Starcrossed is the first book in the trilogy of the same name by Josephine Angelini. This review contains no major plot spoilers about the novel after the first 80 pages or so. (You’re probably good to read it if you haven’t read this book unless you are super spoiler sensitive.)
So I just ate 2 full size candy bars out of the trick or treat bowl. They were delicious, but I feel kind of guilty about enjoying them. That anecdote sounds random, but it actually perfectly describes the way I felt about this book. If you’ve ever read any paranormal romance, you’ve read some version of this book before: girl meets super hot new guy, they fall in love in spite of their differences, supernatural forces intervene, action, dramatic rescue, and family drama ensue. It’s been done, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. 3.5/5 stars.
Starcrossed draws its inspiration from ancient Greek myth, specifically The Illiad. Helen Hamilton has always known she’s different, but it’s not until the Delos family moves to town that she finds out what she is: a demigod with superhuman strength and speed and unique powers that are all her own. The Deloses are demigods too, though the mythical Furies have long since pitted her family against theirs. Still, she and Lucas Delos are drawn together, challenging the fates, trying to avoid reenacting the downfall of their predecessors: Helen and Paris of Troy.
I started off slow on this, but I got pretty addicted after I’d gotten a grasp on the cast of characters and Helen got over her social anxiety that was so prevalent at the beginning. I liked the Greek myth premise a lot, it was different, and the societal expectations of ancient Greece bring a unique set of challenges on the demigods of today. The supporting characters were fairly strong. Cassandra and Noel in particular have interesting roles in the family, and it’s going to be fun to see them more in the rest of the trilogy.
I liked the romance between Helen and Lucas enough to enjoy the book, but it did feel a little overwrought at times. Some scenes had me rolling my eyes a bit, but overall it’s an enjoyably angst-filled ride with them. Lucas does, however, suffer a bit from Generic Hot Boy Syndrome. We know he’s impossibly handsome, protective, cares about his family…and…that’s it. He’s around a lot, but it’s impossible to really describe any sort of personality that distinguishes him from any other romantic interest in any other book.
The plot and pacing are pretty good after the initial first hurdle. Helen develops relatively well, coming into her power and learning about her family. The story was consistent and the world presents enough challenges and twists to keep the book in constant motion, which really drew me through the book.
This is pure fun, guilty pleasure reading for fans of the paranormal romance genre. Fans of Twilight and Hush, Hush will like it for sure, but if that’s not your schtick, you’ll probably want to pass this over. I do recommend it, I think it’s a solid addition to the YA Romance repertoire and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.