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Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini
Member Name: Kayleaf
Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini
Advantages: a great read, mythology references
Disadvantages: I didn't like the turn of events
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.
Summary: An enjoyable read for most, love the ancient history references.