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Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

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.


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Source: ARC/NetGalley + HarperTeen
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kindle
Next: Dreamless (2012)

Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge

I picked up this book expecting the best. I mean, STARCROSSED has 'phenomenal' written all over it, from back to cover and from all the hype surrounding it. But, maybe I was being a bit overzealous in placing such high expectations. Not to say STARCROSSED wasn't good, it just wasn't as great as I had anticipated. And of course, I'm a little disappointed as a result.

Still, STARCROSSED had a fantastic concept as a base. Not to mention, the world building behind it. Unlike The Goddess Test for instance, the Greek mythology incorporated in the novel was interweaved, so that I could pinpoint references to the actual stories, while still being given Angelini's innovative and intriguing twist.When I was learning, I could not stop flipping the pages. I hungered to know all there was about Angelini's well-constructed world.

Conversely, though the history and the correlation to mythology was fascinating, there were points where I felt that there was too much going on at once. And the pacing wasn't fast enough to bear the weight of all that was happening. I tended to get that sensation of deja vu as well, like Where have I read this before? Including a number of acute similarities that cropped up in regards to the romance. The main pairing, Lucas and Helen, could have used a bit more development. Yes, they seemed to be friends. But, at the same time I can't say I really saw them get to know one another. And then, the whole I want to but we can't because it's dangerous aspect to the romance, while warranted, felt a bit reminiscent of Twilight. As much as I loved Twilight, it's just been done before. And that tended to take away from my enjoyment of their newfound love.

Keeping to characters, the characterizations were pretty great. I may not have learned every single detail about every member of the cast, but I grew attached to nearly everyone. I liked Helen and Lucas, Kate and Jerry, among other characters, but the favorites include Claire (aka Giggles), Hector, Cassandra, and Jason. Overall, I ended up caring about each and every person, was devastated when any one of them had to endure something painful, or, worse, ended up dead. Though, I must say, in this way STARCROSSED is refreshing. So many YA paranormal books, among other subgenres, often overlook the significance of an emotional bond with the characters. I for one, am so glad to have made a connection with such a large chunk of the cast.

And coming to a close, I didn't much care for the ending. It didn't feel abrupt or anything nearly as irritating. It just seemed as if, once again, there was too much happening, too much to swallow at once. Not to mention the fact that a monumental revelation discovered by the main two characters is delivered heading into the last fifty pages or so. Wasn't too happy about that. Even so, I'm looking forward to what will happen next in this entertaining trilogy.

"Giggles! I see you got some back-to-school shopping done, too," Jerry said as he gave Claire a one-armed hug around her parcels.
Claire Aoki, aka Giggles, was a badass.Anyone who took a look at her five-foot-two frame and delicate Asian features and failed to recognize her inherent scrappiness ran the risk of suffering horribly at the hands of a grossly underestimated opponent...
"Fo-sho, sire of my BFF," Claire replied. She hugged Jerry with genuine affection..."Might I have a word with your progeny? Sorry to be so rude, but it's top secret, high-clearance stuff. I'd tell you..." she began.
"But then you'd have to kill me," Jerry finished sagely.

5 comments:

Small Review said...

I love your review! I agree about a lot of things. There really was a huge info dump toward the end. I guess I probably would have preferred it if things had been a bit more spread out, but I was so caught up in it while it was happening. I cared a lot about the characters, too.

A. Knight said...

Yay! I felt that way as well. Like, while it felt like overload in the brain, it was so intense during those last few scenes that I didn't notice my feelings until I was done. Overall, how did you feel about Starcrossed?

Logan E. Turner said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed by this book. It was like pulling teeth to get me through the long boring middle bits where nothing happened! I'm dreading having to write my review because I'm not sure what good things I can say about it. Blech.

A. Knight said...

Logan E. Turner - Yeah, those were the scenes were I felt like the pacing needed to pick up, but didn't and kind of dragged. And, believe me, you're not the only one who feels that way. Personally, I still liked it despite its flaws. I'm just mad that the promotion was more or less exaggerated a bit...

Small Review said...

Overall I liked it a lot. I definitely see the flaws but I had a fun time reading it. It really could have used tighter editing (maybe hack out 100 or more pages) to remove the whole Twilight Pacing Syndrome thing it had going on. I'm hooked on the story, though, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next.