Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini from The Figment Reviewby Axie Oh

OMGods! Starcrossed takes the newest baddie in YA literature, Greek mythology, and revamps it for the masses. In Starcrossed, Greek tragedy plays out on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts, and the main players are beautiful and powerful high school students, fated to carry not only the faces but also all the heartaches, betrayals, and undying loves of some of the most memorable figures in Greek mythology. Readers have a front row seat to the tragedy, comedy, and romance that is Starcrossed, a wonderful novel by debut author Josephine Angelini.

Seventeen-year-old Helen Hamilton lives a rather normal life on her hometown island of Nantucket with her very kind father (her mother having skipped town when she was a wee babe) and her lively, pixie-like best friend, Claire. Well, normal except for the fact that Helen’s drop-dead gorgeous, with hair blonde enough to make Aphrodite jealous, and those reoccurring dreams she has of walking in a barren wasteland, waking in the morning to find her feet dusty and her body exhausted. Helen’s normalcy is jeopardized when the Delos family arrives on the island, and everyone at Helen’s high school wants a piece of the beautiful expatriates. Everyone, that is, but Helen. She reacts…badly. When Helen first lays eyes on Lucas Delos, she feels an uncontrollable urge to tear his head off, and attacks him (you go, girl!) in the hallway of her high school. Of course, true love ensues.

I really enjoyed Starcrossed. I’ve always liked the idea of…STARCROSSED…lovers because it’s just so tragic and melodramatic and makes for a good love story. Helen and Lucas are a fitting pair worth rooting for, and I supported their hook-up, although Paris in the movie Troy was a pansy. But no need to really compare characters fervently with their counterparts, because Angelini’s high school students are not reincarnated versions of their namesakes, but young men and women who share some of the deities’ same qualities. For instance, Helen’s face is, yes, the same face that launched a thousand ships from The Iliad, and Cassandra, a young woman of the Delos family, has the same gift/curse of prophecy as Cassandra of Troy. But the characters differ, too. Hector and Jason are Delos brothers, but Hector of Troy didn’t even live at the same time as Jason of the Argonauts. Jason and Claire were my favorite characters. I liked Jason’s level-headedness and Claire’s sweet vampire jokes. She was concerned Helen might be a vampire, which would just be “so unsanitary!”

Angelini does a great job of building suspense and weaving mysteries. There are things you figure out way in the beginning of the book (Gee, I wonder who Helen Hamilton’s Greek mythological counterpart is??) and there are things that surprise you. The writing in Starcrossed is very readable, and sometimes lovely. The third person point of view is strange at times, but the dual perspectives are fun—sometimes we even get to follow Lucas around! If you are a connoisseur of Greek mythology than stay clear from this book, but if you enjoy Greek mythology and don’t mind a little tampering or re-imagining then Starcrossed holds wonders for you!

If Axie were a book, she would be a young adult one featuring a kick-butt heroine in a fantastical setting, or maybe a middle-grade one about a boy coming-of-age (even though she is a 21 year old female). She likes to eat, watch shows (reality t.v., Korean dramas, and anime), read, read, read, sleep, and then dream (in that order). You probably can’t find her lolling about online, since her online presence is sorely lacking, but she is very friendly and would speak to you if you spoke to her.

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