Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Yes, Starcrossed #1
UK Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
UK release date: June 2011
Sixteen year old Helen Hamilton has always felt different from everyone else on the island of Nantucket. Overly shy, she has cramps if anyone pays her too much attention. But when the Delos family moves to the island, Helen instinctively wants to kill the beautiful Lucas Delos, and she attacks him in the school corridor. To top it off, Helen feels like she is going crazy as she has strange nightmares featuring three ghostly women, who continue to haunt her when she is around the Delos family.
After Helen flies away from an attack at her home, she learns that she is descended from Greek Demi-Gods and was born into an opposing House to the Delos family, making her attraction to Lucas an impossibility.
Review: Greek mythology is inextricably tied into Starcrossed, from the history of Demigods, their part in the Trojan War and three wailing women - the Furies. I don’t know my Greek mythology and I’ve never read Iliad, but this didn’t put me at a loss. Angelini did a good job working in enough history and references to the Greek Gods such as Zeus to make the story real and believable, without distracting from the plot or characters.
When shy and awkward Helen sees Lucas and the rest of the Delos family she is filled with feelings of rage and pure hatred, not falling at his feet like the rest of the female population. If you know me well, you’ll know that I hate straight-out ‘girl falls for the most attractive guy ever’ scenarios, so the fact that the relationship between Lucas and Helen is more complex than that pleases me.
I really enjoyed the minor characters from the Delos family, although you can notice some similarities to Twilight – beautiful family with inhuman strength, the sister that can see snippets of the future etc. Don’t let this put you off though, as in Starcrossed the minor characters suffer their ups and downs and aren’t just pretty faces.
Something I’ve read in other reviews, is that the start of the book is a little stilted and slow and some of the dialogue jarring. This is true and it was a little difficult to get into at first. But as you get further into the story, the writing smoothes out and the pace picks up. There are plenty of little breadcrumb trails ready for us to follow into the next book, such as Helen’s nightmares visiting the Furies, her relationship with Lucas and a prophecy foretold about Helen. These are tied in well enough so that I was left curious and wanting to know what will happen next, but not making me feel too let down at the end because I was left without answers.
Slow to start, Starcrossed is worth persevering for: a delight of Greek mythological proportions.