Friday, 12 July 2013


Title: Starcrossed
Series: Starcrossed #1
Author: Josephine Angelini
Pages: 501 (ebook)
Published: 31st May 2011
Published by: HarperTeen

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.

Helen Hamilton has always stood out: she's unusually tall, strong and fast. She's also exceptionally beautiful, but this is so far from her mind that it's not until very far into the book that I really noticed that fact. (Or maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I'd like to think it's the former). She's devoted to her dad, after her mother walked out on them when Helen was only a few months old, and her best friend Giggles (at this point I cannot for the life of me remember her actual name). She tries to stay out of trouble, stay unnoticed. And she succeeds. Until a new family moves onto the remote island where she lives, and the first time she sees one of the kids in school she tries to kill him.

Paranormal Romance books (PNR) get a lot of bad press. Understandably. Many of them aren't great, and are written to jump on the bandwagon main-streamed by Twilight. Ordinary girl/boy falls in love with mythical being of some description. They can't be together for x, y, z, but fight through in spite of everything. All is wonderful! *eyelash flutter and sigh* But it's PNR books like this that restore my faith in the genre, because every so often I do come across one that is wonderful, and I really enjoy reading it. Of course, this means I have to wade through all the rubbish ones looking for the good ones (probably with more misses than hits), but every time I'm about to give up on the genre I come across a book like this.

The characters are wonderful and you can really believe in their decisions and how they feel in different situations. The plot has up and downs and twists, and it's quite clear from the end of the book that there's something more going on though I literally have no idea what that is! But I'm going to go buy the next book really soon so I can find out!

Helen is a particularly great leading lady. She just wants to be normal and fit in, trying her very hardest to not stand out in any way and failing quite miserably. Because of the life she's lead, she's sensible and down-to-earth, but she isn't bland along with it. She can be moody and she falls out with people - both friends and family - and acts like a regular teenage girl in so many ways. Her best friend, Giggles - nicknamed for her distinctive laugh - is a nice counterpoint, and often offers a lighter counterpoint to whatever may be going on. I always imagined her as an Alice Cullen-esque figure and character (Twilight - I know! Don't shoot me...), prancing around the place and being slightly mischievous and sneaky.

The Delos family seems to encompass all the different stereotypes you can. Of course they're all ridiculously pretty (what would PNR be without ridiculously pretty people?!), but besides that you have the really ridiculously pretty one, the sporty one, the quiet sensitive one, the mystical one, and the guys-guy. I think I covered them all... But they're still all likeable characters. Again, they're very down-to-earth (probably because of the situation they're in in life in general and what they believe is at stake) and seem just like a normal, very large, family.

I don't know that much about Greek mythology so I can't really comment on the veracity of any of that side of things, but as an ignorant observer I understood a lot of what was going on, and the informative bits weren't unwieldy or annoying. You're told enough so you understand the relevant history, but you aren't overloaded with unnecessary information - which I think could be quite easy given the shear depth of stuff that could be delved into.

Yeah, it took me a little while to really get going with this book, but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to see where Helen and Lucas go after the shocking revelation at the end of this part of their story.

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