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Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini


Jospehine Angelini’s debut novel, STARCROSSED was a enticing read that kept me engaged and emotionally involved from page to page. I fell in love with the characters, the setting, the plot and the mythical undertones of the storyline. Can you say, “Highly Impressed?” The whirlwind romance and emotional upheavals that resulted in Helen’s past, future and heritage was spectacular. I’m glad I don’t have a weak heart because this novel was a heart-attack inducer. I wanted to scream and cry and slap sense into the characters a few times as I read (well listened to them being read) these pages. I highly recommend STARCROSSED and am patiently waiting for DREAMLESS (2012).


On the tiny island of Nantucket lives Helen Hamilton. Helen is one of the most beautiful girls that most people have had the opportunity to gaze upon, but her insecurity and penchant for shying away from the spotlight tends to make her more of an outcast than popular. Her only friend Claire is her saving grace but as Helen is wracked with nightmares that feel more real than a dream she feels like she is losing her grip on reality. To make matters worse every time she comes into contact with one of the Delos boys, the newest family to move to the island, all she can think of is that she wants to suck the life right out of them. Homicidal thoughts are very new to the usually peaceable Helen, added to her homicidal tendecies, she is also seeing images of three bloody women that appear before her every time she comes in contact with a Delos. Helen knows something is seriously wrong with her and it would seem the Delos' know a lot more about her than she does – but she can’t get close to them without trying to murder them. What is a girl to do?

The best way I can describe STARCROSSED is a Percy Jackson series for chicks. Angelini combines the mythical story of the Greek gods, action, romance, emotional turmoil and fate into one epic tale that kept me up at night, thinking about what Helen and Lucas will do next. The mythology of this story made it just so much more, Angelini brought it to life and made it seem real even though some of the aspects were a little hard to swallow. I also really enjoyed the characters of the book, especially Claire. I liked Claire and Helen’s flawed yet supportive friendship. It really worked for me.

On top of the plot twists and turns and the characters, I really enjoyed certain aspects that Angelini wove into the story. While odd, the “kill-on-sight” craziness that happened in the beginning of the novel was well executed and it worked. Angelini brought you from one extreme to the next, from insecurity to hatred to love to fear to acceptance, all within a few pages. It was definitely a roller coaster of emotional trauma.

Some have mentioned that the romance was a little too whirlwind, but I thought it worked. Helen and Lucas went from hating each other – to really sacrificing their lives for each other. Strong emotion can go both ways, so the fact that they went from hate to love was actually quite believable. You know how quickly you can go from love to hate, why can’t it be the opposite? On top of that he is the one that knows her history, her fate and he saved her life. These types of emotionally intense aspects can be transferred very quickly into love.

The setting of the book also became a living entity to me. Angelini brought the island of Nantucket alive in her writing and I loved hearing about it. I almost want to visit. I could really go on and on with this novel… how I liked that there was an adult presence in this book that is sometimes lacking in young adult books. The fact that I felt tied into the story and found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it was a big plus for me. The emotional aspect of the novel being the most poignant and enjoyable as I listened. I did this one as an audio book and I was listening to it everywhere. I couldn’t get enough. And yet while I have crazy likes about this book, there were a few downers:
What I didn’t like about the novel was some of the plot points. Out of all the places in the world why would the Delos just happen to move to Nantucket and why wouldn’t they have killed Helen on sight? It might have been explained away slightly, but I didn’t quite grasp their holding back.

SPOILER: Another dislike is a spoiler so step back if you don’t want to read. I disliked the mom greatly and thought the fact that Helen went off with her mother ridiculous. Why would she have done this no matter what her mother said?

It didn't make sense to me. Shame on you Helen! :)


Overall a great read and something I highly recommend for fans of Young Adult, mythology and romance. If you’ve enjoyed books like the Percy Jackson series, or Romeo and Juliet type romances this is the book for you.


Like this Like That
  1. Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
  2. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


Shaunna said...

Ooh, this was already on my TBR list, but I think it's just moved further up, now! :)

Amy said...

Great review! I am currently reading this and I have to agree with everything you said - thank you for sharing! :)

StephTheBookworm said...

Wow, you've convinced me! I'll have to read this!

Mariya @ Mystifying Paranormal Reviews said...

I agree, Parajunkee. I hate the mom with great passion. She should've died and I hope she gets killed off soon.

StuckInBooks said...

I like that you compared it to Percy Jackson. I love both books.

I have to agree with you about Helen's mom - can't stand her and I hope Helen puts her in her place very soon!

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I enjoyed this one too, although I took a while to warm to Helen. Grrr...her mom is a beast! She needs her comeuppance for sure!

Christy @TheReaderBee said...

I really love this book! I agree, it's like a girlie Percy Jackson. But it works! :) Love your review!

Laura said...

I really need to read this. I used to love Mythology when I was younger and I read the Goddess Test and it suked me back in. I think I am going to put this on my to buy list this year. Hopefully I can get it for my b day or christmas. Great Review. Love the skull rating :)

Penelope Lolohea said...

I thought this was a great book, too. I loved the mythological aspects, and the modern twists they were given was very well-done. Oh, and I totally about Helen's mother. I kept asking "why?" ...and Helen's explanation was ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read this, but my kids and I love the Percy Jackson books. Will definitely check it out...

ParaJunkee said...

@Shauna - You shouldn't be disappointed. This book was amazing.

@Amy - Oh thank you! How can you not like this one? LOL

@Steph - Now! Go!

@Mariya - Ooh -- yes die die die.

@Stuck - I think it might be a little older than Percy Jackson, but it fits. I just didn't understand why she went with her. Grrr….

@Leanna - She definitely needs it.

@Christy - It seems like everyone did! That is so awesome.

@Laura - Yes you do. I have the Goddess test just waiting to be read…I have to get to it. I also loved Mythology. I am currently looking for a good Mythology children's book for my daughter. That would be a good way to get her into it also.

@Penelope - Yes, Helen's explanation was ridiculous.

@BJ - You should really enjoy it!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh great review. I really like the sounds of this book with the gods angle. :) Thanks for including the video trailer too. I do think I need this one.

kaye (paper reader) said...

The ending is probably the one major thing that I disliked about this book. I disliked her mum as well, and it just seemed so incredibly unlikely that Helen would want to make that decision to go with her after all she's been through.

Lily Child said...

I've been meaning to read this one since I bought it! Awesome review Rach! :)

Jess @ мαувє ιтѕ ℓσνє said...

Great review! Glad you enjoyed this book just I like I did!

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

I so agree with your spoiler comment. Sadly I didn't fall head over heels for Starcrossed. For me this book was an ok read.

Sherry Soule said...

This novel sounds fantastic. The cover ROCKS!! Can’t wait to read it. ;-)


Sherry Soule Official Website

Author of the Spellbound Series

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