Friday, June 24, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini Review

By Josephine Angelini
May 31, 2011
HarperTeen, 496 pages

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.

— description

I thought this was going to be the Year of the Mermaid in young adult fiction, but it looks like it’s the Year of the Greek Myth. To which I say: AWESOME.

I think this book is a solid contender in the rush of mythology-based books lately (Abandon, The Goddess Test). There are secrets and twists and some pretty scary nightmares that kept me intrigued from start to finish.

I have to say, though, that the mythology tripped me up majorly. Perhaps I read it when I was too busy, but every time I picked up the book I found myself struggling to remember who was who and all the bits and pieces of the complicated backstory. For those willing to give it all their focus, though, I don’t think this will be a huge problem.

(MINOR SPOILERS) But I did love how the author presented the romantic relationship midway through the book. It started off with hatred, then friendship, then confusion. For much of the book, Helen had no clue what Lucas thought of her. He held her hand, but acted too much like a friend and absolutely refused to kiss her. You don’t see the “are we friends or are we more?” situation presented too much with all the “instalove” going around, so I really enjoyed that tension here.

If you like mythology books, definitely check this one out. Not my favorite, but I’m still very eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for my review copy of this book.


  1. I've actually heard a lot of really mixed things about this book. Some people love it, some people hate it, and others are more meh about it.

    Great review! It will be interesting to see what I think about this one if/when I get around to reading it.

  2. This is a really great review! Starcrossed was definitely one of the best books I read this year!

  3. I agree with you about the felt like there wasn't enough focus and it was kinda all over the place. Still worth reading though, definitely.

  4. I adored this book, but I have read some complains about the accuracy of the mythology portions (I'm no expert so I don't much care about that). Great review!

  5. I have to say, though, that the mythology tripped me up majorly.

    It wasn't just you. Angelini's world-building was awful--terribly convoluted and contradictory. I definitely struggled with this one. I thought it was a mess.

    Great review though. I love to see different opinions about books I felt strongly about.

  6. Oh I loved this book. I'm sorry some of you didn't care for it. The world Angelini builds is different from other mythology but that's what makes it good.

    I liked the relationship between Helen and Lucas. Like you say, it's not that fall in love at once thing.

  7. I'm still not sure if I'm going to pick this book up yet. I've heard a lot about it, but I'm not sure it sounds compelling enough for me. I'll probably get it anyway. Thanks for the review.

  8. @StuckInBooks Yes I definitely think this was the best part. So sick of love at first sight! As a romantic, I never thought I'd say that...

  9. That is basically how I felt and wrote in my review. I couldn't follow the mythology aspects or some of the links were missing. But the romance is still nice & interesting. Good enough to still read despite the flaws.

  10. I really enjoyed Starcrossed and all the mythology. Granted, it didn't make for a fast read, but it made the story more interesting and enjoyable :)

  11. I just got this book last week--looking forward to it! (And I thought it was going to be year of the mermaid too! what happened?!)

  12. Oooh, I picked this one up but it's just sitting on the shelf! Beautiful cover and the mythology seems intriguing enough :) I'll have to check it out! and YES lots of Insta-Love around! lol!

  13. I liked Starcrossed although we had a really slow start. It was my first of the popular mythology themed new releases and I am eagerly waiting for its sequel.

  14. It's interesting, I stumbled on a lit agents blog (can't remember where it was because I would link it) but she was saying how it is interesting that publishing houses are getting the same types of books around the same time for publishing because they piggy back so-to-speak off of others success-Twilight anyone?

    I am reading this book now, but I am not too far into it. I really do like what I have read so far! Thanks for the review!


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