Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
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.
Here’s the scoop:
Holy wow, there’s alot going on in this story. Let me try to break it down for you. When the Delos family moves to town, Helen and their youngest son, Lucas, are drawn together with a strange intensity. Though they’ve never met, they feel a mutual hatred so strong it drives them to want to kill one another. This is all new to Helen, a seemingly normal girl who quickly goes from relative anonymity to crazypants status after she attacks Lucas.
The thing is, Lucas is a Scion—his family is descended from ancient demigods. Of course, it takes Helen time to figure this all out. I mean a loooooong time. She pretty much thinks she’s a looneytunes because she keeps seeing these visions of the three crazy sisters whenever she is near Lucas. The presence of these three women keep Lucas and Helen at each others throats. When Helen finds out the truth—that these sisters are actually Furies and that she is also a Scion—she’s even more confused. But after a terrible accident, the Furies disappear and with them the hatred Helen and Lucas felt for one another. Suddenly Lucas and Helen feel another force driving them together–chicka bow wow. Ok, not really, but they are totally attracted to each other, yet for some reason, Lucas always holds back.
Alright, that was the easy part to explain. Try to stay with me because this is gonna get bumpy.
Someone from another “House” is trying to kill Helen (Ok class, Houses are the four different blood lines of the Scions. They are natural enemies because the Furies compel them to get all murdery with each other ). The Delos family wants to keep her safe. The kids—specifically Lucas’s cousin Hector— decide to train Helen to fight in the way of their wicked badassedness. They also guard her home at night. During the days, she and Lucas are practically glued together, growing more and more attracted to each other. He acts like a boyfriend, minus all the kissy face physical stuff, but every time it seems like something might happen, he pulls away. Unbeknownst to Helen, he continuously reassures his family that he and Helen will remain in a platonic relationship so as not to incite an all out war (if they get their sexy business on, then the gods consider them husband and wife, which unites two out of four of the Houses and will start an all out war of the Scions. I know. Wha???).
Personally, I hate it when people compare books to other books, but I’m about to do that right now. Starcrossed is somewhat like The Iliad, Twlight and The Lightening Thief all rolled into one—and that’s good and bad. First off, I love anything relating to Greek mythology, including The Lightening Thief (I want Percy to be my son!) and I really enjoy Twilight (well, except for Bella, Jacob, Twilight Moms, grown women who think it’s acceptable to throw their panties at Taylor Lautner and any combination of the words golden, amber, ochre and eyes). While the basic story is a retelling of Helen and Paris and how their affair sparked the Trojan war, Angelini throws in numerous attempts to link mythological characters to the ones in her book, both in names and in characteristics—so much that it’s a bit overwhelming. It is fun to see Helen welcomed in to the Delos family–a mixed bag of characters who alternatively like and dislike her, or who train her to fight–which reminded me of Bella’s interaction with the Cullen family in The Twilight series.
As a heroine, Helen is likeable. She has self-esteem issues and insecurities about her relationship with Lucas, but she is brave and unwilling to run from danger. Lucas is absolutely adorable and their relationship has some great moments. There are alot of tingle-in-my-toes scenes, but I got a little frustrated at how long it took for a kiss. Helen was asking herself why Lucas wouldn’t kiss her and I was like, “FOR REALS HELEN!!!! WHAT THE HECK?” I mean come on. I wasn’t asking for anything scandalous or even hot and heavy—just some satisfying smooches. However, in the moments when I felt overloaded by the amount of crazy detail the author was unloading, the relationship between Helen and Lucas kept drawing me back in.
Crush Intensity: I’m torn here. Overall I’d give it a 2/5, because it was okay, but I didn’t love it. On the other hand, I might consider rating it higher because of the relationship between Helen and Lucas. There’s a whole lotta sweetness there, but you have to dig through a story that is a bit jumbled because so much is happening all at once. Whatever criticisms I have should be weighed against the fact that I tore through this 310 page novel in one night, eager to see what would develop in the love story (translation: I was dying for some romantic love stuff in the form of forbidden kissing). So maybe 3/5?
The Way I See It:
Teresa Palmer has the perfect gorgeous but accessible beauty of Helen.
Thomas McDonnell, though he doesn’t have the right eye color, might be a good match to be Lucas. In all honesty, I was pretty torn on this one. I’d prefer a younger version of Henry Cavill, but thought I’d go with someone a little more current.
I’m sorry but this is totally how I pictured Hector. I guess it was because he was teaching Helen to fight and he was pretty much a big ‘ol tough guy.
The only other option would be this:
That’s Eric Bana, playing Hector in the film Troy.
Starcrossed is released May 31st. Thank you Harper Collins and Net Galley for our e galley!