Saturday, July 9, 2011



Author: Josephine Angelini

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 496

Read Time: 1 Day

Tag Words: Greek myths, heroes, legends, Helen of Troy, true love, obstacles, The Furies, Debut Author

My Summary:

Helen Hamilton has always been a little different, but that’s not something she’s about to admit to anybody, least of all herself.

When a talented new family arrives on her native Nantucket Island she’ll have to face the mirror once and for all to see herself for who she truly is...

My Review:

I really enjoyed Starcrossed, and I know you’ve been hearing some mixed reviews on this one; though this will not be a negative review I am planning to address why I think some poor ratings have been assigned to Starcrossed.

One, I loved that this book was nearly 500 pages and I sped through it without any qualms. I always feel satisfied when I finish a big book without realizing just how long that could have potentially taken, had my interest not been held so firmly.

Two, I think Angelini has come up with a really cool, enjoyable plot structure mixing Romeo & Juliet into the Iliad. I also feel she did a good job of tying down most of her loose threads. I say most as a way to segue to reasons this book isn’t being treated as fairly as I believe it should.

The fact is most YA bloggers read hundreds of books a year, and even more synopsis. We’re a tad fed up with a few things. One, anything remotely Twilight, and two, books in a series that cannot stand alone. Basically if anything about the book structure reminds a reviewer of the “Twilight Form” or if the author leaves his or her book open ended it becomes hard to appreciate that the book is not Twilight, and it is good, even if it’s not a stand alone.

I do still agree, those elements subtract from the general enjoyment of the book, but I don’t write books off entirely for it.

Starcrossed didn’t remind me of Twilight in tone, dialogue, character development/action or any of the above, but a huge, odd, beautiful family showing up in the tiny town for only child Helen does make my Twi-hackles go up. It’s not something you can escape and it is useful for the plot. It’s right for the book, unfortunately it’s also iconic.
As for the stand-alone issue, well, I’m writing a series in which the books stand alone. So does that answer your questions of how I stand on the issue?

I believe in making your books standalone; if the first book relies on sequels to answer all of the questions the reader will inevitably feel that book one was the longest prologue they ever read. In Starcrossed’s case it was an awesome, really awesome prologue, but a prologue it was.

Pick it up and read it, but know that what I’ve said is true. Basically that if it weren’t so well written, and such an interesting concept there is a chance that this book would have fallen flat.

Notes on the Names:

The names alternated between clean, beautiful classics and Greek names we all know from the Iliad, and other Greek myths.

Love the Greek-ery!

Helen, Cassandra, Hector, Jason, Ariadne, Pandora, Castor, Pallas, Tantalaus, Creon, Ajax & Daphne.

The Classics:

Claire, Kate, Helen, Lucas, Gretchen, Zack, Matt, Noel, and... Mildred?! What?! Oi. I’ll forgive her that one. Josephine also fits in rather perfectly here!

Thoughts on the Cover:

I think it’s a very pretty cover, though I wonder why the sky isn’t filled with lightening and I am interested in what the cover of Dreamless will look like!

Parental Book Review *spoilers*

Sexual Content:


Kissing & sexual innuendo.

Helen sleeps in Lucas’s bed with a very small amount of nightgown on, but they do not have sex.

There is a lot of talk of sex, because if Lucas & Helen did sleep together they would be considered married and would spark the war that ended centuries past.



A- 21
H- 18
D- 20
B- 4
S- 1
Bast**d- 1
Sl*t- 1
D*ck- 2



Murders, several.

Other Notables:



Fictitious Delicious said...

I love this review! I've gone back and forth from wanting to read/not wanting to read, and now I understand why everyone is mixed about this. Thank you so much for shedding light on this and your honest review! (Amy)

Kate said...

I don't mind a series that isn't stand alone. Alison Croggon's Pellinor Series is continuing through all 4 books and it's great.

I think the key for me is when it's obvious that the author doesn't KNOW where the next book is going to go, like a TV series that keeps going and falls apart at the end because they didn't plan well.

If the series has been well planned out, you can totally tell. Twilight, well... I think the last book speaks for itself. Talk about crazy stuff!!

aurora M. said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this wonderful shiny covered book! Thanks for the great breakdown.

Zakiya LadyWings said...

I just wanted to say that I LOVE how you do the ending part of your reviews, with the language and what-not. It's a really good way to keep parents and kids alike informed on stuff like that. :)

Great review!