on January 10, 2012
I am an absolute sucker for story based on Greek mythology. I took a Classical Mythology course in high school, and fell completely in love with mythology, especially Greek. Anyways that love combined with the gorgeous cover of this book captured my interest. I have also been following Jessie Harrell's blog for a little while now, so I was super excited to read her debut!
At the start of the book I was somewhat off-put though. I have read many retellings and interpretations of myths. I also adore historical fiction. Obviously none of the books I have read are written in Old English or the old language of the period they are set in, but at the same time they flow seamlessly into the past. However, in Destined, the language includes many jarring moments when the language that's used pulls you straight out of the past and into the present. I never really put a much thought into language choices that an author must make, but here it was noticeable that it was not quite right.
So as you can tell I was not completely pleased with the language it was written in, but once I managed to let that go I began to really enjoy the story. Psyche is a likeable narrator and a very sympathetic one. The powerlessness of the women in Ancient Greece is heartbreaking, and Psyche, and Chara's, situations illustrate this perfectly. Eros and Psyche's relationship was easily my favorite element of the story. It is complex, but at the same time their feelings for each other are really quite simple.
It was wonderful to see a new author's take on portraying the gods and goddesses of Olympia. My favorite portrayal was definitely that of Hera. So often in stories and myths she is seen in a terrible light, as a vengeful, bitter woman, but here she is given the chance to be someone else. The use of so many members of Greek mythology was fantastic. Throughout the book there are mentions and appearances of everyone from Aphrodite and Persephone to Vesta and Helios.
Overall I think that the language usage could have been improved upon, and if it had the story would have been more believable to the period in which it is set. I did end up really enjoying this though. I am definitely looking forward to reading Jessie Harrell's next book, and I would recommend this one. Fans of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter or Abandon by Meg Cabot would likely enjoy this as well.
on December 7, 2011
I came across Jessie in YALitChat. She is amazing and I am glad that I picked this book up. I try to support other bloggers out there who are writing and trying to get out there.
I really loved this book. It was fun, deceptive yet captivating. My heart broke for Psyche in so many ways and soared in others. Who wouldn't want to be visited by Aphrodite and be accepted as one of her daughters? Everyone of course, but when Psyche gets visits from Aphrodite like a stalker on steroids, she begins to get worried.
Aphrodite proposes a marriage for Psyche to her arrogant son Aros and both Aros and Psyche refuse the proposal infuriating Aphrodite. Psyche's luck has now been turned over to the oracle who will foresee her future and tell a prophecy that chills her and her family to the bone. Without choice, Psyche is forced into marriage to another and taken away from her family.
She is torn about her feelings toward her new suitor and how she is expected to act in her new home with her new servants. Romance, mystery and suspense make this book another great read. Follow Psyche on her heroine journey to set things right after she makes the biggest mistake of her life.
Highly recommended for YA Paranormal lovers and mythological dreamers.
on September 7, 2012
I fell in love with Eros! Delightful and yummy, he was :) Dear Eros, shoot me with that wonderful arrow of yours anytime:) Love Derinda
Oh ooops (blushing) I am reviewing right, I remember!
First, you start off with a stunning book cover that makes you say WOW! The way the Author contrive this book "Greek mythology meets The 20st century". I loved it.
Psyche's character was lovely, strong, courageous and pure at heart. A few bad decisions, but hey don't we all. She was willing to climb mountains to prove her love for Eros. Love was the bridge for this story and done in a beautiful way. I simply adored it. It was refreshing, corky, over all a beautiful.
Be carful poking your finger in a bad boy's chest, and saying never. He might just turned out to be the love of your life!
Now lets move to Eros :) He starts out a hurt arrogant jerk. Little disrespectful (holding up my thumb and finger) to his mother, because she tries to set him up with Psyche. However, over time, he finds himself consumed with love for her. Now he is turning magnanimous. Now he sincerely loves her, even if he had a tad accident with his arrow LOL. He will do anything to keep his mother from finding out. She wants to destroy Psyche now, for turning Eros down. What a tangled web we weave.
Who doesn't love a good old fashion dysfunctional family? The "Mother" of a Mama's Boy *giggle*! Jessie Harrell, did a wonderful job adding twist and turns in this book, that will make sure you do not get to bored. Jessie, has Eros and Psyche go through controversy and trials to get to the outcome, together or not! I am not telling. You will just have to read it. This Story was published in 2011, I can not believe every teenager doesn't have a copy!
on January 4, 2013
Destined by Jessie Harrell
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.
Why I picked it:
There are two main reasons why I wanted to read this book.
1. The cover completely caught my eye. I mean seriously. How gorgeous is it? It's so evocative and romantic looking. I don't think they could have caught a more perfect picture for this cover. The soft hues and purples look so...relaxing.
2. Because I am infatuated with the legend of Psyche and Cupid (Eros).
I was lucky enough to go to Europe for my high school senior class trip. The trip was for 12 days and we got to go to England, France, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. To me, the best part of the trip was when we got to go to the Louvre.
As I was wandering the castle, I passed through the sculpture area and a certain sculpture captured my attention.
