Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
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How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, information pills only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, visit she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I really really enjoyed it and sped through it pretty quickly. On the other hand, I was like, meh, its okay. But I’m not sure if that sort of opinion is coming from the fact that I read this absolutely fantastic book yesterday so its really hard to compare.
I really did like Starcrossed though. I liked the twist on the Greek mythology and the idea of a demigod. The only history I’d had with such things were the actual Greek myths (I’ve been obsessed for as long as I can remember) and then, of course, Percy Jackson. What I thought was really interesting about Starcrossed is that it presented a really different view of the demigod. In Percy Jackson, we get gods and goddesses that just seem to be absent, like their children were the product of one-night stands and that was that. In Starcrossed, they are absent as well but its more of a darker reason, and there is a lot in hanging in their return. The kids in PJ wish their parents would pay attention to them, and the demigods of Starcrossed struggle to keep the treaty that keeps the gods’ involvement OUT Of their life. I thought that was really interesting. Its not a happy thing to be, and to interact with those in different god families is not good.
What I really liked about the main character is that she knew something was wrong with her, and she’s known forever, but she just hasn’t been able to figure out. And when you are with her as she is going through this crazy dreams, and weird feelings, you start thinking that maybe she really is crazy. That’s the sort of good story. You don’t just automatically assume that she has special powers or that she is part of a special race, etc. You honestly, for a time, start to believe that there is something wrong with her. But once she figures out what is going on, and Lucas and his family bring her in, and show her who she is, I really started to love the story. The Greek mythology, combined with the contemporary world was just beautiful, and I loved the various powers that she was capable of. I love that they have different powers, and they discover new ones and can hone them. I liked that once she was able to accept who she was, and where she came from (for the most part), she really starts to step into her own, and she is less afraid than she was before. I feel that she becomes braver, even though the danger increases.
I do have a small complaint that the relationship between Lucas and Helen. I don’t like the idea, all the time, of a tragic romance. When Helen meets Lucas, she wants to kill him, immediately, without even really knowing him, but we learn why later, and eventually, without ruining anything, she…gets past that. And of course, she is immediately attracted to him. Then, in an even more obvious turn of events, he turns her away, but still kind of flirts with her and shows her interest, which only makes the attraction just that much worse. Lucas says that they can never be together, even though he wants to be, and refuses to tell her why. So that was a small determent from the story, for me, at least.
I will say this though, the way the book ends with their relationship is not at all what I expected and it made me immediately addicted and immediately want to go and read Dreamless, the sequel. It was unexpected because its not something that you see in a lot of books. I know that I’m being incredibly vague but I don’t want to ruin that book for you. Let’s just its a plot device that we don’t see often in recent, contemporary books, though we do see it similarly in one of my favorite series, and so I thought it was pretty juicy to add into this story.
All in all, it was an enjoyable book, one that I sped through fairly quickly, and one that I definitely will read again, and it encouraged me enough to make me want to read the second one, which I’ll hopefully be buying soon.
4 out of 5 stars
4 thoughts on “Starcrossed Book Review”
So I’m about a quarter of the way in and people might throw virtual things at me over the internet for saying so but…is this more like Twilight than a lot of books YA? Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it! But…a super handsome boy, a fun but odd family, a fortune telling sister, a girl who can’t see that every dude in the school thinks she’s beautiful, a good but distant single father, a remote location…the parallels just keep coming! As I said, I’m only a little way through, but they’re quite obvious. I hope things start to surprise me. Also the names are annoying me – they’re names from people in Greek legends, but half of them don’t belong to demi-gods, just people who feature in the stories. And aren’t they a little obvious – I knew as soon as I heard the name Cassandra that she’d be a Seer. But coming from a line of demi-gods surely they’d be more familiar than most with the stories. So was Cassandra named because she was a Seer, or did she develop her Sight because of her name? And why would they even want to reference ancient Cassandra, it’s not like she had a happy life, no one even believed her prophecies. Gah frustrated!
Okay that made me sound a little crazy. But we’ve been studying Women of Troy in a couple of my classes and having played Cassandra before, I am a little caught up with the character. You understand :P
The name Cassandra for Cassandra comes up a lot more in the sequel. I definitely agree with the Twilight parallels. As I began reading it, I was like, wait a second…this is getting a little familiar to me. I feel like it does have that parallel as the book goes on, which was really hard for me to get through BUT the story itself was good, and I’m reading the sequel right now, and I like the sequel a lot better, especially with the twist at the end of this book.