Josephine Angelini
Starcrossed, Book #1

Review brought to you by guest reviewer Jennifer Jensen

Starcrossed held such promise for me when I first heard about it, months before it was scheduled for release. Josephine Angelini’s debut YA paranormal romance has all the elements I lust after in a YA book: mythological undertones, forbidden love, family secrets, betrayal, and a dark curse. Starcrossed is a mash-up of familiar stories and contemporary series including: Romeo and Juliet, Twilight, and the Percy Jackson series. This book seemed destined to be epic! 

However,I knew I was in trouble when I failed to be enchanted within the first few chapters. Helen Hamilton is our heroine, and she is rather prickly. She is beautiful, but for whatever reason she is unable to recognize the effect she has on the opposite sex (slightly reminiscent of Bella). She feels different from her peers, as if she has never really belonged even though she has lived on the island of Nantucket for her entire existence. She has one close friend, but her relationship with Claire is rather toxic, in my opinion. They fight over the stupidest things, and the less page time their ramblings took up, the happier I was.

When the Delos family moves to Nantucket, Helen takes an immediate disliking to Lucas–in fact, she wants to kill him on sight. Additionally, when she is around Lucas, she sees three old hags that cry for blood. Her nightmares extend into her real life, and she knows that something bigger is happening, but what is it, exactly?

Helen learns that she is a Scion, a descendant of the gods in Greek mythology. And so is Lucas. They are from rival houses, and at all costs cannot consummate their love for one another. If they do, war will break out. Throughout all of history, this story has played out time and time again.

At least, this is what I understand of the plot. Truthfully, I found this nearly 500 page book very difficult to follow. I got swept away in the names that Angelini chose; I’m still not quite sure if Ajax is the Ajax of The Iliad; if Cassandra is the Cassandra, daughter of King Priam; and if Helen is really Helen of Troy.

As if my complete inability to comprehend this novel weren’t enough, I also didn’t care for Angelini’s writing style. Grammatically, her writing is appropriate, but she is too repetitive. The characters reveal something through their dialogue, and then Angelini repeats it in the narrative voice.

Regretfully, I have no desire to continue reading this series and cannot think of one person I would recommend Starcrossed to. If this novel appeals to you, I encourage you not to take my word for it, but to try a few sample pages for yourself and decide on your own. So many people have already loved this book, and I seem to be in the minority with my dislike. I have enjoyed Harper Teen books in the past, but I will honestly say that I am going to be skeptical in the future of any publications they heavily market.