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. -Via Goodreads.
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini is a book that has been met with some controversy in the blogging world. I’m not sure if some people hate to see others succeed and get book deals they could only dream of, or they just need a break from reading the genre. But blogger reviews comparing Starcrossed to Twilight (in a bad way) have been running rampant. After reading, I can safely say other than a few minute plot points that, lets be honest half the paranormal genre probably now shares, Starcrossed is nothing like Twilight. It’s so much better.
When I first started reading Starcrossed, I immediately wondered if I’d be finishing it. In the first few chapters, Helen Hamilton (nicknamed Lennie) is absolutely one of the most annoying main characters I’ve ever read. She has near crippling social anxiety, is whiny to an extreme, and is just beyond annoying. Before you say “no way” to reading this book, let me explain: I’m unsure whether or not other bloggers complaining about this book actually finished. Because as annoying as Helen was in the beginning,she quickly grows out of it. Right around the time she meets and tries to kill Lucas, the love interest. And by the middle of the book, once she learns more about her past, her behavior is completely explained! Angelini is a much smarter author than many are giving her credit for.
I’m not going to pretend this book was flawless. But it seriously surprised me, and left me anxiously awaiting the sequel. As I said above, a few chapters in, Helen tries to kill the love interest, Lucas Delos. Every time Helen is near a member of the Delos family, she flies into an uncontrollable rage and sees three creepy, crying women. When she first meets Lucas, she ends up trying to strangle him in front of their entire school! I thought that was a hilarious, and absolutely awesome twist. And so refreshing in a genre full of “insta-love”. Even after Helen and Lucas stop trying to kill each other, they aren’t immediately a couple. They hang out quite a bit, learning about their “abilities”, and actually get to know each other. They have fights, and quite a few times, Helen questions whether Lucas should be cut out of her life. All while discovering the truth about her origins, and what lies in her future.
I’m not going to spoil the rest of the book, beyond what you can read in the summary. But I will say Helen kicks some ass. Conflicts arise, a villain appears, secrets are revealed, prophecies are made, and people die. And it all made for one awesome story.
*The main character wasn’t a powerless human falling in love with a supernatural being. SHE was a supernatural being herself.
*A more realistic romance than most YA paranormals.
*The mythology. No, it’s not 100% historically accurate, but honestly that would be boring!
*The Delos family. Each character was unique and actually added to the story.
*The island setting. I really got a feel for life in Nantucket.
*Helen’s human friends. They weren’t just filler background characters. And by the second half of the book, her best friend Claire is hilarious!
*What’s at stake: If Helen and Lucas fall in love, their relationship risks more than her soul/her safety/having to explain weird supernatural crap to her family. The world may actually END if they “get it on”.
*Plenty of twists. I figured out early on who the villain was, but still remained surprised by the twists and turns at the end of the book.
*Many questions were answered. But of course, a few new ones arise for you to ponder until book two comes out.
*Helen in the first few chapters. I wanted to strangle her.
*Weird shifts in perspective. The book is written in third person, but focuses on Helen. So I was confused when randomly, the perspective shifted to Lucas for a few paragraphs at the start of a chapter. And then later, to another character. I felt like that kind of change should have been established a bit earlier in the book.
Overall, I’d give Starcrossed 4/5 stars. It was a refreshingly unique YA Paranormal story, with great supporting characters, interesting mythology, and plenty of action. I want to read the sequel immediately. The only thing keeping me from re-reading this book right now is the scary number of books on my TBR pile.
Starcrossed, the first book in a trilogy, will be released by Harper Teen on May 31, 2011.
Book received for review via Harper Teen at Net Galley