Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Release Date: May 3rd, 2011
HarperCollins, 487 Pages
Source: Bought for Kindle
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Starcrossed #1
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.
My initial reaction to the book was that the way it starts out, when Helen gets so angry, the way Angelini wrote it…I felt on edge and angry too! I had nothing to be annoyed about, but as the main character, I started to feel what she felt. Whenever her heart ached for Lucas, I could feel for her, which is important for really being able to “get in” to a book.
The plot was definitely something I enjoyed, because I love mythology and this is a part of it that I was not as familiar with. In high school, I had always found a way to just pick up SparkNotes or avoid reading The Illiad and The Odyssey completely. Now…I want to go back and pick those up to help give myself a little more context. Even though the stories of Greek mythology are complex and odd sometimes, the author really helped my understanding by allowing the characters to give Helen a quick run-down on the mythology that was most relevant to her.
The characters were definitely well developed and even though Hector was a super aggressive pain in the side most of the time, I actually really liked him a lot. Lucas on the other hand was perfect from the very beginning. His protective nature (for his family and Helen) was incredibly endearing, and the fact that one of his talents is flying is…well…freaking awesome! I love that Helen can too, because being grounded while your love muffin soars all over Nantucket and the world, would be a huge bummer.
Helen’s BFF Claire was great too…Angelini was realistic enough to show that best friends DO argue, but Claire was always there for Helen when she needed her, and understood & loved her no matter what or who she turned out to be. Claire was actually EXCITED for her…and also, “Duh, I figured” even though she suspected a vampire or gigantic bat/mosquito rather than demigod. (*That particular line made me giggle) And I am REALLY hoping to see more chemistry between Jason & Claire…match made in heaven or by the gods? Regardless, I could tell something was up with those two from the beginning, so I hope that there is more to that in the next book.
Angelini really had some great dialogue between the characters, and especially made the Delos family the type of family (apart from the whole wanting to kill each other & other Houses) that you would want to marry into. I really could not get over the setting, Nantucket…it was such a unique, but genius choice. Action scenes were well described with plenty of juicy imagery that made it feel like I was watching a fast-paced action film rather than reading a book.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Daphne…I definitely don’t trust her, I don’t think anyone should…she seems like she has a nefarious plan up her sleeve which makes me wary of Helen getting too close to her…
The fact that Lucas & Helen can’t have each other yet practically frustrated me to tears, but the fact that he obviously wanted her & had the self-control to resist (for the sake of Helen & his family) is admirable. I know we’ll get to see some more characters from the House of Thebes, some probably threatening, and maybe some allies…but I can’t wait for the next book Dreamless, for which we’ll have to wait a year (the longest year of my life….). This book did just come out, but I can definitely see no problem with the author & the book (eventual series) get a really great following of fans. I know some people were thinking that the book ended on a cliffhanger, but honestly, I think the sweet scene on the roof was a perfect way to wind down such a hectic few weeks that Helen & Lucas had been living…and that they are still so in love & dedicated to finding a way to break the cycle & defeat the Furies once & for all.I loved it & I won’t lie…I sighed…in a happy way…at the last scene of the book. Bravo for Angelini’s incredible story…I am thrilled to see what lies in store for Helen & Lucas!