Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
hardcover, 487 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by HarperTeen
Obtained: Purchased
Categories: 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology, Supernatural, Fast Paced, Action Packed, 5 Cupcakes, Romance
Where you can buy it: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  | Book Dep.
Author Info: Website  |  Twitter

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire 16 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.

My Review Breakdown:

Story/Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Total Score: 21/25 = 5 Cupcakes

My Rating: Positively Enticing!!! 

Note: As always; if you have not read this book please proceed with caution as there may be some spoilers.

Initial Thoughts: I've always been interested in Greek mythology, even though I am not an expert on the topic. I know the basic Gods and Goddesses, but I probably only have a very basic grasp on the subject. Because there is some interest, I was very excited to read this book, and am glad that I did. There have been some comparisons to Twilight, and I will admit I definitely got that vibe, but they really are two entirely separate stories with different characters, personalities, and story line. In actuality, there are probably millions of stories that can at some level be compared to Twilight, or any other book for that matter. If you like the underlying interactions and talents between characters in Twilight then you will appreciate Starcrossed. If you are looking for a vampire story, wrong book. I am a fan of Twilight, and I'm a fan of Starcrossed but I couldn't ever compare the two. This book has the forbidden love and family loyalty that Twilight fans will love.

Story/Plot: There are a lot of books out there that try to put a modern spin on ancient mythology. Some are executed poorly, and some are executed wonderfully. In this situation, Angelini falls into the latter category. The story line is great. You are thrown into Helen's life immediately and join her on a roller coaster ride as she navigates life with all of the challenges and changes thrown her way. There weren't any parts that felt forced or fake. Everything blended well and scene after scene melted perfectly into the next. Angelini was able to take mythology and put a fresh, unique and modern spin on it that engaged me from the first page and kept me hanging on till the last.

Characters: Wow; this is some set of characters! It's amazing that Angelini has SO many characters in this book, yet each is individual, unique, and has their own voice and personality. Helen's absolutely awesome, let's just add her to my favorite heroines of all time; okay? She started out this sad, self-conscious character who thought she was such a freak, and then at the end of the book she is completely opposite! She's strong willed, believes in herself and trusts herself and her powers. She is a very caring and deeply sympathetic and compassionate person. At the beginning she puts everyone ahead of herself; but at the end she learns to balance giving to others and pleasing herself.
A major personality trait that all of the characters have, is loyalty. Everyone is so loyal to the others; even sworn enemies turned friends. I absolutely love Lucas. Seriously crushing on him! Hector is stubborn and pigheaded but dedicated to his family. Jason is the softer of the boys and deeply sincere. Cassandra is wonderful and handles her situation with grace. Ariadne is also a lovely character, easily someone who could be a BFF in real life. In a tragic sort of way, Creon is also a wonderful, dark and tortured character. Again, loyal to the core. The only character who I didn't care for is Daphne, but that's because we don't know her true intentions yet, so I think most people will feel the same there. Especially about the huge ginormous whopper of a lie she tells that keeps Helen and Lucas apart. Evil, lady. That's just evil.

Helen's best friend, Claire, was a bit abrasive at times, but overall she's a dependable, devoted friend to Helen and did bring some entertainment to the scenes she was in. She always pushed Helen because she knew Helen was capable of so much more than she was. Zach seemed like a huge jerk and I'm curious to see what he brings to book two. As for Matt, he's another loyal character. Take this quote from page 448;
Writing: The writing was a little rocky for me the first chapter or two. It quickly hooked me though, and I was fine with it for the remainder of the book. One thing you can really tell is that Angelini knows her stuff! The amount of time and research that she had to have put into all of the mythology and then building it into her story and characters had to have been immense and that is easily noticed once you get into the bulk of the book. The only thing that I think made it tough is that there is SO much information, that it feels overwhelming at times. You have to keep straight the characters the story revolves around as well as the Greek and Trojan Gods/Goddesses that have a part in the character's lives and story lines as well. Helen learns everything through conversations with different members of the Delos family that take place in one large section. The pace of the story is great, keeping you engaged at all times, and the action scenes are wonderful and pull you right in, hooking you, and leaving you with a bit of an adrenaline rush at the end!

Ending: The book actually ended at a pretty great spot. Overall I don't have any hang ups or dislikes when it comes to the ending. There was a good climax and then it gently carried you back down to the conclusion. It is probably one of the better endings I've read in awhile, and a great intermission from the first book in the series to the sequel.

Cover: The cover is absolutely beautiful and has the perfect amount of symbolism. The back cover has lightning, which is great because it doesn't incorporate that theme into the main front cover and overpower it. Water also has several different representations on the cover; mainly because the book takes place on Nantucket, an island; as well as it represents Hector's talent, and Helen's fear. The dress the model is wearing is very representative of a Grecian draped dress which symbolizes the connection of the main character to the Greek Gods/Goddesses.

Final Thoughts: The sequel, Dreamless, releases May 29th and I will probably be at the bookstore when it opens to buy it (or, I could just pre-order it, haha)! I'm so excited to jump back into the action and pick up where Starcrossed left off.

Read this if you like: Hereafter by Tara Hudson, Die For Me by Amy Plum, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wildefire by Karsten Knight


  1. Great review! I do think that the Greek Mythology in this story was so well done. =) And I totally agree that the author must have done her research well! There were lots of cool little facts, and I could really tell that the author knew so much about what she was writing about. I'm also looking forward to the sequel! [Which has a gorgeous cover, in my opinion!]

    -Aneeqah @ The Brain Lair

  2. This book is on my TBR, it sounded like something that I thought I would like, but after reading your amazing review, I really think that it's going to be a really good read! I love Greek Mythology stories, and the forbidden love aspect to it is a huge seller for me! I'll be moving this one up on my list to get soon!
    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. Love this review and I'm glad you really enjoyed it! I ended up not reading it after the first three chapters, but I do feel as if I missed something. Might have to check it out of the library!

  4. Hey :) You got a new follower!! Great review... I can't wait to read this!! Feel free to check out my blog!!

  5. Starcrossed blends forbidden love with family secrets - an uncertain future with a violent past - and Greek myths with teens. It is all perfectly arranged into an unforgettable story with amazing characters.

    Helen is an absolutely beautiful teen who lives on Nantucket with her father. She is oblivious to her beauty and her incredible speed and strength. Poor Helen is treated like some sort of freak by the other teens. I can so see this sort of thing happening in real life.


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