Review: Medusa by Jessie Burton


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Title: Medusa: The Girl Behind the Myth
Author: Jessie Burton
Illustrator: Olivia Loenech Gill
Genre: Mythology Retelling
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Length: 207 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Source: Library
Recommended for fans of: Greek mythology
Content Warnings: rape, sexual harrassment


A dazzling, feminist retelling of Greek myth from the internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist, stunningly illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill.

Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal . and destiny itself.

Filled with glorious full-colour illustrations by award-winning Olivia Lomenech Gill, this astonishing retelling of Greek myth is perfect for readers of Circe and The Silence of the Girls. Illuminating the girl behind the legend, it brings alive Medusa for a new generation.


This YA retelling of Greek mythology reimagines Medusa not as a monster, but as the young girl who lives in exile with her sisters after both men and gods failed her. The book highlights the misogyny and abuse women frequently faced at the hands of men (both mortal and immortal) in Greek mythology, and the limited options that were available to women in that society (find a powerful male protector or live in isolation and ruin).

This is a lovely, thoughtful coming of age story of first love and first heartbreak, about trust and the lengths people will go to for the ones they love, about what happens with the heart and the head are in conflict. The gorgeous, full-color illustrations enhanced the story, and I have no complaints about this book!

Note: This is an illustrated novella, NOT a graphic novel (as I initially assumed).

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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