|Destined by Jessie Harrell
Published by Mae Day Publishing
Publish Date: November 17, 2011
My Source: review copy from the author
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. -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts: I stumbled upon Destined on Goodreads one day and was completely taken by its cover. IT IS STUNNING, no? After catching my breath and reading the story synopsis, I knew I just had to read this book because I’m such a huge fan of mythology and I enjoy a well-written mythology re-telling. When I settled in to read the story, I had no idea that I would fall so hard for it.
1. Mythology. Destined is a mythology re-telling in the setting of ancient Greece…but with a modern flair! The places, customs, and characters are the same…but there is a definite nod to popular culture thrown in for good measure, particularly in the way the characters speak. The characters are fleshed out and interesting, which stands apart from the classical myths that we are used to. Regarding this particular myth, much of the story remains the same, but it is the parts that are changed – the parts that Jessie Harrell made her own – that make Destined amazing.
2. Modern. Speaking of the modern flair…I love the personalities of Psyche and Eros. I love the way they talk. I love they way they pine for each other when they are apart. I even love the way they share some of the same snack foods that I do (hooray cheesecake!). I love the way this overlays the ancient customs of speaking, acting, dressing, and dining. So fun!
3. Eros. God of love, also known as Cupid. Determined not to fall in love with another human since the first one broke his heart, he rebelled heavily against his mother’s new choice for him: Psyche. After accidentally scratching himself with one of his own arrows and falling head-over-heels in an intoxicating one-sided love with Psyche, Eros spends an incredible amount of time and energy wooing her without letting her find out who he is (because of a prophecy Psyche is destined to fulfill), going so far as appearing to her only at night and under the covering of a dark cloud.
4. Psyche. Beautiful, young, and human. Chosen to be Aphrodite’s daughter, and then chosen to marry her son Eros. Psyche and Eros didn’t hit it off well in the beginning – in fact, they both pretty much hated each other instantly. Psyche has qualities that I find endearing…she is strong and brave, but much like the young girl that she is, she is also rebellious and craves companionship and attention. Psyche is a strong yet flawed female main character and I adore her!
5. Drama & Betrayal …and there is plenty of it! It is an instance of this betrayal that tricks Psyche into trying to kill Eros. And what a horrible plan that turns out to be. After her failed murder attempt, Eros flees…leaving it up to Psyche to find him and win him back. To accomplish this huge task, she pays visits to several interesting gods & goddesses and is required to pass some nearly impossible tests – all in the name of love.
6. Romance. Oh, yes, the sweet sweet romance! I ADORED this story. I loved the romance that built slowly between Psyche and Eros. What started out as contempt that was almost (slightly humorously) painful to read became a sweetly passionate romance that had me holding my breath until the very last word. This author knows how to write a romance, and well. There is never a moment where the story felt too cheesy or silly, and I think I enjoy this version of the myth better than the original!
Jessie Harrell has taken a piece of classical mythology and popularized it a bit, changing some parts and keeping others. It is exciting, it is romantic, it is perfection. It is breathtaking. When I finished it, I wanted to start reading it again immediately. If I had paper copies of Destined I would
push them on you hand them out so I could share this story with as many people as possible. The story is that excellent.
This story will appeal to people who love mythology, both young and older. I also think there is enough of the modern flair in Destined to appeal to lovers of contemporary YA romance. This is by far one of my favorite books of the year, and a very strong debut. I will be waiting to read anything that Jessie Harrell publishes in the (hopefully near) future and I’ll grab it as soon as I can get my hands on it.
**I received a review copy from the author, Jessie Harrell, in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you SO MUCH, Jessie!