So starting with my analysis of Helen:
Helen’s the undermining-herself kind of person, and really it didn’t bug me too much, although I’m sure it will for other people. I did wish she would see herself in higher standard, but I kind of understand her reasons, in a weird, inexplicable way. I had some issues with her at the beginning of the book, but as I continued reading she kind of started to grow on me, however she still had her unfavorable moments at times. I was able to overlook that though, because she wasn’t an annoying character or anything, and overall she made for an enjoyable read, so really, there’s not huge complaint I have against her. There are some characteristics that could come to be more developed, so I’m looking forward to seeing that in the next books
Lucas Delos I also really enjoyed, and although he kind of reminds me of Edward Cullen from Twilight at some moments, he’s his own person and I liked the moments between him and Helen in the second half of the story. :) As for the other characters, they were a nice addition, and I especially liked the big Delos family, for reasons unknown. They added little things that added positively to the overall reading experience, in my opinion. One of the characters I came to enjoy later on in the story was a guy named Hector. He was a jerk at first to Helen and I was completely annoyed and angry with him, but later on I actually really liked him. :)
Overall, the characters were pretty good.
Next part: plot. The plot was really what called to me before and even after reading this book. I’m always a sucker for any kind of mythology, not to mention Greek mythology (*cough* Percy Jackson *cough*
-Creative use of Greek mythology
Destiny brought them together. The gods will keep them apart.
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is--now it's getting harder. She's having nightmares of a desperate desert journey, visions of three women weeping tears of blood. And why is she possessed by the sudden, unstoppable urge to kill the handsome new boy in school, Lucas Delos?
A love written in the stars . . .
A feud started in ancient Greece . . .
A curse not even the gods can break.
I really enjoyed reading Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini! I loved the Greek Mythology, especially the “Houses” and the Furies! My favourite characters were Helen and Cassandra. Despite Helen’s mysterious, (and possibly dangerous) heritage Cassandra welcomes her into the Delos family as she knows what it is to be hunted and feared. As due to Cassandra’s status as an Oracle, her power to see the future as well as, communicate with (and sometimes for) the Fates is highly desirable as a weapon against other Scions. I really like the cover of Starcrossed as throughout the book it is inkeeping with the story whilst also having multiple messages or meanings.
Available at Amazon.co.uk.
- Kiersten White, Author of Paranormalcy
Kiersten hits the nail on the head with her praise for Starcrossed, but I would emphasize the "dizzying" she mentions as the thing which sticks out most for me. I really enjoyed Starcrossed, but I'm walking away with my head spinning from information overload.
Helen has always known that she was different, but she exercised conscious effort into trying to be normal, in the hopes of ignoring the strange things she was able to do with ease. It's not until she learns that she is a demigod that she begins to embrace her abilities and show interest in learning how to control them. I really liked watching Helen's progression from a nervous and self-conscious teenager into a somewhat less-nervous, somewhat-less self-conscious and powerful demigod. I did wish that she had embraced her abilities more, but learning that she had been inflicted with a curse that caused her pain whenever her abilities were used in front of mortals really helped explain her hesitance. I loved that I could relate to her relationship with Lucas, especially when his mixed signals had her lying awake in bed, hurt and confused, but still hopeful that he cared - even a little - for her. It really helped with the continuity of her character that she found it hard to believe that Lucas could care for her (even once she found out that she herself was a demigod) because he was so devastatingly handsome. I loved that she had the strength to walk away from him, but it bothered me that she seemed completely unable to function without him when she did. Her complete dependence on Lucas was slightly unhealthy, but also slightly understandable considering she had only a few weeks to wrap her mind around what he had grown up with his entire life.
I loved Lucas, and how open he was with Helen. He tried to tell her things in pieces, so as not to completely overwhelm her, and for his consideration I adored him. But at the same time, I wish he had given Helen a better understanding of what she was getting herself in to, as the consequences might not have been so devastating had he warned her earlier. I wanted to strangle him when he was sending Helen all those mixed signals, but the hurt he experienced when she questioned him about his feelings for her had me forgiving him instantly. I had some issues with how controlling he seemed to be, like when he forced Helen to quit track for her safety, but I was reassured he was doing it for the right reasons when he gave up something in return. That he never asked her to do something he wouldn't (or didn't) do himself was refreshing, and he always explained the reasons behind asking (telling) her not to do something, rather then shrouding it in mystery, which only would have made it more tempting for Helen to go against his wishes. Their romance was developed slowly and I caught myself blushing with Helen a few times. Unlike many other YA romances I've read lately which have felt forced, I immediately felt the chemistry between Helen and Lucas and it was agonizing to watch them restrain themselves from doing nothing more then holding hands.
