Starcrossed (Starcrossed Trilogy, #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Synopsis: 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.
Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz
Review: Oh where do I begin with this book . . .
Have you ever read a book and wondered why female authors seem to be content with portraying their female characters as vapid, selfish, stupid, useless, emotionally angst ridden women? This was my thought process while endearing Starcrossed. I decided to finally give the book a chance after a great friend of mine recommended I read it. Now I still love my friend but I kind of want to slap her with the book.
I knew going into Starcrossed what to expect with the romance. I mean the title alone should give you a clue that the heart of the story revolves around two characters who are destined to be together but will have to face insurmountable obstacles before they can be. I wasn’t surprised at the insta-love between Helen and Lucas because the synopsis alone makes it pretty clear that was going to happen (although, I LOATE insta-love!) so I could overlook that. What I thought would save the book was the Greek mythology aspect to the plot but to no avail, Starcrossed was just so RIDICULOUS!
Let’s begin with the so-called heroine (and that term is used more as a mocking gesture than an actual term of endearment), Helen. She seems to be the exact carbon copy of Bella Swan, another selfish and dense female character. Helen has no redeemable qualities. She is INCREDIBLY selfish, cannot keep herself from whinnying, and lacks common sense. Helen falls under the Predictable Female under the Young Adult genre. This character has been used so many times before she NEEDS to retire and NEVER come back. You know who I’m talking about. The girl who falls under the following qualities:
--“I’m so beautiful but I don’t know it yet because I’ve been such an angst ridden, socially inept, teenager I can’t possibly possess any self-esteem.”
--“For some reason every guy in school thinks I’m so beautiful and can’t help but stare at me but I don’t understand why because again, I don’t think I’m beautiful and I have no fashion sense.”
--“I’ve never been kissed before or had a boyfriend because I’m socially inept.”
--“My life revolves around taking care of my single Dad because our mom ran out on us. My favorite hobbies include grocery shopping, cooking dinner for my Dad, taking care of household chores, and taking out the trash.”
--“I’ve always had strange things happen around me. Like all the times I’ve never gotten sick or the fact that I’m freakishly strong. I get these really sucky menstrual like cramps whenever I’m around people but I don’t understand why. Maybe it has something to do with the super awesome powers I have.”
--“My Dad believes every explanation I give him and never suspects anything. Even if he did, he’s never home anyway so I can run around and do whatever I want without any real consequences.” Helen’s dad was even more useless than her and that’s no small feat.
Every plot twist reveals new powers but of course, Helen, can’t use her powers to defend herself because that means she would have to hurt someone and self-preservation is not as important as remaining a useless pacifist, even when someone is punching you straight in the face or drowning you so of course your boyfriend has to come rescue you. What made it even more stupid was the fact that Helen is a DEMIGOD! She can survive getting hit. But what made the power situation downright offensive to readers intelligence is the fact that Helen presumably becomes the MOST powerful demigod and cannot be destroyed by anything even though she’s NEVER used her powers until Lucas’s family moves to town and has only begun training for a matter of days.
Then there’s the insulting way women are portrayed as a gender in the novel and how sexist the characters come off. Helen suddenly discovers her inner sex god and can’t keep herself from numerous attempts to seduce Lucas out of his clothes even though he hasn’t even asked her to be his girlfriend or even friend for that matter. They spend the beginning part of the book trying to kill each other then suddenly, they are in love and Lucas is sneaking into her house to protect her since someone is after her only to wind up laying in her bed and being enticed by Helen in a see through ensemble. Apparenly Helen is supposed to have such beauty that men can’t possibly say no. And even though she’s never had much interaction with a guy let alone flirted with one, she quickly jumps into the role of wearing barely clad clothes and prancing around the new boy.
Then there’s the way Lucas keeps commanding Helen all the time. “Ridiculous, you’re not going anywhere” or “Lay down, Helen.” There are other examples but I can’t bring myself to dig them up. There’s also this scene where Lucas was lying in bed with Helen so she would go to sleep and Helen tries to turn around to face him but he won’t let her. He keeps his arms tightly enough to choke the life out of her and kisses her neck, apologizing profusely but won’t really acknowledge what’s going on between Helen and himself and Helen points out the fact that she feels like she’s being used . . . Except she doesn’t do anything about it. She just let’s Lucas keep holding her hand and acting as if they are together without really being together. Lucas also has these scary moments of jealousy, like abuse-boyfriend-like-tendencies, threatening to beat up some kid who only wanted to talk to Helen. The problem with Helen and Lucas’s relationship is the fact that Lucas NEVER actually acknowledges that he is in a romantic relationship with Helen.
But what pissed me off the most was the scene where Helen offers to have sex with ANOTHER guy in order to see if that breaks the curse so her and Lucas can be together. She decides she’s totally okay with giving up her virginity to some random guy as long as that means she can then start having sex with Lucas. *Light match. Set book on fire*
Helen: “What if I wasn’t a virgin?”
Lucas: “I’m not sharing you, Helen. Besides, it won’t work.”
Helen: “I’m serious, we have to consider it. Tell me the truth. Would you stop wanting me if I was with someone else first?”
Lucas: “Of course not. I love you.”
Helen: “Okay, look. I hate to even think about this, but I’ll do it. I love you, too, and I’ll do whatever I have to do if it will let us be together.”
At that point I didn’t even know what to think let alone know if I could actually bring myself to finish reading the rest of the book.
There was also this nice little bit of narration on behalf Helen where she says if Lucas is gay then it would be totally worth it to change her sexual orientation because he’s just that hot. *Gag reflex reacting*
The pacing is choppy throughout most of the novel, beginning rather boring and having moments where it picks up but then goes back to boredom again. The action was lackluster and most of the book consisted of Helen making goo-goo eyes at Lucas and acting like a total ditz. The Greek mythology aspect of the novel didn’t even make sense and probably the only cool element to the book was the gifts to the Delos family. The characters I did manage to like were Hector, Noel and Castor.
I just can’t understand why anyone ACTUALLY loves this book?? There is nothing really redeemable about the characters or plot. There are many more things wrong with this novel but I can’t bring myself to keep pointing them out.
About the Author: Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. A real-live farmer's daughter, Josie graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Starcrossed is her first novel.
Where to Find the Author