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'Her thirst was tormenting her so she had gone down to the water. She leaned over the foul banks of black mud and saw pale, crippled fish bumping around clumsily, as if they had forgotten how to swim. She backed away from the river, refusing to drink that water even if she died of thirst with the sound of its current rushing in her ears.'
For Helen Hamilton, growing up on the small island of Nantucket is a curse. It's impossible for her to be anonymous, when she's so different from everybody else.
When the Delos family come to town, Helen has no idea why she hates Lucas Delos so much, and why she can't keep away from him.
I was almost overwhelmed by the length of the book when I first got it. But as I got into the story, I was glad that it was so long, since I loved the story and couldn't get enough of the bond between Helen and Lucas. I've never read a book like this before, which made it even more appealing for me. It's a unique story; not your average High School Romance.
Josephine Angelini is a wonderful author, she had me captivated from the first page, and the story was well written and incredibly enjoyable to read. Just when I thought the storyline was over, another twist jumped out of the pages and shocked me.
I was lucky enough to win this book in a First Reads Giveaway, as well as the second in the series, which makes me very lucky, since I don't have to wait to start the next one.
I recently satisfied my literary appetite with a little 513 page turner going by the title Starcrossed. Starcrossed is essentially a romance novel that dips into one of my favourite subjects of mythology and tragic romance. It's the first in a trilogy by author Josephine Angelini and I have to say it's a real star for a debut novel and I am looking forward to the next in the saga.
The book follows Helen Hamilton, a shy girl who feels like she's never really fitted in determined to get herself a track scholarship and get herself as far away from Nantucket as possible. She seems like a nice girl and is fairly easy to empathise with. She's got a great dad who runs the local News Store which she occasionally helps out in who loves her dearly, she's also dealing with some serious mummy issues from the long lost Beth Smith who abandoned her and her father when she was very young. Helen also suffers excruciating cramps whenever she's in crowds or the spotlight is on her and from the very beginning we are taunted with a mystery about what happened that day on the ferry that no one wants to talk about. Angelini has a captivating yet simple writing style making for an enjoyable read and in terms of twists and suprise she certainly throws the reader into untempered waters with a plot turn that whilst had me seething made perfect sense in the end and making this book stand away from the crowd with a moment of 'ewww'.
I really did enjoy reading Starcrossed despite the change in plot quite near the end which really did seperate this from all the other young adult romance novels out there at the moment. Whilst I can't say I was impressed with the style of language it didn't ruin the book and made it a great bedtime read as it was easy and in all fairness quite hard to put down. One thing about this book that I did enjoy however is that it had a few gruesome scenes in it that could actually be quite frightening to those with an active imagination. Another aspect I loved was the way this story was influenced by ancient mythology especially the Greeks. I've always loved Greek mythology and anything to do with the Gods as well as the history and the way it affected people - it was something I studied and loved it. So this really meant something to me when I realised that it had that kind of turn and it made it an even more enjoyable read.
The book discussed few themes mainly it centered around the contempt Helen feels for the mother that ran out on her and why she didn't leave any reminders behind, her love-hate tragic romance with Lucas and the constant fear that someone is after her throughout the entire story. It's been a while since I've read a book from this genre that seemed so complete yet absolutely needed a sequel. Usually I have found sequels are there because something was missing from the first book but with Starcrossed every loose end was tied, each person was accounted for and all broken relationships seemed to be fixed by the end. It was Helen you wanted to see evolve and I am really looking forward to where her journey will take her in book two.
The characters do progress over the course of the story. Helen becomes aware of exactly who she is yet the more she delves in the more secrets she finds making her very powerful as well as becoming more self aware and a little more proud of herself. She goes from a shy girl thinking she's a freak to a pretty well rounded young woman who has to make a lot of decisions fast that could lead to some devestating results but she always seems to say true to herself. She's a very grounded character and she seems like a likable person and someone you could easily identify with. Lucas, whilst he knows who he is and seems to have a lot more control over himself and his powers than Helen, isn't exactly a complex character. In fact he is very honest due to one of his traits at being able to detect lies in people although he is described as incredibly good looking, tall, muscular, a bit of a dream man although he seems more real than some of the other leading lads in these types of books. He does make a few mistakes, he gets jealous, he has a bad temper, he's protective but I think what makes him more real is that he's not all brooding and serious. Angelini throws in a good few tongue in cheek remarks in his dialouge and grants him with a sense of humour thats not always portrayed in other novels of the same genre.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm looking forward to the sequel but I can't say it will be a book I pick up again and again but who knows. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys this type of fiction. I purchased my copy from WHSmiths in a buy one get one half price offer.
