Psyche Middleton is a beautiful girl who hates being the object of attention. She would love to just be normal and be liked for herself and not her looks. After she becomes internationally known for portraying Venus, the Goddess of love, she becomes even more jaded. One night at a party she is rescued from an admiring crowd by a mystery guy who can make himself invisible. They have an instant attraction but Erik’s love has one condition – she can never see his face. She finds herself falling quickly for him but ultimately betrays Erik’s trust for one quick glimpse of his face. This betrayal puts her at the mercy of Erik’s mother – a woman who is powerful and merciless. She sets three impossible tasks that Psyche must complete in order to prove her love and fidelity. She must perform these tasks successfully or forfeit Erik’s love – and her own life.

Bubby: OK, I’ll admit it. I read a lot of books that I don’t end up finishing because of two reasons – either they are poorly written or they contain graphic language, violence or sexual content. When I picked up Painted Blind, I was expecting that this would be a book that I wouldn’t finish because it would be full of heaving bosoms and such, just based on the cover. But my mama always said not to judge a book by its cover so I gave it a try. And it paid off! I really enjoyed this take on the story of Cupid and Psyche. You know I’m a sucker for a strong female character and Psyche has strength to spare.

Sissy: Painted Blind is an entertaining spin on the much used human and immortal love story. I enjoyed the fact that the immortals were NOT vampires.

Bubby: You really need to get over this anti-vampire bias. Vampires are people too, even if they are sparkly!

Sissy: NOT getting over the anti-vampire thing. As I was saying, I did enjoy this. It was a good story with fun plot twists and our teenage heroine was not a complete moron. She actually had some altruism. Both of our characters have problems with their good looks. Only Bubby knows how it is to be so beautiful that it’s painful. (Or maybe it’s so painful that it’s beautiful. Not sure which.)

Bubby: Hmm. Not sure how to take that comment, Sissy. I think I shall decide that you just said I’m extremely beautiful, inside and out, and leave it at that. Thank you. Now, back to the story. See, Psyche’s mother (the flightiest, most self-centered and vain woman alive) insisted that Psyche spend her summer modeling in Europe. This resulted in a large billboard on the main street of the Middleton’s small Montana town. Unfortunately, the billboard is of Psyche posing as Venus (as in Boticelli’s painting of “The Birth of Venus”. Google it!) and it’s been photoshopped to imply that Psyche posed nude. Imagine Mr. Middleton’s reaction, not to mention the reaction at Psyche’s school and then at a college frat party. This is where Erik comes in.

Sissy: That is precisely what I was saying about you Bubby. Psyche is in her worst case scenario – a crowded party full of drunk and amorous males all wanting to put a hand on her. Erik swoops in and saves her. Why is Erik there in the first place? Why is Psyche on Erik’s radar? Because Erik’s mother happens to be the Goddess Aphrodite (aka Venus) and she does not like the competition. She sends Erik to get rid of Psyche but that is not what Erik does. No, no, not at all.

Bubby: Nope. I’m pretty sure that Aphrodite never intended Erik and Psyche to fall in love and later in the book you find out just how unhappy she is about the whole thing. But we’re going near spoiler territory now so I will reveal no more! I have to say, though, that I am constantly amazed by these teenage girls who have instant connections to guys who are invisible/immortal/have powers/etc. and aren’t at all concerned about it. If an invisible guy snatched me away from an adoring mob at a party, my first reaction would be concern, not attraction! And if, for instance, my teenage daughter told me she’d fallen in love with an immortal being who could make himself invisible and lived in a fabulous castle in an alternate dimension, I would certainly seek psychiatric help for her right away. I guess that’s why Psyche keeps Erik’s existence a secret from her father. She’s operating on the principle that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission!

Sissy: I always kept my invisible immortal boyfriends a secret from the family. Here is where I will bring up my one issue that I had with the book. Get ready for a rant.

Bubby: Oh, boy. Batten down the hatches, readers!

Sissy: As Bubby said in the beginning, Michelle Hansen kept this book clean, but as with some other young adult books, she pushes it a little for me. What I mean to say is (as in the Twilight books), our boyfriend comes and spends the night quite regularly. They sleep together without becoming intimate. TO me, this gives the wrong message. In the real world, a romantic couple cannot sleep together night after night without becoming intimate. I want to warn any young adults who want to maintain their virtue to not try this at home! It does not work! I wish these authors would just stay clean and not push the boundaries like this.

Bubby: I have to agree. This was the only flaw for me in an otherwise delightful read. I know that virtue is an outdated concept for most of the world, and some of you may scoff at us for finding this to be an issue, but we’re old-fashioned around here. Boyfriend sleepovers notwithstanding, I really enjoyed Painted Blind by Michelle Hansen. I await her next book anxiously. 3 1/2 bubbles.

Sissy: I thought this was a fun book. I will read Michelle Hansen again. 3 bubbles from me.

Click HERE to buy Painted Blind: A Modern Retelling of the Myth of Cupid and Psyche by Michelle Hansen from Amazon.com

Click HERE to buy Painted Blind: A Modern Retelling of the Myth of Cupid and Psyche by Michelle Hansen from BookDepository.com

© Bubble Bath Books 2013