Author: Josephine Angelini
Genre: YA Paranormal
I am so excited by the wave of YA books based on Greek mythology lately. It has always been one of my favorite subjects, and 2011 has really given us a windfall of talented authors covering the genre. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini is definitely at the top of my list of the best of the best so far. The story revolves around Helen, a beautiful 16-year-old girl from Nantucket. Helen has always known she was different. She gets cramps when people notice her, she runs faster than anyone she knows, and she can lift heavy objects without even breaking a sweat. But until the Delos clan, including the gorgeous Lucas, come crashing into her life, she has no idea how different she really is. She finds out that she is descendent from the Greek gods, and if that isn’t shocking enough, she and the other demigod children are destined to be punished over and over for the crimes of their great ancestors during the Trojan War. Between the Furies driving her to murderous rages and the Fates dangling hope in front of her only to pull it away, Helen deals with an enormous amount of angst in a very short period of time.
The first thing that impressed me about Starcrossed is the fact that it involves a completely different set of mythology than most of the books out now. Many authors are repeating the Hades/ Persephone myth (although in my opinion, Aimee Carter came the closest to rocking that myth with the Goddess Test), but Angelini went a totally different direction by making her story about the ramifications of the Trojan War and the ongoing disputes between the different Houses. It was fresh and exciting.
The starcrossed lovers theme always makes me antsy from the beginning, because typically it never ends well for the main characters, and yet I expect the ending to change. Seriously, I’ve read Romeo and Juliet numerous times, and I’m still always surprised when they kill themselves in the end (I hope I didn’t just ruin Shakespeare for anyone, you all knew that’s how it ended, right?) Well, Angelini plays the starcrossed theme out perfectly, but since this is the first book in a series and not a stand-alone, we have yet to see how it will all end.
In addition to the main storyline and titular starcrossed relationship, I really loved the other relationships between the characters. Helen and her father, Jerry, have a relaxed father/daughter bond. Jerry and his business partner Kate have a sweet, tentative relationship that is clearly budding into something deeper, but Jerry is still shell-shocked from being abandoned by his wife when Helen was just a baby. Claire, Helen’s best friend, is accepting and feisty, while the Delos clan is full of intriguing relationships as well.My only major complaint is that we have to wait until next year to find out what becomes of our Starcrossed lovers and everyone else.