That's right. It's THE Psyche and Eros. It was my favorite sculpture in the museum. I took a goofy picture with it (and no I won't be posting it ;) ) and I bought a print of it from the gift shop.
When I heard about this story I was immediately excited to pick it up and read.
Of course I had other books that needed my attention first, but this always was in the back of my mind.
What did I think?
It was really, really good. I loved all the Greek mythology in it. Psyche's character was so easy to fall in love with. She had such a great personality and was willing to go through EVERYTHING for the ones she loved.
Eros was a kick in the pants. ;) I loved him and he seemed so dreamy. Except when his temper got the best of him. His deep blue eyes and golden hair...*sighs*
This book was an easy read and was highly enjoyable. It is surely one I will read again. Jessie Harrell did a great job with story and I liked her own twist to it.
So I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Now for a few snippets (this is my favorite part ;) )
"I was alone with my crowd. Their constant, muted rumble played like the song of my heart. An endless rise and fall with no definition. Like a shape without sides. And though the sound pulsed and writhed to its own rhythm, the dullness made it feel unreal."
"This was my life--all around me in this palace. My future was in these walls. Invisible servants, mostly-invisible suitor? Boyfriend? I didn't even know what we were supposed to be to each other."
"He might not have control over the waters, but the heat rolling off his body was strong enough to cross the space between us. As I met his eyes, his head dipped forward. My heart stuttered in my chest and my throat seemed to close tight. Was this fear or desire? His nose brushed mine as he leaned dangerously close and I felt his breath tease and tickle my lips."
"Your love has wings, Psyche," Hera said, waving he hand through the air and fluttering her fingers as she spoke.
on February 13, 2012
People say don't judge by the cover but how could I not its such a beautiful cover. As for the book itself. I couldn't even finish it. I cant get past the way they spoke. When a book is set in Greek times I kinds expect a little authenticity when it comes to the language, I don't mean in Greek or old English, but I don't think in Greek times they said "what's up?" If it was a retelling set in modern times then I would understand but its not.
on April 5, 2012
A fantastic retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth. Destined will leave your heart racing with the chemistry between these two characters. Fans of Greek Mythology, and beautiful and romantic love stories will want to read this!
Psyche is a fiery young girl, who has been blessed with beauty. So much so that she has caught Aphrodite's attention. As with all gods and goddesses, Psyche knows she has to be wary of Aphrodite's intentions. When gods get interested in the affairs of men, things don't go well. And that's exactly what happens to Psyche after she angers the goddess by refusing to marry her son Eros. After a terrible misunderstanding Psyche will have to call on the gods for help, face an enraged goddess, and descend to the bowels of the underworld fighting for the love of her life.
Stubborn, caring, and extremely fun, Psyche is such an amazing character to read. Ooooh and boy does she have attitude. I think that's why Eros refuses her at first, because she doesn't take any crap from him. Like Psyche, I love/hated Eros. He's supposed to be a god of love and he is such a grump. Poor Psyche determines he's `the biggest jerk' she's ever met after just five minutes with him. Then the whole arrow thing happens and you don't know if it's true love or if it's just the magic driving him. But still, you can't help but fall utterly and helplessly in love with him, as he tries to win Psyche's love.
Then when all seems well in paradise, an incident happens and that's what drives the second half of the book. However I didn't get Psyche's anger. I think she blew things out of proportion a bit. I mean, wishing for a friend's death and planning a murder after a glimpse at what she thought was deceit. She should have confronted him first. But that's the thing with all the Greek mythology stories, people take things too personally and act first, ask questions later. Eros does the same. Greek gods are all about vengeance and getting even forgiveness is not a word known in their vocabulary.
I could not put this book down! Psyche's `modern' voice was such fun to read in an ancient Greek setting. All the troubles and obstacles set between Psyche and Eros will keep you on edge, because all the time it can't be any clearer that they're meant for each other! So get your toga, get in the mood, and get ready to swoon beautifully with Jessie Harrell's amazing debut.
on October 24, 2012
I'm familiar with the Greek mythology story of Psyche and Eros, so Destined was on my radar from some time ago. Finally I read it, and it's definitely recommended.
Psyche is a young lady who is 'cursed' with being the most beautiful girl in Greece. Her family is happy and is looking for a husband for her, but her beauty may not be enough. It isn't enough to save her from an horrible destiny.
It's has been a while since I read YA, and at first Psyche seemed a little bit immature to me. But she's sweet and very confused, and she doesn't want her life to be chosen for her. I loved to see her change from that young girl into a brave woman.
Eros, or Cupid, is an entirely different character. I wasn't very attracted to him, he was mean and it was a mistake that he fall in love with Psyche at first. I wanted him to fight more for her, to give a little bit more of himself, specially in the ending. But it worked for both of them.
