Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Book:  Starcrossed
Author:  Josephine Angelini
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Publication date:  May 31, 2011
Reason I read this book:  For my YA lit booktalk on Greek mythology re-tellings set in modern day.
My grade:  A+

Helen Hamilton has always tried to hide how different she is—no easy feat on an island as small as Nantucket, and only getting harder as she finds herself haunted by hallucinations and vivid nightmares.
It's not until she crosses paths with Lucas Delos at school that Helen's true heritage is finally revealed. Yet even as Lucas helps her awaken to her startling powers, they can never be together—not unless they can break free from the tragic destiny the Three Fates have in store.  (description from

Oh My Gods of Mt. Olympus!  I cannot believe how freaking incredible this book was!  I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot, but this book was insanely good.  I did not want to put it down and I have not been able to stop thinking about it.  I felt so immersed in the book and the story--everything just pulled me right in.  I also have an insane desire to visit Greece now. : )

First, I have to say that I am so happy to see a revived interest in Greek mythology.  As a teacher, I have noticed an appalling lack of knowledge in this area among the students that I teach.  I always loved Greek mythology as a kid and used to spend hours reading my copy of D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Mythology.  In fact, I think that I could spend hours going back through this book as well, so that brought back some really nice memories and feelings.

This book was a nice twist on Greek mythology.  I really wondered how on earth the author was going to pull off a modern re-telling of Helen of Troy, but let me just say that she wove this story flawlessly.  I could not get enough of it.  I read while I was cooking dinner for my kids, while giving my toddler a bath and even snuck in reading time when my students were busy working!  That is how engaging the story and plotline were.  In fact, this story hooked me from the first chapter.

The characters were magnificent.  I loved Helen and Lucas was a wonderful leading many, although I have to say that by the end of the book, I found myself really liking Hector.  Actually, there wasn’t a character that I really disliked, except for the bad guy, of course.

I thought the plot was very well-balanced.  There was a good mixture of romance, suspense, action and magic.  It was nice to get things from different points of view throughout the novel as well.  There were also some nice plot surprises, although I suspected parts of what eventually happened, the author was still able to surprise me with details.  Of course, nothing wrapped up in the end, which had me scrambling to my computer to make certain that there was a sequel.  And yes, there is one.  Thank the gods!

This is a book that I would highly recommend, especially to older teens and adults who liked Percy Jackson.  This one is a little like Percy Jackson for an older audience.  It’s much more sophisticated, but still holds the same appeal.

I have to give out another A+.  This book is fabulous.  Do yourself a favor and go buy a copy as soon as it is released on May 31, 2011.

Thanks to Harper Collins and for allowing me to read and review this novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment