Friday 4 November 2011

Book Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell.

Product details:
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing.
Paperback, 368 pages.
Release date: November 17th 2011.
Rating: 3 out of  5
Ages: YA.
Source: Received from author for review.

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.

A charming retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Psyche and Eros, Jessie Harrell’s Destined gives a modern twist to this tale of star-crossed lovers with its use of contemporary language which will make it resonate with modern day readers young and old alike.

Destined introduces us to Psyche, the most beautiful girl in all of Greece, who spends her days greeting the adoring crowds who have come to worship her beautiful face. She’s about to learn that beauty comes at a price, though, when she attracts the attention of the goddess Aphrodite with disastrous consequences. Unimpressed by Aphrodite’s son Eros who she finds arrogant and rude, Psyche rejects him, angering Aphrodite and leading to a chain of events that will change her life forever and take her on a dangerous journey across the land which she hopes will lead her to the happiness she’s been longing for.

While I have only a passing knowledge of the myth of Psyche and Eros, I love a romantic tale, and in Destined the romance is sweet and sensual and full of longing as we discover how Psyche and Eros journey from disliking each other at first, to falling in love so deeply that they can never bear to be apart. The character of Psyche is an interesting one, and it is a testament to Harrell’s skills that she makes this character who is beautiful and sometimes conceited one that we eventually root for as her inner strength shines through and she shows herself to be a character of substance. The pervading message throughout the story is that real beauty comes from within. It may be easy to fall in love with a beautiful face, but it’s what’s inside that counts. Along with some wonderfully descriptive writing, Harrell has really done her homework research wise with an abundance of evocative descriptions that make Psyche’s life in ancient Greece really come to life.

While Harrell uses a historical setting for her story, Psyche speaks in contemporary, often informal language which at first can seem out of place against the ancient settings and customs depicted in Destined.  It’s a style that took me a while to get used to, especially since I have read a lot of  works with similarly ancient settings and I am more used to formal language when reading text of this type, but eventually the ancient setting and modern language sit well together, and they will make this text all the more accessible to its intended YA audience.

With its fairytale like qualities, dashing male lead and a good dose of romance, Destined is well worth checking out especially if you are a romantic soul and want to read a charming tale where love prevails against all odds.

Check back on Monday when Jessie will be featured as a Delightful Debutante as part of the Destined blog tour and one lucky reader will win an e-book of Destined!


  1. Thank you for your review, Leanna. I'm so glad you got the message about beauty being only skin deep. So important these days.
    Can't wait to be back here on the blog tour too!

  2. Great review I really enjoyed this as well! I also hadn't heard much of the classic story so it was fun to read this one.

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I love retellings! The story of Psyche and Eros is one that's always interested me as well. Glad you enjoyed this one - thanks for the review!

  4. As much as I love retellings, especially of the Greek mythology variety, I can see already that the whole modern vs. formal language thing bothering me. I don't think I'll like that. But, I'm very familiar with the tale of Psyche and Eros, so I can see this one also having a lot of heart. I'll pick this up as soon as I can. I just love Greek myths retold in YA stories!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  5. I loved Destined! I know that Psyche speaks like a modern teen but it worked for me, I guess. I was imagining that the book is the 'modern translated/revised version' of the actual thing so that we could understand it better. But I really loved Eros! :) Great review!

  6. Me me *waves hands in the air* I want to read it - adds to the Greek Mythology in YA for the library lessons <3

  7. I'll be reading this one soon. I can see how the language might be hard to get used to if it's not what you're expecting---maybe now that I've been warned, it won't bother me at all! :D

  8. Definitely sounds like something for me. I look forward to reading it in the future. Great review :)

  9. I'm actually a pretty big greek myth fan, so I'm sometimes hesitant when I see retellings. There is a LOT of moral ambiguity in greek myth, and Cupid and Psyche definitely is one of them. So, I might wait to read a bit more about this book before picking it up (mental manipulation leading to romantic encounters borders a bit too close to rape for my tastes, so I'm hoping Jessie didn't go that route in her book).


  10. I loved the ending of this book. It was nice to see how it all came together. Loved the review!

  11. I'm a sucker for retellings. I especially like Psyche and Eros's story so I really cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

  12. I'm glad you liked this. Sometimes I can appreciate a modern writing style even if the setting isn't, but other times it feel jarring. It's good to know that it eventually worked for you.


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