Sunday, 27 May 2012

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention. 

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

So in anticipation for the upcoming release of the next installment of this series, Dreamless, I decided to reread the first one - Starcrossed. And it was as every bit as good as I remembered it, if not more. The plot is basically about the main character, Helen, and how she finds out she is a demigod with some freaking awesome powers. Her realization that she's a demigod instantly sets off a series of chain reactions, with serious consequences. Wow, okay, I sound like I'm writing out another synopsis. On to the review:

I really love the idea of Greek mythology, and I genuinely find it interesting. I think the idea that history is constantly repeating itself and that Scions are forever in a cycle encircled around the Fates and the Furies is fascinating. I mean, imagine having no choice but to follow what they say - because what they say is how it is. One of the biggest story plots I think for the next book is Helen and her friend's trying to get every Scion out of that never-ending cycle, which should be super interesting because it will mean that she has to visit Purgatory (or that's what I take that it is, anyway. They don't specifically say that, but anyway...)

I also love the characterization of Helen, Claire, Lucas and Hector. For me, I find them to be the four main characters in the book, even though it is pretty much just centered around Helen and Lucas. Each one of them has very different personalities, so when you put them all together it leads to hilarious outcomes. I also like the relationship between Helen and Lucas, and throughout the entire book you know there is some underlying secret as to why they can't properly be together that Lucas is keeping from Helen, which does keep you on your toes throughout the novel. But, for me, although I do like it, some aspects of it were a bit unbelievable. I know the novel is based on fantasy and mythology, but I think the aim of novels like this is to inspire the reader to imagine that their best friend could suddenly turn around and go "I'm a vampire/demigod/werewolf/mythical-being-that-isn't-ready-but-it-actually-is-because-I'm-one", so I suppose that from these books I do expect a certain aspects of realism from them. And whilst I did find a lot of it believable, their relationship just didn't work for me. I hate to say this, because the book is so addictive and amazing, but their relationship did remind me of Edward and Bella for Twilight. And everyone knows that I'm not a fan of that. When the pair were apart, they were both lifeless, and days in the books passed when they weren't talking without Angelini writing about them, as if life was suddenly meaningless to them. And whilst I know the story behind Helen of Troy and Paris was that they were so desperately and passionately in love that they couldn't be apart, it's still a bit pathetic, and Helen never came across to me as the pathetic, clingy, needy type, so that did spoil it a bit for me.

Anyway, despite that one flaw (in my eyes, anyway) this book is amazing - this series is amazing! - and I am so excited for Dreamless, I can't even speak about it. Look out for a review coming your way in a week or two!
Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book, although it took me FOREVER to read. Between finishing up my degree, work, and just life in general, I took my sweet time with this one, but it was well worth it.
    I absolutely loved the setting - Nantucket. My mother's side of the family is from the island, so I've been there countless times. It was really interesting to read this book and be able to envision the actual surroundings from the cobblestone streets to the shingled buildings. When I first saw that a book revolving around Greek mythology was set in the old whaling island of Nantucket, I wasn't sure how well the two would blend. However, I think the author did a nice job of justifying the setting.
    The heroine, Helen, has grown up knowing she was different but has spent her entire life trying to be invisible. It isn't until the Delos family moves to the small island that Helen realizes who she really is. I liked Helen as the main character. She wasn't someone that I found truly striking, but she proved to be strong in the face of great pain on many levels. Lucas Delos was a character I found to be a little frustrating. He's always concealing very important information from Helen and constantly creates unnecessary tension in his unusual relationship with her. On top of all her shocking discoveries, Helen has to deal with the confused feeling his contradictory actions and words inflict. He's pretty wishy-washy and I can't say I would put up with that crap were I Helen. Needless to say, I had lukewarm feelings about Lucas throughout the book. However, I felt a close connection with all the other characters who all had unique personalities and roles to play within the story.