Thursday, 9 August 2012

Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed - Starcrossed #1
Josephine Angelini
UK - Macmillian Childrens Books, 2011
From: the library

 "Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?"
- Goodreads

This was in my latest bunch of library books and yes, I know I'm woefully behind the times but I've been busy doing other stuff and recently I've discovered I don't like reading the first book in a series without knowing that the second book is within grasping distance of being released. I stupidly thought now that Dreamless is available it would be safe to read Starcrossed, huge mistake! Because now I don't want to read that one until the next book is out. Goddess? Is that right? Pretty sure I saw that mentioned somewhere. And please, please tell me this is just a trilogy. And there's no surprise fourth book with a completely ridiculous storyline? Just so you know, that first book which shall not be named started me back on YA fantasy for which I'm grateful and I read it at the right time for me but looking back I think I bought into the hype a bit too much! And now I'm kind of meh about the whole thing...

Anyway, Starcrossed, completely my cup of tea! Mention Greek mythology and I'm there so that's why I finally picked this one up, it wasn't on my list for this week but after I thought I'll just read a few pages I was halfway through! I finished the whole thing in just over 24 hours and apart from a few niggly details, I enjoyed it. Helen is very Bella-like in that she doesn't know her own worth, spends all her time looking after her dad or working for her dad but she had a support system in place with longtime friends. She didn't seem to be as isolated, at least not until the arrival of the stunningly beautiful Delos family and then she started withdrawing from everything and everyone. Strangely, the more she withdraws the more confident she becomes and I appreciate how Ms. Angelini didn't turn her into a doormat who put up with anything, Helen fights back and if she doesn't like something she makes sure people know. Lucas, the love interest, is a strong character complete with flaws and together they make an interesting couple - barring the whole 'if you fall in love the world will end' type scenario.

It's a fast-paced read with great dollops of Greek mythology which hopefully will get YA readers interested in mythology as a whole if they enjoy the book. There were a couple of things however that I didn't like. There's a throwaway line somewhere about domestic abuse, wish I'd made a note of what page before returning the book and I believe he says something like 'I'll tell him you enjoy it' when Helen says she'll tell her father he's abusing her because she's bruised and battered after training, they then both laugh. Er no, that's not funny, by any stretch of the imagination! The other thing was that the entire cast of characters all believed a story spun a character who appears near the end of the book, even though half of them held a grudge against her and the other half didn't know her. Thanks to this Helen and Lucas go from possible happy-ever-after to 'we can't ever be together' thus setting the scene for the next book. Which is where my complete reluctance about Dreamless comes in. After reading a synopsis for it I think it sounds like the plot completely negates anything that was set up in Starcrossed - apart from maybe the Hector storyline - and  so I won't be reading Dreamless until book three is released.

Overall I liked it, it wasn't perfect but it is YA paranormal fantasy and so it doesn't need to be. Put it this way, I liked it enough to order my own copies of the first two books and now I'm sat twiddling my thumbs until book three is released. At least I've got a few other books to keep me going...

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  1. great review...i definitely love this cover of the book......and OMG STARCROSSED WAS SERIOUSLY AMAZING and yes while not perfect it did have a powerful narrative and a solid background

    also if you have time do check out my review too here

    Le' Grande Codex

  2. Love the review, I have both books to read but I'm waiting for bk 3 to be released first. The UK covers are so pretty but I wish they had them in hardcover.

  3. I heard that a lot of people didn't like this one very much. I couldn't even get through the first chapter. :(

    great review! I'm a new gfc follower. :)

  4. Starcrossed is just as action-packed and twisty and plotting and filled with betrayal as the myths themselves. Many secrets are revealed, but there are just as many that remain hidden for the upcoming books in the series.

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