Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)Title:  Starcrossed
Author:  Josephine Angelini
Series:  Starcrossed
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  May 31, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

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.

Starcrossed is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story steeped in Greek mythology. It's loosely based on The Iliad by Homer, the story of the fall of Troy, a story I loved the moment I read it in high school. Reading Starcrossed actually made me want to go back and re-read The Iliad and brush up on the rest of my Greek mythology.

The story was addictive and hooked me from the onset. It was fast-paced and there were never any lulls in the action. I was simply unable to put the book down. (My husband noticed my vacant stare at dinner last night and said, "You want to get back home to your book, don't you?") Yeah, it's that good. The writing was beautiful, not overly descriptive but enough to make me want to visit Nantucket, the backdrop for the story.

I'm a sucker for well-thought out characters. They need to have depth, and I don't want all of their secrets and motivations laid out in the text of the book for me. I want to learn about their strengths and their imperfections as the character's relationships develop in the story. The author accomplished this beautifully and made me fall in love with all of the characters, not just Lucas. She even made me doubt that the 'bad guy' was entirely evil. I love that, that her characters weren't inherently virtuous or malevolent, that even a murderer could wrestle with himself before committing another heinous act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships and friendships that developed in Starcrossed, especially the love story between Helen and Lucas, despite the whole hate-at-first-sight thing. I think their relationship progressed perfectly, though I understand that many will fervently disagree with that statement since they did go from hating each other to loving each other in the span of a book. But from my own experience with love-at-almost-first-sight, I never really feel that love can be too rushed in a story, no matter the age of the characters. Those kinds of feelings mature at their own rate, and considering the circumstances facing the characters in Starcrossed, I don't think those feelings were hurried. It's not like Helen and Lucas went from hate to instantly loving each other. It was really more like this: I hate you, I don't hate you, let's be friends, I'm holding your hand, I really like you but we can't be together, and then I love you but we can't be together. They truly are star-crossed lovers with the Fates determining the outcome. Their relationship matures while Helen learns the truth of who she really is and has to come to terms with that while trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life.

I also enjoyed the importance family played in the story and found myself chuckling more than a few times at the normalcy of the family dynamic, despite how not normal it all was. It's definitely a novel that I wouldn't mind letting my daughter read when she was old enough to do so.

Overall, Starcrossed was an engaging, sometimes intense, read. This is a fantastic debut novel, and I can't wait to read the next installment, called Dreamless, due out next year.

And if that doesn't convince you to read this book, here's the trailer:

Next up for review:  Entwined

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