I bought this book on impulse without really looking and then read it in one sitting! This is the first book since the Twilight saga that i haven't been able to put down. I have to admit there are lots of similarities with the Stephanie Meyer's characters and plot however I much prefer this. The characters are so much more likable, believable, less brooding and entertaining. The story kept me guessing to the end, made me laugh, made me cry, got a little confusing at times but I dont want to read something straight forward. My only regret is that I read this just after it was released and now have to wait about a year to find out what happens next. If I had know it was going to be a trilogy I would have waited until nearer the time. I re-read this book within a week then lent it to my sister who did exactly the same. Although this book is aimed at teenagers I would recommend it to anyone (me and my sister are both in our late twenty's and found it suitibly grown up).
Oh... My... God. I do not know where to begin with this review. After finishing the book moments ago I am just amazed by everything that has been revealed in the last few chapters. Starcrossed is definitely one the most gripping books i've ever read. Though I never wanted to put it down, I had to every night because there were so many questions created in my mind, and I was thinking of how the plot was going to develop that I knew reading on was just going to confuse me - So i gave myself time to think. Boy am I glad I did that!
When I receive these books from the girls at MKB I always tuck into it immediately. Some are harder to get on with than others, but Starcrossed was one that attracted me immediately. Everything from the cover, to the tag lines, to the writing, to the characters were making the book all the more attractive.
So, let's talk about the book. Lucas and Helen were two characters who had the whole 'forbidden' relationship thing going on between them, so many different events took place that some times tore them apart, and some times through them together. It is impossible, for me at this current moment to decide whether or not these two are going to be allowed their happy ending.
Ever since I put the book down, i've been 'geeking' over it with Jenny and Iffath questioning everything that happened in the book. Trying to figure out exactly what it is that is TRUE and what is false, and is a cover up. We have our many theories, and some match and some don't. However the only person who really knows what's going on is Josephine Angelini.We know her book is part of a trilogy, so we know that all the answers are not going to be revealed to us in the next book, whenever that i released, so we know we're going to be frustrated for a little longer but it's totally worth it.
A book that can make you question everything you thought you knew about it, and question every possible plot ending you can think of is a great book. Starcrossed has got me questioning all the plot twists, and wanting to know what happens with Hector and Jason and Claire, and of course with Helen and Lucas.
I haven't yet picked a favourite character as I think it's next to impossible. I adore Lucas, I adore Hector, I adore Jason. Those three are definitely three boys I wouldn't mind knowing. Lucas and Helen's relationship is one I want to know what happens - so many twists have been introduced to their relationship, like I said it is damn near impossible to decide whether or not they're going to get their happy ever after. Jason and Clarie's relationship was not a shock to me, I mean they were always arguing! Hector, awh, I love this boy. I can't find any fault in Hector.
I would suggest this book to anyone who likes romance, but wants a book where the guy and the girl don't get what they want. I mean, this book is FULL of romance, but nothing is ever done about it! Because it just simply can't happen! The action scenes are slightly rushed I think, but they are there, and they are just as amazing as the intense sexual tension we experience between Helen and Lucas.
One of my favourite quote from the book is: "You I would forgive. But the guy? Dead man." Mostly because it took away a lot of the tension in that chapter/scene whatever. But there are so many moments in this book that made me laugh, and I definitely enjoyed it. It had earned a space on my book shelf!!
Rating: 5/5 - How could I not give it such an amazing rating?! I give books 5's way too easily!
For the first 50 or so pages I thought this was going to be just like Twilight. Initially there are lots of similarities between Helen Hamilton and Bella. For instance they both are living with their dad and both feel a bit out of it at high school. However, from about page 50 onwards this story takes on a life of it's own. With demigods, Greek mythology, furies, the underworld. It is a fast paced page turner. And Lucas Delos is the perfect heart throb. I hope there is a sequel coming soon because the ending left me wanting so much more!
Synopsis: From GoodReads - spoiler free and more succinct than I could ever be.
