Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date: May 2011
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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.
Starcrossed was really enjoyable as a mythology retelling. There was enough that was familiar about it and reflected the source material, but it still created its own world with its own rules. What starts out as a story about an ordinary girl trying discover who she is, turns into an eon-spanning family feud. I loved the epic scale the book achieved, while set in windswept, sleepy Nantucket. I picked up the book not knowing too much about it and it helped. I was surprised and excited by each revelation.
While I loved the Delos family and the entire supporting cast of Nantucket island, I was very frustrated at Helen. I hated how she didn’t own up to her abilities and seemed burdened by her talents, and this was before she found out who she was and that there were people after her. Attitude wise, I just didn’t understand this side of her. She, in the end, did turn out to be a strong heroine, embracing her abilities and using them to protect the ones she loved. She was just annoyingly flaky to begin with.
That said, I liked Helen and Lucas as a couple. They had great chemistry and it felt like a relationship of equals. They both protected and taught each other, and shared those cool moments that you only get with a supernatural boyfriend (or are supernatural yourself). The revelation at the end about them was a little strange and frustrating, but it will definitely be interesting to see how they deal with it in the sequel.
Parts that didn’t work for me were Helen’s dream sequences. I think they enhanced the mood and they definitely made me feel like I was in a haze, but I didn’t enjoy reading them. Also, I thought the antagonists were rather distant and I’m looking forward to seeing them developed more (although the main one in this book I thought was rather stupid).
That said, I enjoyed reading through all the twists and the unfolding plot. I also highly approve of one character’s excellent name choice (*ahem*). I’m really looking forward to reading Dreamless!