Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: Starcrossed

Author: Josephine Angelini

Release Date: US: May 31 2011 / UK: June 6 2011
Publisher: US: Harper Collins / UK: Pan Macmillan
Thanks to: Pan Macmillan UK for providing me with a review copy!

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, 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, 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

If you've been unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of my book-raving, then you'll know I have been lusting after this book for AGES. I absolutely loved the idea of Greek Gods in YA - the plot and breathtaking cover totally sold me on this novel. So you can imagine my excitement when I received an ARC in the mail! Sadly though, the actual content didn't quite live up to expectations.

Painfully shy Helen Hamilton and her best friend Claire are about to begin their new year of school on the island of Nantucket.  And so are the gorgeous kids of the new rich Delos family who've just moved to the island. They're all anyone can talk about and it's driving the usually calm, mild-mannered Helen insane. For some reason the mere mention of the Delos family drives her into a rage. And when she and Lucas Delos lay eyes on each other for the very first time, the phrase 'if looks could kill' comes to mind, because that's exactly what Helen tries to do. Kill Lucas with her bare hands in the middle of the crowded school corridor.

She can't understand where this mind-consuming hatred is coming from and why she sees the image of three sobbing sisters (who she soon learns are The Furies) whenever a member of the Delos family is nearby. After a few more attempts at murdering one another and hate glares, Helen discovers that she and the Delos family are part of an ancient blood-feud and The Furies want payment. Hence the impulse to repay that by killing each other. I don't think it's a spoiler by saying they manage to find a way around this, since it would be a little hard developing a 'love' story when you want to murder your love interest.

The growing feelings... which grew kinda fast, as in, Helen felt the urge to kiss him mere hours after the hatred subsided and involved a lot of constant hand holding in the beginning.. They want to be with each other, they both show signs of it, but then Lucas keeps pulling away before anything romantic happens. I can understand the reasons why they were compelled to one another, but I just wasn't really invested in the romance. And something concerning the romance at the end of the book is totally going to remind people of another popular YA series, while not exactly the same, it's the same in essence. Cryptic much? LOL.

I really enjoyed the ideas Josephine used from greek mythology, the overall plot and the blood-feuds and history with Scions intrigued me. And what many Scions are currently trying to... achieve, which  I think is a cool idea and totally a spoiler. So moving on, the Scions are descendants of the Gods - not directly, years and years down the family line, but they still possess incredible powers. In fact, many of the recent generations of Scions are more powerful than their parents. The Scions are divided in four Houses which represent the four different bloodlines. The Furies set the Houses against each other way back during the Trojan War, a curse they still carry to this very day, making it impossible for any of the Houses to unite. But on the rare occasion when members from the opposing Houses find a way to rid of The Furies, like Helen and Lucas, it brings on a whole other problem that could potentially start the Trojan War again if they were to be together in the way they want.

I don't really want to say too much more without giving away spoilers, but Helen begins to train and learn more about her abilities, mainly because of a threat that's come to the island. Someone is after her and she and the Delos family are trying to figure out who and do their best to ensure Helen is kept safe at all times. Something about the novel just felt lackluster to me. There was plenty of stuff happening, but I couldn't connect enough with Helen and the story to feel emotionally tied to any of it. I enjoyed the history and the ideas behind the plot and mythology that Josephine created, but as the story unfolded I just kept reading to finish it, rather than read to see what happened next.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Josephine's writing style either. It didn't flow very well for me and I kept being distracted by the writing multiple times throughout the story.

This review probably sucks because I'm not so great at writing about books I didn't love. I'm more of a gushy person and "OMG I'll drain your body of fluids if you don't read this book' type, so I have difficulty writing about books I wasn't so invested in. I still think a lot of people will love this book - it has the right elements and plenty of characters to keep most people entertained, but I guess it just depends on the individual. You'll either love, kinda like it, or hate it. Me? I'm in the kinda like it group.

Rating: 3/5


  1. There, there. I know you really really really wanted this so bad! And I'm sad along with you that you didn't like this as much as you thought you would. Maybe it was the romance that put you off. I'm guessing it was that since you love romance stories - especially paranormal ones! But great honest review. :) It must have been hard to word this review.

  2. Oh Brodie, I feel for you *pats* its always hard to put into words why you don't like a book. I'm looking forward to reading it and I love your review! not all books are for us, I guess? I'm a big fan of mythology so I guess I'll enjoy this. we'll see!


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