The supporting characters were all really well done as well. I loved Claire, even though she came off a little sadistic towards the end (I won't get in to any spoilers, I'll just mention the roof and you'll know what I mean if you've read the book!), as she had much more energy then her five-foot-two frame could hold. She was a little pit bull, always looking for a fight, and I just wish we had gotten to see her relationship with Jason develop a little more. Cassandra was cold and distant and so tragic - the destiny imposed on her as The Oracle is a burden not many could handle, but she accepted her purpose with fierce determination and strength. I loved how easy it was to see how much Hector valued his family, and how he risked everything to protect them; I'm really interested to see what happens to him as the series progresses. And I loved Noel and Jerry - their interactions with their families were so realistic, I felt like I was reading about my family when they were present; they made me feel warm, like I was home.
The plot moved quickly, and I found myself unable to put the book down, however I did find that the occasional shift of PoV was off-putting, as it happened without warning and for very brief periods of time. There were some small info-dumps, but as they were spread out over several conversations I was able to mostly ignore them. The amount of information and history provided was a little overwhelming though, especially for someone who is mostly ignorant of Greek mythology. I'm still a little confused over how the War was ended and how the families ended up being divided into four different houses - or why there's still a blood war. The Furies that caused Helen to feel so much rage and hate were so creepy, I may have nightmares about them, but I'm definitely interested to see Helen play out her role in the prophesy that would end the Furies' control over demigods. That being said, my only real issue with the plot is the glaring hole in Helen's ancestry. Again, I won't get in to details as I don't want to spoil anything, but when I did the math it just didn't add up. I just don't understand how the Delos family could so readily believe Daphnee, someone whom they thought had killed one of their own, without further proof.
Putting aside the few issues I had with Starcrossed, I really enjoyed reading it. The issues I had weren't big enough to take away from my enjoyment of reading, and I can see myself thinking back on this in the future, as there's a lot of questions left unanswered for the next book in the series, Dreamless.
I loved this book, I read it when it first came out and am waiting anxiously for the second (dreamless) to be released.
Starcrossed is an amazing read! I have read quite a few Greek mythology books, and this is one of the best. I absolutely LOVED the different surprises that arise along the way. Also, the “starcrossed” lovers is something that draws you in. You just can’t stay away!!! The ending has left me in anticipation, and I can’t wait for the sequel, Dreamless!!!!!
I read a lot of “paranormal” young adult novels, and this one is one of my favorites. I don’t feel that it’s too cliché, too predictable, or too boring. It has just the right amount of romance, angst, comedy, and action to keep you wanting more! Pick it up, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
Interesting take on Greek mythology
There is much to learn about mythology, so if that subject interests you in the least bit, then you will love this novel.
Helen's reaction to Lucas in the beginning was explosive and suspenseful and just incredible. The interactions between the characters were very realistically portrayed and even when something paranormal was going on, the writing effectively made me fall for it.
Surprisingly, though I loved Helen, her best friend really dug a place into my heart. Helen's relationship with Claire and with fher ather was the clencher for me with this book. It allows the reader to "feel" the character at a level a lot of authors don't achieve. Relationships in a book and the dialogue between characters is so important and shouldn't seem forced. It never seemed to feel forced in this book.
I don't want to create any spoilers so I will just say that I also loved Lucas and his relationship with his family. And is it wrong to say that I really heart Hector even though he isn't the object of Helen's affections?
The book was an overall winner. As a previous reviewer mentioned, Helen does come off a little petty at times but never enough to take away from the story. I look forward to the next book.
I highly recommend.
Helen has always known she was unlike anyone she has never known. Feeling as an outcast at school in her small New England town, Helen's goal tends to be to just blend in, never draw too much attention to herself.
When a new family moves to town, Helen thinks nothing of it until she finally catches a glance of one of the new boys. From that moment on Helen's life will never be the same. Helen embarks on a journey to find out who she really is, and how fate really is intertwined into her own destiny.
Josephine Angelini creates a world of mystery and magic as she writes Helen's story. Her characters are strong and wise and the bonds between the characters shine through brilliantly. The story hooks you early and keeps you hooked throughout. Josephine weaves mystery and action throughout the story beautifully. This is a book you don't want to miss.