Medusa by Jessie Burton
I am Sarah. I am sixteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by all the amazing stories built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
We all know the myth of Medusa: a beautiful girl, caught up in a godly scandal, scorned by the powerful goddess Athena for desecrating her sacred temple. Athena turns her gorgeous locks into a head full of snakes, and, just to make sure she never forms a relationship again, curses Medusa’s gaze to turn anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with her to stone.
Essentially, Medusa commits a crime, godly justice is bestowed, and she becomes the fearsome, serpentine monster we know and hate.
But Jessie Burton proves that there’s way more to the story.
You open this book ready to meet a monster. But instead, you’re seeing a windy exile, through the eyes of a lonely, cursed eighteen-year-old girl. Medusa is reeling, confronted with her new features, unable to grasp the concept of her newfound immortality. And just when she fears she can’t get any lonelier, a boat arrives at her island, carrying a person (a friend): Perseus.
But we know how this story ends, and who Medusa will fall to. After all, the golden boy always defeats the monster. Only, is Medusa the monster he’s after?
Peppered with breathtaking illustrations, Burton retells Medusa’s story the way it really happened. This powerful almost-romance perfectly captures themes of consent, abuse of power, and ultimately, believing in yourself and your own identity no matter what lives on your head. They say we can all learn from ancient stories, but this? This is the beautiful, relevant lesson for every one of us.