Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Series: Starcrossed #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing date: May 31st, 2011
Pages: 496
Buy it: Amazon

Summary: 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.

Rating: 2.5 stars

I was so very excited to read this. I basically pounced on the galley as soon as it was available.

I'm going to preface this by saying that this review is subjective. I think a lot of people will like this book. It just... Wasn't for me.

Throughout the whole thing, I kept finding similarities to Twilight. Helen, the narrator, is shy and extremely introverted - like Bella. She's gorgeous, but doesn't suspect a thing - like Bella. She has an absent parental figure and a dad who's basically only interested in sports - like Bella. She has a weak personality disguised in bravado - like Bella. The prose is cheesy at times ("It felt like the most natural thing in the world" "She let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding") and the romance only partly makes sense. Can you... Sense a pattern?

The writing felt clumsy (I think the author used the word "cunning" 3 times in 5 pages) and very deliberate at times. I would read something, a tiny detail, and it was written in such a way that I knew it would be a big part of the plot later. And I hate obvious fore-shadowing.

I also felt like the author wanted Helen to come off as strong. And, well...

"Helen nodded submissively."
"His gaze had such a positive impact on her that she felt unbalanced as soon as his eyes abandoned her."

It's a shame, because this novel had a lot of potential. I love the plot and really enjoyed the mythological aspect (quite an original take on the Trojan war and the gods in general) and would have loved to see it crafted with more subtlety and skills. The romance, although kind of out of the blue (I love watching relationships develop - I'm not a fan of instant attraction), had this kind of je ne sais quoi (again, like freaking Twilight) that made me keep going. I think if Helen and Lucas were less co-dependent, the whole thing would work a lot better.

To sum it up, I think the series has a lot of possibility if the writing gets better. This book is a debut, so I haven't given up hope. I'll probably pick up the sequel whenever it comes out.

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Thanks for the honest review. I don't think you are alone in this one, I don't think I would like it either.

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Oh crap. I was really looking forward to this but now I am worried. This isn't the first average rating review I have read for this. And such a pretty cover too :(

Great honest review though.

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

Oh, darn. I'm still really looking forward to reading this book, but now I'll have to wonder how much I'll like it.
Thanks for the review.

K W said...

I so badly wanted this one from NetGalley... now I am not quite so disappointed that I didn't get it :) Thanks for the honest review!


Candace said...

Okay, I didn't read your review. I saw 2.5 stars and decided I didn't want to know. I have this one for review and I don't want to be influenced on my opinion of it, but I hope I like it more then you did! That's just too bad :(

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

I'd heard a little bit about this book, and have it read to read in NetGalley, but now I'm wondering...

Although I loved Twilight, I don't want to another book just like it. The similarities you mentioned seemed spooky! :)

Great review!

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