Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
“Starcrossed” by Josephine Angelini is being hyped at the “Percy Jackson for teenage girls” (Publisher’s Weekly) so I went into reading this ARC with high expectations. I am happy to say that despite a slow start, it met or exceeded all my expectations. It was engaging, exciting, well written, and full of delicious angsty romance.
Meet Helen, a painfully shy and bashful teen (so shy that she actually gets painful cramps when she draws attention to herself!). She tries to appear to be your average, small town teen, but that’s work for her. For some reason, she can do some pretty extraordinary things. Her dad has no clue and her mom left her with her dad when she was a baby. Things were sticking to the status quo until a new family moved to town and Helen’s whole life changed. She wasn’t the only “freak” in town anymore and for some reason, she’s now being haunted by three women who cry blood, she’s sleepwalking, and …. well, you’re just going to have to read the book to find out now, aren’t you? No cheating and googling for more information. ;) Let’s just say, Helen finds out that just because we’ve assigned the term “myth” to something... doesn’t mean it’s not real.
“Starcrossed” started a bit on the slow side, but after getting past the initial quarter of the book, things really started to pick up. I couldn’t put it down. It is full of action, romance, Greek myth, super powers, and mystery. I was a bit worried because there were a lot of things happening without any explanation at the beginning. I was worried that it’d be one of those "action crazy, then long winded explanation cycle" kind of books that seem to be popping up lately. There were a few questionable moments, but for the most part, Ms. Angelini did a great job at avoiding long winded explanations! Just when I felt that exposition was getting a bit dull, the plot moved on.
I adore Helen. She’s always been different, but never knew why. I love her modesty, her pure heart, and her loyalty to those she loves. She is a warm, tender character, but she’s also not a complete pushover. She’s refreshing. It seems in this genre that we get a lot of stereotypical female leads, generally very strong tough girls or whiny teenagers (who eventually turn into tough females). Helen is a bit wimpy at first, but never resentful about where her life has gone. She may say “Oh why can’t things be normal?” but instead of agonizing over it, she moves on. I like her. I want her to find happiness and look forward to seeing how she grows over the next couple books.
The romance in this book is great. I know I’ve said before that I don’t care for “hate to love” stories, but I like this one. I absolutely adore Lucas. Not only is he a cutie, but his love for Helen is tender and so sweet. It’s my favorite kind of romance... it’s not physical. They become best friends. Love it.
The Greek elements in this book are really interesting. I am in love with these Greek inspired books I’ve been lucky enough to read lately. Again, it’s Greek INSPIRED, not a direct myth retelling so don’t get your panties in a twist if Ms. Angelini’s artistic license of Greek myth isn’t your mama’s Greek myth.
So, okay, I’m rambling now. To put it simply, this book rocks. After a slow start, the pace really picks up. The action is exciting. The romance is beautiful. I agree with the hype. It’s going to be a BIG hit!
I was provided with a digital ARC of "Starcrossed" for review by the publisher HarperTeen (Harper Collins) via NetGalley.com. It is scheduled to be released in May of this year.