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 know I tend to gush about books I really like but I have to tell you this one just blew me away. I want to force it into the hands of passing strangers and tell them to read it. As soon as I finished the last page I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. It is one of those books that you can read over and over and never tire of. I don't usually get too attached to books (apart from my Twilight collection and Heavenly) I think that is because I get to see lovely books in the school library all day. However, this is one book that will be going in my permanent collection - what more of an accolade could I give. I want the stunning hardback because I think the cover is so much prettier.
From the beginning you know Helen is different, she is able to do things that aren't normally physically possible, she is incredibly beautiful yet tries to hide it afraid to draw attention to herself, bad things happen to her if she draws attention to herself, this is explained later in the book and was extremely clever. I felt as if I wanted to shield her from the harsh realities of High School life, my mothering instinct kicked in with full force for Helen.
I loved the relationships that Helen had with her Father and Kate, who proved a mother figure for her. They had a very close relationship but one of equal responsibility and sharing. It was heartwarming to imagine.
I can't mention relationships without mentioning Claire, Helens best and only friend, different in her own way (she's Chinese) and that sets her apart from the crowd in this small island. I adored her loyalty to Helen and her calm acceptance of the existence of Demi-Gods. Her antics and snarky comments added humor and lighten the tension. A brilliant character to visualize. The way in which the bickering was portrayed between Claire and Jason made me giggle the idea that if a boy likes you he picks arguments with you, imagery of little boys pulling girls pigtails popped into my head.
I already knew that the book was based on Greek Mythology, in particular the Iliad, so I kept trying to figure out who was who and how it related to the storyline. In the end I gave up and went with the flow of the narrative. I am so glad I did as the mythology is explained and woven into the plot with such creativity. Take my advice put all your assumptions aside to begin with and go with the flow, it will be worth it.
I don't want to go into too much detail about the Delos family, especially Lucas *swoon* as it really is such a wonderful book I want you to read it yourself and not know too much about the plot. Needless to say, the relationship between Lucas and Helen set fireworks off in my head. I didn't care about the fate of the world or any of that 'minor' stuff, lol, I just wanted Lucas and Helen to get together.
The use of the Fates and the Underworld brought the Greek Mythology to vivid life. Creating a realistic world of Destiny controlled by the Gods co-existing with the modern world within my imagination.
I particularly liked how the mortal characters within the plot weren't just there for decoration. They were strong, fearless and loyal, often taking charge in the case of Lucas's Mother. Their inclusion and depth of character not only added to the realism of the story but gave characters that you could aspire to. We can't all be demi-gods but we can all have the qualities portrayed by these characters.
There are a few shocks and surprises in store, that now have me bouncing around in desperation for the next part of the story.
As I said at the beginning of this review there is no higher accolade I can give this book than by telling you the finished copy is going in my permanent collection. I loved it with a capital L.
First of all, I *dare* you to read that synopsis up there and TELL me that you DON'T want to read it, because I KNOW you do. From the moment I heard about Starcrossed, I *knew* that it would be something special. My expectations were incredibly high, but Angelini did not disappoint. I don't know if you guys have noticed, but there seems to be a 'Greek mythology trend' going on at the moment, in the world of YA fiction, and I've been looking forward to reading something that would leave me with the same feelings that The Goddess Test (by Aimee Carter, which I adored) did. Then there's the whole 'forbidden love' element, and let me tell you, I'm a TOTAL sucker for any kind of starcrossed/forbidden/doomed romance.
The plot was well thought-out, complex and intriguing and I LOVED all the greek mythology stuff. I honestly don't think I'll ever get tired of these kinds of retelling, especially when they are told in such a graceful, exhilarating way. The characters: loved them all! The supporting characters were exciting and interesting, Lucas's family in particular; totally full to the brim with personality and everything and anything you could ask for in a bunch of characters. I really enjoyed reading about the history of each of them as well. When you think about it, there was quite a lot to keep track of in terms of the background of the family, but it didn't once get to the point of complicated that I didn't know who did what.
Quote from the book: "She [Helen] decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it."
At first, Helen is presented as a bit of an awkward character and I wasn't sure if I would like her, but it's only because she still hasn't uncovered what could be the awesomest thing you could ever discover about yourself has yet to discover that she isn't the same as other humans. Enter: the Delos family. Can I just say that, from the first moment Helen saw Lucas, and when she tried to kill him, I just KNEW I was going to be in for a ride. Seriously, that scene has probably got to be one of my favourite moments in YA history. Because how many other female protagonists do you know that have tried to kill a *gorgeous* guy from their FIRST EVER SIGHTING of him??! It's INSANE to the next level. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Going back to my point about Helen, I felt that she really bloomed over the course of the novel and I loved being able to share that with her.
