Teen Volunteer Review: Medusa

As part of our teen volunteer program, teens can submit book reviews, read-alikes lists, YA-inspired playlists and more! Download the registration form for details.

Today's volunteer review by Harmony is of Medusa by Jessie Burton.

A captivating tale laced with poetically descriptive events and melodic storytelling, Jessie Burton’s Medusa is like no other. A reinvented tale about the many legends and fables of the infamous Greek mythological figure, Burton takes you along the most private crevices of Medusa’s thoughts. Medusa, once a joyful fourteen year old, spending her days amongst her sisters, sailing for fish and peace within the waters, is struck with a heartbreaking event that leaves her with her most prominent feature, her head of snakes. The incident leaves her distraught and dishevelled and leads her to self-exile herself in shame along with her loyal sisters. Years later, Medusa, still conflicted, discovers the presence of an enchanting young man, Perseus. The tale itself, fuelled with melancholy and a strange escapade for self-acceptance, is daringly haunting. The slow-paced tale and short-captivating sentences, allows its readers to reflect about their own selves and relate to Medusa’s grief.

Personally, as a reader, the book was enthralling. It felt almost therapeutic to find a calm place and immerse myself completely within the lyrical wording. The illustrations also played a key factor in the book’s excellency. The blend of colours, facial expressions and beautifully portrayed protagonists almost felt as if I was looking at the events through Medusa’s eyes or in other words, looking into her mind. Even the saturation and vibrancy within the book enhances when Medusa finally finds peace within herself. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a soulful story filled with emotion and passion. 

To end, the book is perfectly constructed. It leaves you wondering, questioning and even at times conflicted about the true antagonist. Perseus, the event or even at times, Medusa.  Once painted as a notorious villain amongst all, this book showcases her vulnerability and allows you to sympathise with her. Overall, a wonderful concoction of gloom, rediscovery and recovery.