Title: Painted Blind
Author: Michelle A. Hansen
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, paranormal
While the plot did interest me, I was a little worried about this book. First off, the cover. Now, I know that if I saw that cover in the store, I would not even look at the inside flap. In my opinion, the cover takes the title waaaaaay too literally, and really doesn’t look like much of anything. Girl in a pink blindfold with a fuzzy boy standing in the background. Not so much.
The second thing that worried me was the prologue. When I read about this book on NetGalley, there was absolutely zero mention of a paranormal element. To be honest, I thought they had mad a mistake and put the prologue to another book at the front of this one. I really didn’t think the storyline I originally read needed a paranormal element; it seemed like a bit of a tack-on “oh right, so teens like paranormal stuff nowadays, let’s add some faeries.”
I really wish more time had been spent on Psyche’s dilemma in terms of deciding whether or not to do the risque photo shoot. I thought that alone would have made a good story. It seemed out of character for her, which was made clear from the start of the book. I also wanted to know more about her relationship with her parents.
Despite those flaws, I did appreciate the clear allusion to the Cupid and Psyche myth. Venus, Cupid’s mother, jealous of Psyche’s beauty, orders him to pierce Psyche with an arrow that will cause her to fall in love with a monster. Cupid, however, accidentally scratches himself instead when he becomes distracted by her beauty. Basically, the two are allowed to be together as long as Psyche never sees Cupid in his true form. But, due to some jealous sisters and her own fear, she disobeys these orders and ends up with a broken heart.
The first appearance of mythology, of course, is the ad for Venus that Psyche, a model in this modern-day myth, poses for. Actually, I probably should have said Psyche’s name was the first appearance, but I wasn’t aware of the allusions for the first couple pages. Next, obviously, is Erik, who Psyche can’t see because he has the power of invisibility.
And, of course, we have the title, obviously alluding to the famous quote about winged cupid being painted blind.
Soon, though, I discovered the story was actually a modern retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I love a good contemporary myth. I actually found the romance compelling, and when it comes to paranormal romances, I tend not to. Obviously the painted-blind element made it more interesting, and knowing the myth added suspense for me because I kept waiting for certain things to happen and I was curious about which elements of the story Hansen would use.
I also ended up really liking Psyche. (SPOILER ALERT) After Erik/Eros throws her out, she starts losing a bunch of weight and has trouble sleeping. Ordinarily, I would be bothered by this kind of thing because it always seems to me that the writer is saying that teen girls can’t live without a guy. Psyche, however, is different. She directly says that she is wasting away “against her will.” Psyche is a very strong female character. She also must have excellent taste in men, because through trying to win him back, she overcomes some of her greatest fears. She is tough but compassionate at the same time, without becoming a doormat. She works for what she wants most; it is not just given to her.
Psyche’s story will appeal to many readers, (if they can get past the cover) and I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book for free. I look forward to reading more of Michelle Hansen’s work.