(I'm not even going to try to explain how different from a normal human being Helen is (or the Delos family for that matter) so I'm sorry, but you're just going to have to read it yourself. *she said in a matter-of-fact-ly voice*)
I loved the idea of the Furies. I wasn't entirely familiar with this story and the story of Helen before I read Starcrossed, but it fascinated me and it's got me Googling them. And it takes a lot to get me Googling stuff y'all. *serious face* actually that's not true..I Google thing quite frequently. Call me stupid! I totes am.
At times, Starcrossed was quite heavy and there were some really big plot turns that left me with my jaw on the floor, but through all of that, there was just some scenes and conversations between the characters that had me literally laughing out loud! How to describe the awesomness for you, in one word? Addictive. Totally, unbelievably, incredibly addictive. I mean, you should already have placed your order for it, if not, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. But I have to warn you: MAJOR CLIFF-HANGER-Y ENDING. ARGH. #thingsthatmakemeangry #needDreamlessnow *thinks this is Twitter* Oh Ms Angelini..you have messed my mind up..
Thank the Gods this is a trilogy. Dreamless will be out May 2012.
Starcrossed is the first book in a trilogy, and a debut novel by Josephine Angelini. Released by Macmillan Children's Books on 3rd June, Starcrossed is 528 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.
Helen Hamilton is painfully shy, doing everything possible to make sure she doesn't stand out for any reason at all. All Helen wants to do is get on with her life and manage to graduate high school without anything massive or crazy happening. Unfortunately, Helen also thinks she's going insane. When a new family moves onto the island of Nantucket, Helen knows something isn't right. For starters, she tries to kill one of the Delos boys in the corridor at school and she has no idea why she instantly hates him so much. Just the mention of his name gets her annoyed.
If that wasn't bad enough, Helen is also seeing ghostly visions of three women weeping blood and having some intense nightmares that feel closer to reality than dreams. An ancient curse dating back to the Trojan war means that Helen and Lucas are destined to never be together but they can't help but feel something for each other. Will they turn out to be that couple who starts the war again or will they be able to keep their distance?
What I thought
Starcrossed was one of those books that when I heard about it, I knew I had to have it. Macmillan were extremely nice is sending me a really early copy in February and I don't think I can express just how excited I was when it arrived!
The supernatural aspect of this book was one that I have never heard of or read about before. Unlike many other YA books focusing on vampires and werewolves etc, Starcrossed is all about Scions. Scions are the descendants of Greek Gods from hundreds and thousands of years ago and their incredible abilities and talents have been passed down through each generation. The Scion race is divided into four different houses although there is only one house with a high number of family members left. Back during the Trojan war, The Furies (the creepy weeping women) set the houses against each other and put a curse on them to make sure that what Helen and Paris did would never happen again. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules though and Helen and Lucas are one of those rare couples that have found a way to be together...kind of. If Helen and Lucas want to be together fully, they have to face facts. Their relationship could restart the Trojan war. This was an aspect of the book that I loved completely. I have always been interested in history and mythology so I couldn't have asked for a better subject for a book. I really enjoyed the twists that Angelini put on the Trojan war and how she intertwined some classic mythology with new ideas of her own.
The beginning of the book was quite confusing but thankfully, it didn't last very long. As I was beginning to get to know Helen, and began to feel like I knew what she was all about, everything changed suddenly and questioned what I originally thought of her. In the blink of an eye, Helen had gone from shy and reserved to full on attacking a really hot guy at school. As soon as this happened, the story started to unfold and different things were slowly being explained. I really liked Helen as a character as she had plenty of different sides to her. Even though she was shy and reluctant to stand out in her classes, she was obviously ambitious and deep down, she wanted to do well for herself. Not having many friends in school also made her quite mysterious and that made me want to know more about her all of the time. As the story went on, I found myself liking her more and more, especially as she grew more of a backbone and began standing up for herself. Not to mention the awesome Scion powers she has!
