Monday, December 12, 2011

Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini

Release date: May 31st 2011

Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars

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 thoughts:

I can’t believe it took me months to read this book. I was so hesitant to pick it up, and with no reason. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Starcrossed was one of those books that I so ought to hate, but for some reason, I didn’t. Quite the contrary, it was pleasant and frustrating in a good way.

Mythology is always a good subject in books, and it was beautifully dealt with in Starcrossed. I didn’t expect Helen to be a demigod – actually, I had read the synopsis before, but it was so long ago I’d forgotten it. So, I started reading it without a clue, except that the book was about Greek mythology. Some things I really liked – the demigod’s powers and abilities, for once, were fantastic. But the writing was confusing at some points, and I had to return a few pages to understand what they were talking about. As the story progressed, I eventually comprehended the story of the Four Houses better.

Helen was… an interesting character. I wouldn’t say she’s perfect or badass, but I also wouldn’t call her a moron. Helen’s just a great girl, she’s funny and sarcastic and hesitant about her feelings. But she was also so naïve sometimes – that cute, funny way of being naïve, that made me laugh along with Lucas.

Ah, Lucas. What can I say about him, except that I loved him? He is, you can probably guess, the most handsome boy Helen has ever seen. But then, no big surprise there – YA heroes usually are this handsome. What really pulled me into this book and made Lucas seem so attractive to me was his personality. He was a demigod, but felt and demonstrated his feelings like a human. He was honest and sarcastic, but protective, supportive and cute at the same time.

A good romance, for me, has to work like this: I must love each character separately first, so I can love them together when the romance blossoms later. I loved Helen as a main character, the way she thought and did things. And later, I fell in love in Lucas, just like her. So, the romance was so sweet and well-written, in my opinion. True, there weren’t any hot scenes in it, but when the romance is good, there’s no need for those things to happen. Oh, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy some great make-out scenes, but Helen and Lucas’ relationship was so well-built that I was satisfied with the dialogues and tension between them.

The plot was, indeed, very complex, and there was so much going on that I had to take a few breaks, just to organize things in my head. But even with those breaks, I read Starcrossed in less than two days. When I was doing something else, like cleaning the house, my thoughts drifted back to the book.

The only thing that disappointed me was the way things were left off at the end. I just thought Lucas and Helen would be smarter and, you know, realize what was actually happening. But this particular frustration was overpowered by all the other parts of the book that I loved, so I didn’t pay much attention to it.  

Starcrossed was a very interesting book, with fascinating mythology and captivating characters. I’ll definitely continue reading this series. I have a feeling it’ll only get better. 

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