Author: Michelle A. Hansen
Publication date: May 3rd, 2012
Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s never actually seen because…he can make himself invisible.
As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.
Despite my undying love for Greek myths, there is one key characteristic about them that I absolutely detest: insta-love.
Think about it, how often does anyone in Greek mythology actually take the time to get to know their love interest? (If you can name just one, then I owe you cookies.) That's why I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful character depth and romantic development in Painted Blind.
As someone who is well-acquainted with the Psyche and Eros myth, I loved how Michelle Hansen brought this story to the modern world while still retaining the principle elements of the myth. The concept was brilliant and creative and actually quite believable.
Psyche was a very relatable heroine. Sure, she makes some mistakes and she definitely has her own baggage to deal with, but all that just makes her realistically flawed. There were moments when I didn't like something she did, and more than one occasion when I got annoyed by how all the guys were clambering to help her, but overall, Psyche's bravery and perseverance shined through, and I had no problem seeing her as a real girl, as opposed to just a name in a myth.
And speaking of the guys in this book....
holy wowza, there was a whole menagerie of hot males!
All of them were really interesting characters, and NO, I'm not just saying that because I'm a book-boyfriend-obsessed girl. Hansen did a fantastic job making each one of them memorable and unique, giving them back stories that made me want to learn more about them. However, the one who really stole the show, was Eros (AKA Erik), god of love. I mean, obviously! In most retellings of this myth (and in the actual myth), Eros is this really vain and shallow jerk, but in this book, he was so real. He had insecurities and talents and a past that influenced him. He's not the kind of guy who actively seeks out attention. Instead, he's the kind of guy who tends to hang back, quiet and mysterious, and oh my gosh so darn swoon-worthy.
For me, the romance between Psyche and Eros was a whole heck of a lot better than insta-love. As a couple, Psyche and Eros had a lot of hurdles to get through, and when you have to work through stuff like that, you get this wonderful little thing called DEVELOPMENT. Me gusta.
Now I can't end this review without talking about the world-building because OH MY GOSH, it's just fabulous. Hansen expertly weaved together the mortal world and the gods' realms seamlessly! In this one book you get to see so much of the Olympian realm, with each setting beautifully and vividly described.
Rating: 4 stars*
All in all: Amazing! I really really hope Michelle Hansen decides to write some more myth retellings in the future because, if this book is any indication, she'd be really good at it!
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.