While Lucas was great, he was not the perfect guy for me. There were little things about him the whole way through that bugged me and I wasn't really sure why. I think the main thing for me was that I wasn't sure how sincere and truthful he was being from the beginning, considering the way they met, and that doubt about him was always in the back of my mind. I was glad that I did get to like him a lot more later on in the book but I never really loved him like I was hoping to. Some of this is due to the nature of his relationship with Helen and everything that they have going on but I cant go into that as I don't want to ruin some of the major twists. As you will see later in this review, he had some competition for my affections! On a positive note though, Lucas was definitely a good thing for Helen, if you take all of the craziness away. After meeting him, she grew a lot as a person and began to be more comfortable with herself.
The build up towards the end of the book could have been done a little better, for me anyway. I felt as though there wasn't quite as much tension as there should have been and the action didn't last nearly long enough. I wanted a completely epic battle and I didn't get it. I think that is definitely going to come in the other books in the trilogy though, especially if you think back to the story being based on the Trojan war. I cant wait to see where the story is going to end up and what other aspects of Greek mythology and history will be added in to future books.
Strangely enough, one of the main things (apart from the Greek Gods stuff) that made this book for me was the secondary characters. It is very rare that I love the secondary characters over the main characters but this is one of those cases. As much as I loved Helen and Lucas, the Delos family were too interesting and entertaining to not love more. As a house full of nearly all Scions, the family had many different abilities and this is what drew me to them. Each family member could do something amazing but they were all so different, personality wise as well. As for the boys in the family, each has their good qualities and I was having a hard time deciding which one I liked the most. They were all giving Lucas a run for his money.
As a debut novel, Starcrossed is fantastic. While I didn't completely love all of it, the majority was amazing. Greek mythology, action and romance are three of my favourite things so add them together and you get a winner in my eyes. Some of the hottest couples in YA are in trouble. Helen and Lucas are the new forbidden love in town and their powers will blow everyone else out of the water. Watch your backs Edward and Bella!
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton sees Lucas Delos for the first time she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.
With an ancient curse making them loathe one another, Lucas and Helen have to keep their distance. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen . . .
Before I read this book I had read a few mixed reviews of it, some people loved it while others struggled to finish it. I read it in just over a couple of days and I literally stayed up well past my bedtime to finish reading it, as I just couldn't stop myself from wanting to find out what happened in the end. I would say that I definitely enjoyed this one, but it was far from perfect.
As well as having a rather gripping love story, I have to admit that there is quite a lot wrong with Starcrossed, some of the characters actions seem a little inconsistent, their motivations a little dubious and the plot at times seems a bit thin. The writing itself was also a tad clumsy in areas and there was quite a lot of tell rather than show. However, despite all of this I still enjoyed the book and it had a good pace as well as some great emotionally charged scenes between the main characters.
Although there was a lot of Greek mythology mentioned, some of it didn't really feel all that authentic from a historical perspective. However, this didn't really bother me too much, Josephine borrowed what she wanted from the facts and then created a fictional story very loosely on top of it all. Just don't expect to learn too much historical facts from this book it is more about creating an entertaining story than being true to history, which again is fine with me. Sometimes I just want to be entertained and this book certainly did that.
What really held my attention throughout the book was the relationship between Lucas and Helen as they can't keep their hands off one another but are forbidden to be together - sound familiar? This is an old story, very Romeo and Juliet, but just told with a Greek mythology slant. I enjoyed their star-crossed relationship, although I did want Helen to be a bit stronger of a character on her own. She only seemed to accept herself for who she was when she was being told she was beautiful and strong by Lucas instead of realising it on her own. Lucas was also a bit too perfect for my liking, he was gorgeous, intelligent, athletic and a bit like the bad boy who was never really bad, but has a huge sensitive side.
It is clear from the ending of this book that it is going to be part of a series! Overall, I liked the ending, it left some pretty big cliff hangers but the story felt well rounded and I wasn't left feeling cheated. I will definitely be eagerly awaiting the next instalment, which will hopefully be a bit more refined but still full of emotionally charged scenes.
I have to admit that I love the UK book cover, I think it is simple, gorgeous and does a great job at making me want to pick it up.
Even despite the flaws in this book I am still going to highly recommend it, it may not be a perfect book but it was certainly entertaining. I also suspect that when this book is released in the beginning of June it is going to be a huge summer hit.
GOOD but just short of GREAT and definitely an entertaining read - 3.5 stars out of 5
I hope that Josephine Angelini is hard at work on the next book because I can't wait to find out what happens!!!
Genre - YA, Greek mythology
Published by Macmillan Children's book (3rd June 2011)
Paperback - 480 pages (£6.99)
I received a copy of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini in exchange for an honest review.