REVIEW: "Starcrossed", by Josephine Angelini

Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Format: Paperback
Pages: 487 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 31st 2011

Taken From Goodreads

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?


I've had a bit of downtime from the blog recently. This was mostly due to the fact that I've been reading a whole bunch of awesome books from the good old to-be-read pile (as well as playing video-games... I'm such a geek). Starcrossed was the first book I read on this recent reading kick and it was brilliant!

I've had this book on the TBR pile for nearly a year. I'm gutted that I didn't pick it up sooner as it was a great read. However, my delay has its advantages as I now have very little time to wait before the sequel, Dreamless, comes out at the end of May! 

Helen, the main character, has always been cripplingly shy. So much so that whenever she is forced into the limelight, she suffers physical pain. And it's difficult not to be noticed when you're stronger, faster and more beautiful than any normal girl ever should be. And it's even more difficult to maintain the appearance of "normal" when she meets Lucas Delos and proceeds to try and strangle him to death in front of her entire school.

Given the title, you can probably guess where the conflict of this book stems from. However, Starcrossed offered much more than I had anticipated from the idea of starcrossed-lovers. The hatred and violence Helen feels toward Lucas made for gripping and unexpected reading. Of course, somewhat predictably, this hatred doesn't last, but new conflicts and enigmas kept the pace steady and the atmosphere tense even after things between Helen and Lucas started to heat up.

There were elements of the story which felt familiar. The Delos family has a false-finder (Lucas can tell instantly if someone is telling the truth) and a girl who can predict future events. These things were decidedly Twilight, (as was the single-father household from which Helen comes) but were written with more depth and art. The relationship between Lucas and Helen became evocative of the Jace/Clary relationship in City of Bones. So there were elements of the book which I felt I'd seen before, but they were imagined in new ways, ways which really had me hooked. 

Overall, this was a brilliant read and I read it in a morning. I couldn't put it down! I have concerns about the sequel as it promises "an unforgettable love triangle". I don't know about you guys, but I'm kind of sick  of love triangles. Especially when I have such high hopes for a couple! I know that love triangles can up the conflict, but it's been done. A lot.

Despite these reservations, Angelini's writing is excellent. She brought new life to things I'd seen before in Starcrossed, so if anyone can take the love triangle thing and make it less agonising, then it might just be her! I hope so! I'll let you know when I read Dreamless at the end of the month!

1 comment:

  1. Starcrossed is definitely a love story. Helen has always been different, and she doesn't like it. But when Lucas and his family comes to town, she discovers she isn't the only one with powers.

    Helen's smart and sweet, but I'm afraid she wasn't the kind of protagonist I prefer. I don't know exactly why, maybe she was boring sometimes. But I have to say I liked her more through the book, because she became more interesting.

    Her romance with Lucas was what keep me reading. They didn't fall in love at first sight, bit still they fell in love very fast. They were a cute couple, but I wished they were more passionate.


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