Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

As a kid I always really enjoyed reading about Greek Mythology. I read every book on the topic in my elementary library and took a few history classes that focused on the time period in college. I even read the Iliad and the Odyssey. So I am loving the resurgence of Greek mythology in the paranormal genre. When I saw this title on Netgalley I wanted forever to be approved and couldn’t wait to get it and it truly did not disappoint. Here’s the summary from Amazon:

How do you defy destiny?
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.

I really like the cyclic take on history in this book. Lucas and Helen are names from the original story Helen of Troy. That’s the first thing I picked up on when I read the summary. I thought it was interesting that it was a Greek story with those names. Thus, throughout the story I was rooting for a happier ending than that of the original. The mythology was spot on and even some aspects were added to the standard mythology. This always worries me when I read something that I have already studied but Josephine did an amazing job of making sure that the paranormal twists really fit in with the history and mythology that she used.

My thoughts on the characters were that it did remind me a little of the set up in Twilight. The girl is a loner with her dad and she becomes a part of this big family. However, I think that prior to Twilight there were a lot of stories out there like this and books are just being typecast after that. In all honesty after that point there weren’t any other similarities to any other story. The characters were fresh and new. I didn’t feel like I read anything that I could compare this story to.

Helen was a great leading female character. She is stubborn and strong. I really enjoyed seeing her stand her ground and make decisions throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the fact that both characters were levelheaded for the most part. They weren’t this crazy rash couple.

The concept of destiny wasn't overplayed. You don't even really find out the full story on their destiny until close to the end of the book. Even then, it doesn't eclipse the storyline. I really don't enjoy it when destiny is made to be the biggest component of the story. I believe that we all have free will including Helen and Lucas.

Helen's best friend is also one of my favorite parts of the story. Her threats to hurt people on behalf of Helen are really funny. Also her general demeanor cracks me up. She is practical and brutally honest. Then when she starts to get wrapped up in the story, the side story line between her and one of Lucas' family members becomes intriguing also. I wouldn't mind seeing another book centered around those two. 

The storyline was exciting and intriguing all at the same time. I really think the resurgence of mythology in the YA genre is going to be a big market in the near future. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series. I would recommend this read for anyone even if you don’t have a background in mythology. The author does a great job of explaining things in the story without making it like you are sitting through a lecture.

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