Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Book Description from the back of the ARC:

ARC, 368 pages
November 17, 2011, Mae Day Publishing

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns 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.

Source: Jessie Harrell (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

Eversince Greek mythology retellings started to conquer the YA world, I’ve read many Hades/Persephone retellings. But what I was really waiting for was a Cupid and Psyche retelling that will take me back to Olympian-ruled-Greece. Finally, it has arrived!

Psyche was a princess, the most beautiful girl in Greece and Aphrodite’s daughter after Helen. As the crowds starting rolling in just to see her face, she couldn’t help but shrink back against all the attention. She wanted normalcy – something that was not fated for her. Soon, her parents started calling in suitors for her and her sister, Chara while their bride price was at its peak. Shocked and unprepared, Psyche dreaded every arrival of a suitor at her palace.

Psyche’s life was not coated in sugar. It just had a sweet, sweet icing. But underneath that was a layer of solitude, disconnection and a problematic state. The most beautiful girl in Greece had her problems too and they usually involved angered goddesses, prophecies and curses. I love how Harrell bared Psyche. I saw her imperfection, her vulnerability and her recklessness. But aside from that, she was also beautiful inside and out.

Harrell’s twist on the Cupid and Psyche mythology was perfect for me. The story was retained but the author altered parts of it and gave readers a whole new reason to love this romantic tale. The writing was of the refreshing kind. Harrell had a knack for storytelling. I was enticed, drawn into the story and unwilling to let go of Destined even in the wee hours of the morning.

Eros aka Cupid, was a captivating god. He had the mischief of Puck (The Iron Fey), the charm and good looks of Lend (Paranormalcy) and Sam (The Wolves of Mercy Falls), the devotion of Ash (The Iron Fey) and the passion of Ren (Tiger’s Curse). He was a determined, honest and passionate lover, pursuing and caring for Psyche without using his arrow on her.

I knew how the original story went but I never got bored with Destined. The characters were not simply borrowed. They were clothed with new personalities and they were well-developed. Aside from Psyche and Eros, all of these characters were not present throughout the entire book. But they made an impact nonetheless. Rasmus, the young prince who went to Psyche’s palace to take a bride home, was most interesting. He was the charming-geeky-mysterious-type. Chara, Psyche’s sister was more complex than the others. She loved Psyche as a sister but after Psyche was proclaimed as Aphrodite’s daughter, their relationship went downhill.

Psyche’s needed to pass tests in order to be worthy to talk to Eros again. This was the fun and exciting part. I was cheering Psyche all the while, urging her to make it. Through her ‘journey,’ she met a couple of immortals and encountered a handful of danger, she was unlike the many strong heroines of other novels but she steeled herself and pushed through with her plan.

Told in alternating perspectives of Eros and Psyche, Destined unravels the lives of both lovers. This was the first time that I ever read anything about Eros. It was exciting to find out about his life, his past and his thoughts.

Destined is my favorite Greek/Roman retelling of the year! It’s a journey of love, sacrifices, pain, hope and redemption. Unforgettable, consuming, heartbreakingly and painfully romantic with a sprinkle of cuteness and sweetness here and there, Destined is the perfect read for Greek-myth readers and romance readers.



  1. You're right even though I'd read the original right before I read this book I NEVER got bored.
    Great review!

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. Awesome review! Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. (((HUGS))) Don't forget, I'd still love a picture of you with the novel for Destined's online scrapbook. :)

  3. Wow, if it kept you up early in the morning, it must be good! I love the cover!

  4. It must be good if it is your favorite myth Greek retelling of the year. I've yet to explore a Greek/Roman retelling. I'll add this one to my list.

  5. Ahh, so excited to read this! I love greek mythology retellings too, but so many deal with Hades/Persephone... where's the Eros love?! You've totally sold me on this... the romance, the tragedy, the humour and of course, the men you use to compare Eros with ;)

    Fantastic review, Precious! <3

  6. I want this book! Mainly because I've always been fascinated with Psyche's myth. Great review.