Book Review: Cupid

Cinxia had been happy to assist Cupid. Although he was the god of love, he knew nothing about marriage.

Ironically, Cupid also knows nothing about love.

I picked up Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Julius Lester because, well, it looked interesting. The book cover is striking and the back of the book has a break out quote about Cupid falling in love and not understanding. Which means it’s a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche story, and retellings can be superfun. Also, I had just finished Percy Jackson, so I was still riding a myth high. As you do.

Anyway, yes, so I picked it up, and I read it. And…I really didn’t like this book. I tried SO HARD, but it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t feel like there was really anything extra added to the story. I mean, it is decidedly longer than the Wikipedia summary but not in a way that makes me feel like I understand the characters any more. Cupid is the god of love but doesn’t really understand what that means, Psyce is beautiful but hates it because it causes people to worship her, and Venus is jealous. Okay, and…?

It seems like the story really exists for Lester’s narrator to narrate. After all, half of the story is his observations on love, beauty, and marriage. He often breaks the fourth wall (is that what it’s called in literature? TV Tropes tells me that it is!) to speak directly to the reader either about the story itself, the nature of stories, and, of course, life lessons. It’s kind of cute, but mostly annoying. I mean, I’d rather have the author acknowledge that he is imparting great pearls of wisdom than have what’s supposed to be a third person narrator do it, but it’s still a bit much. Plus, Lester uses it as an excuse not to fill in the gaps of the story, which…yeah.

From the first paragraph:

That information was not in the story when it came down to me. Sometimes, stories don’t understand; what may not be important to them is very important to us.

And then he proceeds not to tell us stuff that he’s saying maybe should be explained. It is frustrating.

Anyway, the book is an easy read, and it moves pretty quickly. I wish it had more character development since that’s my favorite thing about retellings. I also think the book kind of failed because it didn’t make me want to read more about Psyche or Cupid (or any of the Roman/Greek gods and goddesses really), and that’s one thing I loved about the Percy Jackson books.

POC Challenge: 2/15; YA Challenge 1/20; Support Your Local LIbrary: 1/30

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Thwonk « The Englishist

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