I bought this e-book around Christmas when there was a special .99 cent promotion. Needless to say I was really excited to read this book but my ridiculous TBR pile and Law School kept getting in my way. I am so glad I finally got a chance to read Destined though because it was very original, well written, and had me rooting for the main characters.
Destined is a novel based on the Greek Gods that are getting so popular in YA right now. The thing that sets Destined apart though is the fact that it is actually set in Greece, in the past! No Modern day Gods parading around New York. There are only Gods in ancient Greece where, in my opinion, they belong. So, while we are on the topic of Gods I think I need to make a quick confession before delving into this review…..every time I read a book about Greek Gods all I can think of is the Disney movie Hercules ^-^’ This makes for a really distracting read and I probably end up not enjoying Greek YA books as much as I should.
Okay now that my Hercules rant is out of the way lets talk about Destined! Psyche our heroine is a beauty, much like Helen of Troy, who Aphrodite chooses as her own daughter. Unfortunately, Aphrodite and Psyche have a falling out after Psyche rejects Aphrodite’s son Eros! Following this disaster, Psyche is forced to move away from her family and everything she knows into the home of a masked stranger. While under the care of this masked stranger Psyche begins to fall for this person, but not knowing who they are forces her to try and discover their identity. Her discovery breaks the tightrope both of them have been walking and Psyche realizes she may have just lost the love of her life. This forces Psyche into a journey (much like the one Hercules is forced to take!) to find her lost love and to win Aphrodite’s approval.
Destined was really an action packed book. From start to finish I was captivated by the story of Psyche and Eros. The setting in ancient Greece felt really vivid (even if I was imagining Hercules “Disney” Greece the entire time). I also loved the fact that the characters grew as the novel progressed. Eros started out the novel as a party-boy type with a broken heart and “problems” but as the novel progressed he really grew up and started caring about someone else more then himself. Psyche too grew as a character she begins the novel as beautiful princess interested in wooing a husband but as the story goes on Psyche fights, braving the underworld for the one she loves. This type of dedication isn’t something I read often in YA. Usually the characters have a fight, break it off, then bam! Love triangle. Instead Harrell writes a story of true love that endures despite terrible odds.
Overall, I enjoyed Destined it was a great debut novel for Jessie Harrell and I will definitely keep my eyes on this author!