What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Destined by Jessie Harrell

I waited anxiously for the chance to read Destined by Jessie Harrell. To the point of standing by the window watching for the FedEx guy. I knew a little about the story of Cupid and Psyche, and was definitely intrigued.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.

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!

My rating: 5 shots


  1. Thank you so much for the awesome review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story.
    I'll tell you why a couple of gods still have their Roman names... it's a mistake on my part. I started using all the Roman names because the version that was handed down to us used the Roman names. But some many people thought I'd lost my mind that I did a last minute switch to the Greek names. And I missed 1 or 2 of the characters. Which really irks me, but I'm human after all. Better just to admit it and move on, right?
    Again, thanks for your review and your support!

  2. Not a mistake, Jessie! Poetic license!! That's how I view it! :)


  3. This sounds like a fun book! I love Greek mythology, especially as of late the resurgence. Informative review as always Courtney!

  4. Wonderful review!
    I'm so glad to see that you loved Destined just as much as I did! HURRAY!

    A Cupcake and a Latte: Young Adult Reviews!

  5. Awesome review!! I have this on my bday/xmas list, but its starting to look like a xmas present! Still can't wait, I LOVE Greek mythology and am so looking forward to this one!

  6. Great review! I never noticed the roman names but only because I'm still new to greek myth so I wouldn't have noticed. I'm glad it didn't bother you too much though it was a really cute story.

    Xpresso Reads

  7. Oooh... I'm so interested in this book now!! As someone who teaches Greek Mythology, I bet my students and I would love it! Thanks for the recommendation... :)

  8. Oh wait... I guess I should ask first before sharing with students... Is it YA or adult?? :)


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