Book rating: 05 Paperback Macmillan Children's Books

By (author) Josephine Angelini

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  • Format: Paperback | 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 36mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0330529730
  • ISBN 13: 9780330529730
  • Edition: Unabridged
  • Edition statement: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 21,816

Product description

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton sees Lucas Delos for the first time she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands. With an ancient curse making them loathe one another, Lucas and Helen have to keep their distance. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen ...

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Author information

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 theatre, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband ... and she still can drive a tractor.

Customer reviews

By Laura Williams 01 May 2012 5

I've had this book on the TBR pile for nearly a year. I'm gutted that I didn't pick it up sooner as it was a great read. However, my delay has its advantages as I now have very little time to wait before the sequel, Dreamless, comes out at the end of May!

Helen, the main character, has always been cripplingly shy. So much so that whenever she is forced into the limelight, she suffers physical pain. And it's difficult not to be noticed when you're stronger, faster and more beautiful than any normal girl ever should be. And it's even more difficult to maintain the appearance of "normal" when she meets Lucas Delos and proceeds to try and strangle him to death in front of her entire school.

Given the title, you can probably guess where the conflict of this book stems from. However, Starcrossed offered much more than I had anticipated from the idea of starcrossed-lovers. The hatred and violence Helen feels toward Lucas made for gripping and unexpected reading. Of course, somewhat predictably, this hatred doesn't last, but new conflicts and enigmas kept the pace steady and the atmosphere tense even after things between Helen and Lucas started to heat up.

There were elements of the story which felt familiar. The Delos family has a false-finder (Lucas can tell instantly if someone is telling the truth) and a girl who can predict future events. These things were decidedly Twilight, (as was the single-father household from which Helen comes) but were written with more depth and art. The relationship between Lucas and Helen became evocative of the Jace/Clary relationship in City of Bones. So there were elements of the book which I felt I'd seen before, but they were imagined in new ways, ways which really had me hooked.

Overall, this was a brilliant read and I read it in a morning. I couldn't put it down! I have concerns about the sequel as it promises "an unforgettable love triangle". I don;t know about you guys, but I'm kind of sick of love triangles. Especially when I have such high hopes for a couple! I know that love triangles can up the conflict, but it's been done. A lot.

Despite these reservations, Angelini's writing is excellent. She brought new life to things I'd seen before in Starcrossed, so if anyone can take the love triangle thing and make it less agonising, then it might just be her! I hope so! I'll let you know when I read Dreamless at the end of the month!

By Maryam H 06 Feb 2012 5

I've really been on a roll since my exams finished. The last few books I've read over the past couple of weeks have been absolutely fantastic and this one was no exception.

I don't really have much to say without spoiling the book for those of you who haven't read it apart from just how good it really is!

Normally I hate books where there is some sort of instant connection between characters whether good or bad but this one was different somehow. When I read on I realised that if the characters didn't have this connection the book just plain wouldn't work. I found myself really enjoying the character's interaction and how it changed drastically between them throughout the story as it progressed.

I also adored the settings. The story was set in this reality where Greek mythology comes to life. It was new to me and so exciting I really didn't want to ever finish this book. To be honest, it's quite a long read packed with all sorts of things happening but it literally felt like it was over way too fast!!!

As for the characters themselves they were really well written. They each had a lot of depth in their own ways and I liked each and every one for very different reasons.

A lot of questions remain unanswered with this one so I really can't wait for the next book in the series to come out for me to get stuck into!!

I seriously recommend this one to anybody who likes a good read full of suspense, mythology and fast paced action.

By laura deegan 18 Nov 2011 5

I couldn't put this book down, I finished the hole book in one day. It had twist, romance, lovely strong characters, fighting and suspense.
I loved this book, I read it when it first came out and am waiting anxiously for the second (dreamless) to be released.

By Dervla Candon 15 Nov 2011 5

I absolutely adored this book, finishing it within 2 days of buying it. The plotline is gripping from the beginning, the mystery of Helen's character drawing me in and the truth of her origins keeping me enthralled. The ending left me on the edge of my seat, dying for the sequel. This book has something for everyone - romance, action, mythology, suspense, humour - i definitely recommend it!

By Valerie Fink 12 Nov 2011 5

My summary:

Helen is almost seventeen and lives with her Dad. Her mom went missing in action years ago. Helen is tall, blond, pretty and different. There's the running, very fast running; then there's the strength, too strong for a teenage girl; and the strange nightmares of desert journey's where her feet get cut and bloody. She doesn't know what all of this is about but she doesn't want everyone on the small island of Nantucket to notice. Then the hallucinations start at school where there are three women crying bloody tears, but of course that's only when the new Delos family is around, especially Lucas. Maybe she is going mad but Lucas knows more than she does and he sees the hallucinations too. Can she team with Lucas to figure it out or will they end up killing each other? The fates will have something to say about it for sure.

My thoughts:

5 stars - must read

There are two kinds of books I really like. The first is a book that I can't put down. I read it so fast because it is just that good. The second is a book that I have to put down periodically to emotionally recover before I continue. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini is the second kind. I became so invested in these characters so quickly that it felt like reading a second or third book about them. I was attached. When they struggled, I had to put the book down and recover before I could keep reading but I had to continue.

The relationship between Helen and Lucas is dynamic and extreme. It's impossible to write about one without talking about the other and that is really what the story demonstrates. So I won't try to talk about them separately. Helen and Lucas have strong emotions between them. They are different and the same. They are both beautiful and powerful. One is skilled while one is learning but it's not always clear which is which because they change roles from time to time. It is impossible to be together and impossible to be apart and that is how I felt reading the book. I love these characters.

The story has some threads I've seen in other books, a powerful character unaware of that power and a stranger explaining things to them. It has elements of Greek Mythology in it and uses the Trojan War specifically. But this book weaves those threads together to create a unique story with twists and turns that had me messaging other bloggers to get help breathing through it!

Review quote

"One of the most cinematic books I've ever read. Dramatic and intense! I can't tell you how many times I gasped while reading this book. Starcrossed plays out like a movie in your head."--Sophie Jordan, author of FIRELIGHT