Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Genre: YA, mythology
Pages: 496
Source: From author for review
Series: Starcrossed Trilogy
1. Starcrossed
2. Dreamless (expected pub 2012)
3. Untitled (expected pub 2013)

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.

I’m a big fan of ancient Greek mythology. I’ve even taken a full year university course devoted entirely to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. It’s the type of stuff that’s right up my alley. So of course, a YA romance that incorporates mythology caught my eye. Especially because it’s the story of Helen of Troy, which is one of my favourite stories (I swear I’ll read the entire Iliad someday soon!). Add to that the fact that it is also a Romeo and Juliet type story and and I’m there.

I loved STARCROSSED so much. I loved that I was familiar with the mythology, but there was also a great twist on it. The characters in the novel are descendants of Greek Gods, but they are divided into four Houses. That’s where the R&J story line comes in, because The Furies (Greek deities of vengeance) send the demigods in a murderous fervour whenever members of separate Houses encounter one another. I’m sure you’re wondering “If Helen and Lucas are thrown into a murderous fervour whenever they’re near the other one, how there is romance at all?” but you have to read it to figure that one out.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance, and STARCROSSED is no exception. My Helen-and-Lucas song soon became “As Long As You’re There,” an original song from the TV show, Glee (Check it out on Youtube here). It speaks true to their relationship for me. They can’t keep away from each other, and when they are together they feel like it’s right. They’re drawn together, which is obvious from the constant hand-holding.

I really enjoyed Lucas’s family. They are a big group of siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles. Hector was definitely one of my favourites. He’s Lucas’s cousin and the tough guy out of them all, but you also get the idea that he’s a big softie on the inside. I love that. There are so many more characters in the story, and they all bring something different. It’s really a great cast of characters, and I felt something different for each one of them. I just love that I felt something about them. When I read something and feel nothing for any of the secondary characters, it makes me think that there wasn’t enough attention given to developing them and I think it’s important to make sure the reader feels something for them. Otherwise, it seems pointless to have them if they’re just part of the background. I hope that made sense.

Overall, I loved the way Josie took the familiar ancient mythology and the Shakespeare story that we know and love and twisted them together to make something entirely new and fully captivating. I can’t wait to see where she takes the story of Helen and Lucas in the rest of the trilogy. Dreamless comes out in 2012, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting it!

Thanks so much to Josie herself for sending me an ARC for review!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Make sure to check back at the beginning of August: I'll be participating in the Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Read, Not A Writer, and you could win a copy of STARCROSSED or another fabulous YA novel!


  1. I'm SO glad the reviews I've been reading lately have been more positive than the ones I read not too long ago!!

    I need to read this one!

  2. Great review. I have heard nothing but good things. It is on my TBR list. :0)

  3. I felt the same way- I love this book! Especially half way through I realized this would be one of those series I'd be eagerly awaiting for the next few years.

  4. I've always loved anything to do with Greek mythology, especially books that turn the myth into reality in a modern setting. Starcrossed does exactly this. However, what is different is that it paints the gods as petulant beings that no longer have a role in human's lives. Well, as long as the demigods keep their end of the bargain that is. This was a really interesting twist on the typical mythology story, and made Starcrossed really stand out from the crowd. The idea of fated roles is really intriguing, especially since there is still the possibility that the characters could potentially find a way around that destiny and choose their own paths.

    This may seem to be a little funny, but I couldn't help but be a little frustrated at the major roadblocks standing in the way between Lucas and Helen, especially considering the title. I knew before I even started reading that things would be rough between them, perhaps their love being forbidden but not by insurmountable odds. Of course that thought got quickly put out of my mind once things started to be revealed. Considering how sweet things were between the two of them and how much their heartache sucked me in, I really hope that they find some way to overcome those obstacles so they can be together. As Lucas points out, never say never, as the gods like to torment those who use absolutes.