Overall, Destined is a must if you like Greek Mythology. It's a sweet retelling of Psyche and Eros, and I was glad to find a protagonist who was capable of saving herself and her love, and her beauty was forgotten in the middle of it.
on December 13, 2011
What I Liked: 1) The story. This is the first book I've read that explores this particular Greek myth, the story of Eros and Psyche. It was definitely unique in that way. Plus, it's just a great tale all around. If you don't know the story, check out Destined! 2) Psyche's personality. So it's set in ancient Greece/Olympus. But sometimes Psyche, and some of the other characters too, talk like they could be from present day. I really liked that, so we weren't bogged down with some kind of Ancient Greek-speak. Actually, there were several times where her reactions were the same as what mine might have been in the same situation! 3) How close to the original the details were in the story. I cheated some and did a little research after I finished reading Destined, because I was curious. I knew the general story, but the salient details escaped me. And so much of this story was grounded in the original details, while still sounding fresh and new. I loved it. Plus, any story that a) inspires me to do my own research, or b) inspires my imagination to come up with crazy jailbird stories (if you saw me on twitter last week, you know what I'm talking about) is just going to be great! 4) Cupid! Who doesn't like Cupid. In his Roman form, of course. Eros is his Greek name. But whatever you call him, I loved him in this story. His devotion to Psyche is so great, he is willing to go to any length to keep her safe. What a great male MC.
What I Didn't Like: 1) This wasn't so much a dislike as something that caused me some confusion. Throughout most of the story, the Gods are referred to as their Greek names. Which is fine, the legend is Greco-Roman, so it could go either way. But for a few of the gods, she switched to their Roman names. I tried to find a reason for this, like if that part of the story maybe came from the Roman legends. I couldn't come up with anything other than author preference. For me, who recognizes most gods from their Greek names, I had trouble figuring out who a few were until I was given some context clues. This does not hinder the story in anyway, just something that confused me a few times.
Overall thoughts: Destined is a fun and well-written book covering the Greco-Roman legend of Eros and Psyche. The story sticks close to the historical details, and the characters are given life and grow into well-rounded and very personable characters. This lighthearted story breathes life into this ancient legend through beautiful details and personable characters. Highly recommended!
on November 22, 2011
Psyche knows the Greek Gods are real, after all she has one visiting her. Aphrodite has some plans for the most beautiful girl in all of Greece but Psyche may not go for those plans. What's a girl to do after you seriously tick off the Goddess of Love. Umm, where can you hide from a Goddess? Psyche's perfect life is in serious ruins and the oracles prophecy tells her just how bad it can get. But when Psyche feels herself actually falling for the creature she is fated to love and thus fulfilling the prophecy, she realizes that she really is powerless to fight what's destined.
5 stars - a must read
Can I just say that the cover is gorgeous and perfect for this book.
Destined is a retelling of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche's myth. I've only ever read one other version of this story and it was just okay. So really this was new to me. The world that Jessie creates is so fun. It's ancient Greece but with modern vocabulary and spunk. Psyche makes some very teenage mistakes and then tries to fix things. In the process, she falls in love with the guy she never thought she could. I love the twist of fate there. As a matter of fact, there were lots of twists that I really enjoyed in this book. I will admit that I figured one big one out but it really made me happy so I didn't care. There were even a couple of trials in this one. Very Greek! I have come to really enjoy the books based on some aspect of Greek mythology and this one was no exception.
The characters are fabulous. We meet so many Greek big names, all of them perfect. I loved Aphrodite. She wasn't the silly love sick Goddess that has shown up in other books. No she was full of surprises. I loved her spunk! Speaking of spunk, Psyche was fabulous. That girl didn't just have a pretty face. When things got tough, she worked her butt off for the guy she loved. She wasn't a cute little thing looking for someone to save her. And Eros, I love Eros. Is it okay to have a crush on the Goddess of Love's son? Hmm, could get me in trouble in lots of ways. Anyway, he wasn't perfect by any means. He has quite the temper but he has this incredible heart. I was cheering for him all the way.
So if you're looking for that really good book that you can pick up and read quickly then this is the book for you. Sometimes, I just need something that is fun and romantic to pick up my mood. This is the perfect choice.
If you like Greek mythology, then this is a must.
If you like romance, then this is a must.
If you love a great read, then this is a must.
Pick this one up, you won't regret it.
on April 25, 2012
If you like Greek mythology, then I think you'll love this book. So many of Greek mythology's best characters are in DESTINED. And seriously, I can't help but love how Ms. Harrell took all of my favorite Greek myths and incorporated them into this story to make them so stinkin' faulous!
The main protagonists Psyche and Eros--you may know him as Cupid--are great together! Psyche wins me over with the beauty of a goddess, but the kindness of a saint. She's definitely flawed, but not in a way that makes her unlikeable. Eros, on the other hand, can't seem to let go of his past. It's the standard, "she did me wrong, now all girls are evil", stance. But, I can, safely, say both of these two have the absolute best of intentions throughout the entire story, but it just seems like everything keeps going wrong for them!
But, if I'm going to be honest, my favorite surprise of this book was Aphrodite. I think she may just be the most complex character in the entire book. And the way she gets used as a tool to form this story, is flawless. Absolutely amazing.
The reason I didn't give DESTINED five stars is because I feel like if you are a stranger, in any way, to Greek mythology, you may miss out on this book. There are so many references to Greek myths in here that aren't EXACTLY explained that someone, NOT up on their Greek, may be confused.