Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s never actually seen because…he can make himself invisible.
As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.
A wonderful modern retelling of my favorite myth: Eros and Psyche!
I was a little skeptical about a modern retelling. How was the author going to transfer ancient events into modern day? But not only did she manage it, but she created a brilliant love story with thrills and a perfect ending.
I really liked Psyche. In myth and all the retellings, Psyche is a strong character, and this Psyche is just as strong. Ever since she did an ad that was photo-shopped to look like she was nude, everyone has been treating her differently. Suddenly, she's a celebrity. However, Aphrodite takes offence with this picture, as Psyche had posed as Venus. So, now Psyche has to pay the price of insulting Aphrodite. She was remarkably strong throughout the story. She was kind, and demonstrated it on several occasions that made me like her all the more. The tasks that she has to complete are different in this book, modified to fit the retelling. But throughout them, she remained steadfast in her devotion and never faltered. That's probably the best part about her: She never doubted her love for Eros, even when forsaking it would have been easier. If I had one complaint, it would be how completely she broke down after Eros left her. She got herself together eventually, but it took awhile for her to find her resolve and start fighting for Eros. It didn't bother me a lot, but it was a little frustrating.
Eros, or Erik as he calls himself at the beginning, was sweet. Though he was angry with Psyche after she saw him, he forgave her easily after he saw that her love was real and that she would fight for it. This Eros was a little deeper than the other versions of him. We get to know him more as a person than just as the god of love. He was a sweetheart and I was so happy for him and Psyche when they got their happy ending.
Painted Blind is a little darker than the original myth. The emotions are more tumultuous, the story is a little more gruesome, particularly at the part of the underworld. This underworld was dark and terrifying and a horrible place to be. The only other Eros and Psyche retelling I've read is Destined, which is much lighter and happier. I loved both books, but they were different even though they told the same story. While Destined is light, Painted Blind was dark. It was an interesting change, and one that definitely worked out for the best.
The story was brilliant. Of course, those who know the myth will already know the basic story line, but the changes from the original myth are the parts the I want to focus on. As I said, the tasks were different, the relationship between the lovebirds, the details of the story. All of these changes served to make Painted Blind a wonderful book. Even if you know the myth, like I do, you'll still be on the edge of your seat throughout the story. I think some people might raise an eyebrow at the thought that a modern girl would give up her current life to live in another world to be with the man she loves, and to marry him. It wasn't any bit of a problem for me, but I think some people might find it strange. To those people, however, I say that if I was Psyche, I wouldn't hesitate to jump into my hottie's arms and have him carry me away to his mythical world and not look back. :)
So, Painted Blind was a wonderful, spectacular retelling of Eros and Psyche. If you like the myth, you'll want to read this. And even if you don't know it, read this book, because I guarantee that you'll fall in love with the story and the characters.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!