Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#BookReview: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini - 4 Wine Glasses

9462795Title: Starcrossed 
Series: Starcrossed #1
Author: Josephine Angelini 
Format: Hardcover, 487 pages
Published: May 31st 2011 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062011995 
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Audio | Kindle | B&N
Source: Library
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 4/5

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 don’t care how hard being together is, nothing is worse than being apart.” 

STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini is the debut novel in a new YA fantasy series.   I was so excited to read this as I love Greek mythology!  However, it was a bit slow at the beginning and I actually considered putting it aside after a few chapters.  BUT... I'm so glad I stuck with it as about a third through, it incredibly picked up the pace and henceforth kept me riveted to the tale until the end.  There is a major HUGE cliffhanger, but, thankfully, all the books in the trilogy have been released, so the reader isn't left hanging until the next book is released.  Following please find the recommended reading order for the series:

STARCROSSED CITY (Starcrossed #0.5) - Prequel Novella - free online
STARCROSSED (Starcrossed #1) - Amazon
DREAMLESS (Starcrossed #2) - Amazon
GODDESS (Starcrossed #3) - Amazon

It's not necessary to read the prequel to fully enjoy the series, but, why not? It's a quick read and it's free!

Helen had grown up on Nantucket where life was simple until Lucas and his family moved into a large home there.   At first, Helen thought she was going crazy as she was consumed by rage and wanted to kill Lucas and his family every time she saw them;  She didn't know why - she only knew that they must all die.  We soon find out that their families have been cursed to hate each other in a cruel twist of fate.  As the tale progresses, Lucas' family actually helps Helen by teaching her to fight and to grow into her powers as she's been woefully ignorant of her strengths until then.  
This series reminded me of two other favorite series of mine: Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Meyer's Twilight.  I really enjoyed the emphasis on Greek mythology albeit with a modern twist and that many of the characters were demigods.  The romance is sweet and remains totally YA through-out.  Even though the characters possessed various superpowers, were descended from the Greek gods and were  destined to replay the Trojan war, they came across as genuine and relatable.   Lucas, our hero, is gorgeous!  He's smokin' hot boyfriend material, smart and caring.  He's my new book boyfriend.  This is what Helen, our heroine, has to say about him:  

“She decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it.” 

It took me a while to warm up to Helen, but she grew on me.  She was a young girl whose mother had deserted her and she had long-standing issues with being around others.  (Her phobias are explained as the story progresses.)  For all her issues, she's strong and spirited and made for the perfect heroine.  Lucas' family dynamics were unique and reminiscent of the Cullens;  His sisters and brothers were wonderful and I hope to read more about all of them in the subsequent books.  The villains, Creon and his family, gave me the creeps.  I don't trust Helen's mother a whit and Helen's best friend ROCKS!  

The author made me feel that I was beachside in Nantucket as the tale played out.  I especially loved the scenes in which our hero and heroine were flying.  

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes illustrating the witty humor that had me cracking up one minute and then swooning over the romance on the next page;

 “So what are you doing next Friday night?"
"What have you got in mind?"
"We could try hitting each other with cars," she suggested cheerfully.
"Did that last weekend with Jase," he said with mock regret.
"Go to the zoo and throw ourselves to the lions?" she fired back quickly, desperate to keep him focused on her rather than his caved-in chest. 
"The Romans sort of wore that one out. Got anything original?" 
"I'll think of something," she warned him.
"Can't wait!” 

“I only have so much willpower, Helen," he whispered. "And since you apparently sleep in the most ridiculously transparent tank top I've ever seen, I'm going to have to ask you to get under the covers before I do something stupid.” 


“You certainly do heal fast. But you'll still have some impressive bruises, so if I were you I'd avoid your father for the rest of the night." 
"I'll just tell him you abuse me," Helen said with a shrug. She jumped off the examining table. 
"And I'll tell him you like it," he teased back.” 

“Also, It'd be kinda hard to be together if I was in prison."
"What are you talking about?" Helen asked, suddenly alarmed. "Why would you go to prison?"
"For killing the guy that took your virginity," he replied. "You I would forgive. But the guy? Dead man.” 

The author's writing was first-rate and paired with a solidly crafted plot, surprising twists, mystery and action, it added up to a wonderfully, entertaining and engrossing novel.   LOL!  I had to stay up until 3am to finish it as I couldn't sleep until I knew how it ended.  What a turn-around! 

Even though any romantic relationship between Lucas and Helen seems doomed, I'm holding out hope.   I highly recommend STARCROSSED to anyone who enjoys YA fantasies and, if you also are into Greek mythology, consider it a must-read!  I will most definitely be reading the rest of the series and dreaming of Lucas in the meantime.  

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