Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

Book Cover Image: Starcrossed by Josephine AngeliniTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
ISBN: 9780062011992
No. of Pages: 309
Genre: Science Fiction, YA

“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.”

Thoughts: Mythology, and Greek mythology especially, is one of those genres that never loses its luster. There is something about the story of the gods that remains fascinating even today, when polytheism has long since gone out of style. Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed capitalizes on this fascination while adding her own unique touches.

When one thinks of Greek mythology, Nantucket does not come to mind. Yet, in Ms. Angelini’s world, the connection between the two make perfect sense. This is the genius of the story, connecting certain things that one would never otherwise consider. Much of the mythology follows in this same vein, preventing the reader from getting too comfortable with the more familiar aspects of the mythology interwoven within the main plot. This discomfort only enhances Helen’s plight and the reader’s interest in the overall story.

Helen Hamilton is a character which immediately draws the reader’s sympathy. There is something about her need for anonymity which is endearingly sad. Readers of all ages will remember too well what it felt like (or still feels like) to blatantly stick out in high school, an age where almost everyone is just trying to fly under the radar and not draw too much attention to him or herself. At the same time though, Helen’s differences are what make her special. As she learns to love those differences about herself, readers will celebrate her growing confidence and will unconsciously embrace their own unique traits. It is a coming-of-age story with a strong message that really never grows old.

Like all YA stories these days, there has to be the gorgeous but mysterious male romantic lead. Starcrossed is no exception to this rule and gives the world Lucas Delos. Unlike other famous YA couples however, Lucas and Helen’s first interaction is anything but as ordinary as sitting in the same classroom and speaks volumes about their future relationship. What makes their situation so different is the idea that their story is already predestined based on the Fates’ need for repetition. Knowing how their story should end adds an additional level of tension to an already intense situation. Knowing that Ms. Angelini has quite a few more surprises up her sleeve makes their story that much more interesting.

Starcrossed is one of those excellent novels that takes a familiar mythology, adds several new twists and spins, and creates a surprisingly fun and exciting novel with complex characters and plenty of action to keep the reader enthralled. The story unfolds at the perfect pace and provides enough clues for a reader to pick up on certain aspects of the storyline without ruining the entire plot. Helen is a character that will draw sympathy from readers of any age. The story ends with a mild cliffhanger that will satisfy readers looking for a certain amount of closure while enticing them to anticipate the next book in the series. Well-written and well-researched, Starcrossed is an engaging and entertaining story that brings new meaning to the definition of family dysfunction.

Acknowledgements: Mine. All mine.

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