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Medusa: The Girl Behind the Myth (Illustrated Gift Edition)

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Ultimately, though, and with a magnificent sense of sisterhood, Medusa comes to a new state of being: “Self-awareness is a great banisher of loneliness. Thank you to the author, Jessie Burton, the illustrator, Olivia Lomenech Gill, and the publisher, Bloomsbury YA, for this opportunity. I liked the overall message of reclaiming control, how beauty for women often defines them and leads to destruction, but I just had no emotional connection to the story at all. In this Medusa retelling, Jessie Burton shows us that labels never give us the full story of a person.

With a look that would turn men to stone, Medusa has earned her place in Greek mythology as the ruthless Gorgon, with a head of snakes. In this haunting reimagining of the myth of Medusa and Perseus, Burton positions the pair as teenagers swept up in the capricious gods' machinations, struggling to defy the destinies thrust upon them.i've always been fascinated with medusa and how she's seen as a villain despite her backstory and this book added a lot to that. Burton's take on the traditional adversaries humanizes both characters, blurring boundaries between hero and monster. Desires awoken, Medusa won’t reveal her name, or let him see her: “I was just going to sit on the other side of this entrance rock and pretend that boys like him washed up on desert islands all the time. I’d go so far as to say that the main character, really, was Athene – who, if you know how the myth goes, isn’t a character you want to spend much time with. Where Burton brings life to the characters with her words, Olivia Lomenech Gill's brushstrokes do just as perfect a job.

Medusa is not only a powerful text, but it is also a beautiful work of art due to the illustrations by Olivia Lomenech Gill. This was one of - if not the best - Medusa retelling I’d read in years and I highly recommend it to those wanting a fresh take on her myth. Throughout, its seriousness is balanced by colloquial quips (“Nothing to look at here…”, Medusa knows she should tell Perseus) and sly humour. None who read this can relate to owning sentient hair but many can relate to being punished by society, paying for the mistakes of powerful others, being subjected to the whims of those in authority, and being viewed as one of few accepted binaries. She first fell under the spell of the myths when an older brother bought her a copy of Kenneth McLeish’s Children of the Gods.It was so easy to find her voice, and I wanted to swivel to her point of view because in traditional verse, she has often been a cypher for Perseus’ hero journey. I've been attempting audiobooks for a while (my ADHD brain tends to wander a lot), finally found one I could pay attention to in Medusa. I was apprehensive at first as the tale of Medusa is much beloved and she has become such a multi-dimensional symbol that has morphed through the ages, but Haynes manages to be a worthwhile and insightful addition to the Medusa commentary that feels fresh, fun and faithful to the spirit of her source material (much of the tales here are adaptations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and, sorry Pegasus fans, but the winged horse is absent from this tale). The Greek gods all seem to have a wicked sense of humor and take pleasure in twisting a mortal’s wish simply to take pleasure in the results. Perseus' description of [Medusa] as a poet is also true of Burton's prose; aquatic and mythical but not overwrought, its beauty is reflected in Gill's sublime full-page illustrations.

I’m probably too fussy because Medusa is my favourite myth and I’ve been so looking forward to a decent reimagining! Even when she stops taking to the waters to fish, Poseidon punishes her village with floods and storms.

i just wish either 1) this had more medusa or 2) this hadnt been pitched/advertised as a medusa story. This unflinchingly honest tale of objectification,toxic masculinity, and the meaning of consent is a breathtaking masterpiece that cannot be missed. This is Perseus, chiselled, handsome, and possessed of a gleaming shield and sword, the ruby at its hilt twinkling portentously like ‘a gleaming ball of blood. Their relationship takes a tragic turn, however, when Medusa and Perseus reveal their true identities to one another.

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