Publication Date: May 23, 2012
Stand Alone Novel
Genre: Mythology, Retelling
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.
*Reader’s Copy provided by Michelle A. Hansen for the blog tour and an honest review*
Retellings are a huge favorite of mine, especially those rounding mythology. Now when it comes to Greek myths I tend to cross the cracking, icy lake with trepidation. Greek mythology is very commonplace in YA, but (yes there is a but) Michelle Hansen did a wonderful job with this rendition of Psyche and Eros. It strays away from the typical main stories in Greek myth and gives a breath of fresh air in characters, world-building, and the writing is fantastic. I was left wanting to know more about each character, how to find my way around the twists and turns that were thrown at me, and what was going to happen in the end. Trust me, this author knows how to keep you hanging and never leaving you with a dull moment.
Psyche definitely strayed away from the norm of the YA world. She was built fluently as a strong main protagonist. She was flawed, she struggled, and I was rooting for her to keep fighting. Psyche is a character that you want to see reach her destination with a happy ending, especially when it is Erik, our invisible love interest. With Psyche, I started to really like Erik even without knowing what he looked like. The whole love with your heart not with your eyes is a huge deal in this book and I really find that to be a wonderful focus in this novel. It’s different because most YA love interests are hot beyond comparison. They are just irresistible. But because Erik is unknown in that spectrum I found him so much more attractive. Because I was seeing him for his personality and not for his looks. Psyche, on the other hand, becomes tempted to see what Erik actually looks like. And a bond becomes broken.
Trust. Trust is huge when it comes to Erik. Trust is what Psyche struggles to re-obtain after her blunder and her cursorily killed the cat (of trust). Both characters have made their fair share of mistakes. But mistakes are what make things realistic, even in this retelling. And I’m glad to see flaws that are being fought to override and grow into a much stronger, enjoyable character. Not that Psyche and Erik weren’t both strong and enjoyable, character development is just a wonderful trait where you can see the path one started from and watch how they grow along the way. This has a wonderful example of character growth.
Final Summation: Just a fantastic retelling of the Psyche and Eros tale that has more twists and turns making it a unique tale. With strong characters with flaws and growth along the way Painted Blind is a novel worth reading, especially for the Greek mythology fans who want to stray from the overabundant Olympian myths.