thoroughly explored in this delightful story.
- Something different:
At the same time though, I know how many retellings are out there of various myths, and how difficult it is to find one that stands out among the rest. Besides the fact that I have yet to find another retelling of Psyche and Eros, I also found that Jessie's depiction of the various Greek gods and goddesses who make appearances to be refreshing. Even the ones who make rare appearances, are developed well enough to feel like real characters, rather than flat images of a person. I'll give a few hints: Aphrodite is extremely complex, and rather mysterous. Hera and Zeus aren't as predictable as I was used to.
- Romantic development:
Psyche and Eros don't fall in love right away; and there does seem to be a difference between love and lust for them. Their relationships is about so much more than romance, but about sacrifice and trust and exactly what those mean for their relationship. Something I loved most about them was how they wanted to find a way to meet each other in the middle, rather than having a one-sided love story.
This was such an enjoyable and fun book to read and, pay attention to this now because I don't say this lightly, I was so pleased to see that Jessie did the myth complete justice. She absolutely captured the themes and used her book as an opportunity to flesh out the story rather than pervert it which is fortunate because it is a beautiful, stunning story.
These are flawed characters, and you won't always like them, but that's the beauty of it; the characters in Greek stories weren't perfect or ideal, or always likeable.
A couple things I found confusing with the story: I wasn't overly impressed with Psyche's voice. Sometimes it came off a little too "contemporary teenage girl" for a story set in Ancient Greece. And it isn't the actual language used, as much as the tone and formalitiy of it. One example, she would refer to feeling like she had to "puke"- but this is a proper princess from Ancient Greece. And I found that detracted from her character depiction overall.
As well, I'm not sure why a couple of the deities were referred to by their Roman names, rather than their Greek ones. Such as Demeter instead being called Ceres, and Hestia as Vesta when the rest were referred to as their Greek counterparts. Am I being a little nitpicky? Maybe. But for a book that stuck so closely to the original, I was disappointed by this.
e-galley received from author as a contest prize. No compensation was received for this review.