Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Destined

By Jessie Harrell
Published November 17th 2011 by Mae Day 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

Rating: 2 stars

I like Greek myths. A lot.
And I really really enjoy many retellings of them. (I mean, I make it no secret that I’m absolutely crazy about the Percy Jackson books…)
But this book was somewhat of a let-down for me.

The Psyche and Eros myth is one of my favorites, but I just didn’t enjoy this retelling of it.
The ironic part is that I probably didn’t like it so much because it was written so much like an actual Greek myth.

Here’s the thing: Greek myths? Pure awesomeness. You get your epic battles, famous heroes, and all sorts of juicy scandals. But what you don’t get very often (hardly ever, really) is character depth.
You rarely get to really know a character—get inside their head and understand their thoughts. And that’s totally understandable because so man ystories were passed down orally, and let’s face it, you can’t make an oral story last hours and hours just to give a character some relatable-ness. In fact, it’s pretty much expected that many Greek mythological beings are flat characters.

This is why I usually like retellings—because the author can give the gods/goddesses/satyrs/nymphs/etc. real personalities. Make them relatable.

Unfortunately, I did not get this in Destined.

The characters were all very much one dimensional and I could not relate to any of them at all. Which, to be fair, may have been the author’s goal—retelling the story in a very traditional way. If it is, then bravo, Jessie Harrell, you have done a spectacular job.
I, personally, just didn’t really like this style of storytelling.
Eros starts off as an arrogant, privileged, snobbish god. Which he was  supposed to be, because when he fell in love with Psyche, it’s literally like he had an entire personality makeover! He was head-over-heels in love with the girl, always worrying about her, trying constantly to make her happy, etc.—thinking about someone other than himself, for once.
While Eros, god of Love, didn’t exactly make me swoon in the book, he was okay. He did some sweet things... I didn’t exactly not like him.
I just had no idea what he saw in Psyche.
Let’s just say it’s pretty apparent that magic was used for him to be that infatuated with her.
Psyche was supposed to be this beautiful (check!), selfless (check-ish!), all-around wonderful human being (okaaaaay….). But most of the time, she just really got on my nerves.  

Psyche was very naïve and easily influenced by just about everyone. She had no trouble jumping to awful conclusions about one of her friends, or Eros—believing him to be some monster that was readying her for dinner, when in fact, all signs pointed to exactly the opposite! It’s also quite evident that she’s been spoiled. Case in point: when she prepares to go on the journey that will placate Aphrodite and hopefully get Eros’s forgiveness, the first thing she does is go home and take a nice, hot bath and eat some awesome desserts.
O_O   REALLY, Psyche? Really?
To be fair, I did want to be inside the character’s head…

I just really did not like what was inside Psyche’s cranium.
While this book really was not up my alley, I must admit that it stayed extremely true to the myth. It even took place in ancient Greece! (But, really, that just made it all the more awkward when the characters talked in a contemporary vernacular….) The story followed pretty much exactly what happened in the actual myth, just retelling it in a more modern, teen-oriented way.
If you like Greek myths/retellings, then this book might really interest you. Or it might not. I really do think it’s a personal preference kind of thing. For me, it just didn't work.


  1. Aww, sad day that you didn't enjoy.
    I've been eyeing this one for a while, so I appreciate the honest review.
    Hope your next read is better.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Oh dear, too bad this one didn't work out for you, but I think your point on the writing style and portrayal of characters was SO good! I never thought of it that way, as big of a Greek myth fan as I am. One dimensional >_< I guess this one really just depends on how much you weigh the different factors of a book. Ah well, awesome review as usual though!


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