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Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Destined by Jessie Harrell
Pages: 260
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing
Genre: YA Greek Mythology Retelling

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.
The characters. With any retelling, the challenge for the writer is to take these characters that someone else created long ago and to give them a new life. Jessie Harrell did just that with the characters in Destined, which are the Greek gods and goddesses of old, and one young mortal girl named Psyche. I loved the way the gods and goddesses were portrayed, and how each of their distinct personalities shown through, even the minor characters like Hermes, Persephone, Charon, and Demeter. There were several characters, though, that stood out.

Eros. When we first meet Eros, he's a bit of a haughty bad boy, with an 'I'm cooler because I'm immortal' attitude and who goes to parties with the Greek god Dionysus-- and let's just say Dio is drunken trouble. But when he falls in love with Psyche, he becomes a different person. He is the god of love after all, and that side comes out. His romantic side was so sexy, even though I feel that he did come on pretty strong to Psyche. Honestly, the easiest way to push a girl away is to tell her you love her the first time you meet. But, he did what he had to in order to keep Psyche safe from his mother, the goddess of love Aphrodite, and her wrath.

Psyche. I really liked Psyche from the very beginning, because even though everyone glorified her as the most beautiful woman in the world, she didn't let that get to her head, and stayed really humble. Everything she did, she always did it for the best interest of others. Towards the end of the novel, when everything has gone downhill and she has to fight to get everything back, she doesn't back down.

Writing style & voice. The novel is set in ancient Greece, but it's written with a modern voice, which is what made it so easy to relate to, I think. When things are written with a more archaic voice, there's a certain detachment that us as readers automatically get because we don't speak that way, but Psyche spoke just like an regular teenage girl from today would. Plus, the novel is told from the dual perspective of Pysche, of course, and Eros as well. This helped us get both sides of the story and not hate Eros for some of the things he does, like we probably would if we didn't understand his reasoning behind what he does.

The insta-love. The only problem I had with Destined is that I felt like Psyche gave in way too quickly to Eros/Aris. She started softening towards him rather quickly. If I were in her position, I know for a fact that it would've taken weeks for me to even let him put a hand on my shoulder. I understand that, for the sake of length, it can't take weeks, but at least more than 5 or 6 days. If Psyche and Eros's love could've grown more over a longer period of time, I think it would've made the ending much more poignant.

Overall, I really loved Destined! Greek mythology is one of my favorite things to read about, and Jessie Harrell did a fantastic job giving Eros and Psyche her own unique twist. Destined is a wonderfully written novel, with a touching romance and characters that came off the page. I'm very eager to read more of Jessie Harrell's work, definitely some more Greek retellings--- next time, Hades and Persephone, perhaps? :) 5 out of 5 stars. 


  1. Awww... thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm so pleased that you loved all the character personalities and the romance. Eros -- le sigh!

  2. I'm really excited to read this one! I first wanted to read it because I heard about its basis in mythology - but now I find that the more I see good reviews, the more I'm excited!

  3. I'm loving the fact more books are coming out based off the Greek myths. I was lucky to win a copy of Destined and somehow managed to not read it yet. I know bad move on me lol I will definitely be all over this book and soon. I have read three books based off the Hades Persephone myth. Abandon by Meg Cabot, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, and Falling Under by Gwen Hayes. I loved all three and each one their own little twist.

  4. I love love love retellings and this one sounds wonderful! :) Thanks for the awesome review.


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