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Book Review: Starcrossed by Josehpine Angelini

26 Nov 2011

Title: Starcrossed 
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Aus.  
Release Date: June 3rd, 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

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?

My Thoughts:

What can I say? This was one of those average reads for me; I didn't dislike it and it definitely had its positive aspects but I certaintly wouldn't rave about it. The concept of Greek mythology is one of the better parts of this book, but unfortunately the writing and mediocre characterisation made it hard for me to like it as much.

There are third person narration books out there that I absolutely love because even though i'm not technically inside the character's head, I could still relate to the characters, and feel their emotions. Unfortunately star crossed did not fall into that category. I probably would've related better to Helen had it been written in first person, since at the moment, everything seemed to be happening from a distance and I wasn't able to connect with her.

Angelini's writing was a tad...awkward; while it was certainly easy to read, it didn't flow as nicely as I would have liked. There was also a great deal of telling rather than showing ( l've been TOLD from day 1 that helen is SHY but really? Her actions seem to be telling me otherwise)

Personally, I felt Starcrossed lacked a cast of brilliant characters. Most of them ( with the exception of Jason and Clair) were bland and forgettable. All of them had the potential to be amazing characters, unique and mesmerizing in their own way, but the character development just stopped short. I was actually more interested in Jason and clair's relationship rather than Helen and Lucas'.

On a positive note, I absolutely loved the Greek Mythology! Call me ignorant, but I'm truly clueless about anything related to Greek mythology! I'm happy to say that after reading Starcrossed, I'll be looking for more Greek Mythology related books...any recommendations? So, through Starcrossed I definitely learnt a lot! I loved how the mythology parts were written in a way that was easy to understand- I wasn't bombarded with pages of facts which was a relief since there was no need to re-read each paragraph to understand what was going on. Thank you Josephine for enlightening me on Greek mythology!

As for the plot, it seemed pretty complex but I did enjoy it. I'm glad that it wasn't 500 pages of useless rambling but there were plot holes, and strange revelations that made no sense whatsoever. I also liked the twists and turns that occurred throughout the book, especially since they were unpredictable and kept me guessing!

Helen and Lucas' relationship was really...confusing. As soon as they set eyes on each other, both are overcome with overwhelming fury and have to fight the urge to kill each other. Then, a few weeks later, they save one another, and then they're an unofficial relationship. There was an great deal of holding hands which just plain bewildered me. Were they together or not? But eventually they fell in love ( obviously!), only to find out they cannot be together or else it will lead to a huge, destructive war, and basically the end of human civilisation..(I think?) Imagine being told that!

Starcrossed was an interesting start to a new series! The greek mythology was fasinating and written superbly. I have high hopes for the second book, Dreamless! Let's hope there will be more exciting action, unpredictable twists and further character development in the next few books!


  1. Yeah, I wasn't a huuge fan of this either. Not being able to really connect with the characters, the writing and.... I dunno, something stopped me from loving it. But like you, Josephine's mythology really intrigued me! Greek mythology fascinates me, so I love discovering YA books that put their on spin on the gods and myths.

    Great review, Shirly!

  2. A great and honest review. I do hope you enjoy the sequel. I do love the greek myths in this book too!

  3. I'm a mega fan of this book. For those people comparing it to Twilight, personally for me . . . THIS is how Twilight should've been. But that's just me being overly gushy. I thought the author did a great job with her writing and scenes . . . and the mythology was fantastic. While this book isn't for everyone, but hopefully you will enjoy the sequel when it comes out next year. Super excited for the sequel! Great and honest review nonetheless.

  4. Great review Shirley--I loved how honest you were, but I'm totally with Erin on this one...I ADORED this book. Granted I wanted to hurl it at the wall over the ending. I swear Angelini is a meanie, lol, and I'm dying for Dreamless!

    Hope you like the second book better :)
    Rachel @ The Rest Is Still Unwritten


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