Book Review: Starcrossed

Destiny brought them together.
The gods will keep them apart.

9721690When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton meets Lucas Delos for the first time, she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.
An ancient curse means Lucas and Helen are destined to loathe one another. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen next…

×××

(this review will contain spoilers)

Okay.. so this book is pretty much the Greek mythology version of Twilight. In more ways than one.

Let’s start with me. I read this book in about a day and a half. I didn’t put it away and I really enjoyed it, too. While reading I definitely noticed the similarities with Twilight but more on that later. Basically, I liked this book while reading it but then, after I finished, I realized that this isn’t such a great story if you think about it. This is the exact same thing I had with Twilight. While reading the book I was just sucked into the story. It wasn’t till later that I realized all the things that were wrong with it. Let me break it down for you.

The main character is Helen Hamilton. She lives on the tiny island of Nantucket. She’s really shy (check) and beautiful but doesn’t know it (check). She lives alone with her father (check) after her mother left them while she was a baby. She doesn’t like attention and would like to just be invisible and in the background but people seem to always be staring at her.

Enter the Delos family. They are very rich (check) and all very handsome (check). They are close-knit and keep to themselves (check).

Ever since the Delos family moved to Nantucket, Helen is having really bad nightmares. She keeps seeing three crying women all around her and she thinks she’s going crazy. Then, one day, she sees Lucas in the hallway of her school and she can’t control herself. She charges him and tries to choke him with her bare hands. Lucas only just manages to stop her.

Turns out that Helen is a demigod (scion) and that the four ‘Houses’ have been at war with each other for thousands of years. That’s why every time she comes near someone of the Delos family, she gets the nearly uncontrollable urge to kill them. Meanwhile, she almost gets kidnapped twice by two strange women but somehow Lucas is always there to fight them of. Coincidence? I think not.

Then, one day, Lucas saves Helen’s life and suddenly they are no longer plagued by the fates and the urge to kill each other. The Delos takes care of Helen through her recovery and in the meantime Lucas en Helen fall in love. But, unfortunately, they can’t be together (check). Something about Gods and a war and the end of the world. It’s a long story.

So that’s what it starts with, the Delos family starts training Helen because she needs to be able to defend herself but Helen refuses to defend herself in practice. She’d rather take the hits than block and hit back. It’s not long before they realize that Helen is stronger than any of them and invulnerable to weapons (special power – check). If only she would fight back.

The characters are so obviously similar to the characters in twilight that you can literally rename them.

Helen – Bella

Lucas – Edward

Castor – Carlisle

Noel – Esmee

Ariadne – Alice (she’s literally described as pixy-like)

Jason – Jasper

Hector – Emmet (with a hint of Rose)

Cassandra (sister of Lucas can see the Future) – Rose (but a mild version)

What, did they think we wouldn’t notice? Then there’s the fact that Lucas watches over Helen as she sleeps (check) and follows her around everywhere just in case she needs protecting (check). The only difference here is that Helen is more like ‘uh.. dude.. get away from me’ in the beginning but that quickly changes to ‘don’t ever leave’ once the furies are gone and they fall in love.

There are some scenes that didn’t really sit right with me. For example there’s the part where Helen got some bruises from practice. And she and Lucas joke about them being the result of spousal abuse.

“I’ll just tell him you abuse me,” she said with a shrug. “And I’ll tell him you like it,” he teased back.”

At that point I raised an eyebrow because that is not funny. Like, at all. It’s not something you joke about and it’s definitely not romantic! Eugh.

Okay back to the actual story. Like I said, I did like the book. Apart from the twilightian romance, I thought that the Greek Mythology aspect of it was pretty neat and interesting. I’d like to read more about it. When I finished this book I definitely wanted to read the second one right away and I will. I do hope that Angelini decides to come up with a more original storyline instead of a rehash of Twilight. Don’t let Helen become the weak (but secretly the strongest of them all) girl who needs to be protected by a whole family. Let her kick butt for goodness sake.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5 because it did keep me reading but points off for lack of originality. All in all, I did like the book and that’s what counts I think. Sure, might not agree with everything but I did like it. Also, apparently the writing is really bad but I didn’t notice and it didn’t bother me. Obviously, I’m not a writer or anything but still. I recommend this book if you didn’t mind or liked Twilight and if you’re intersted in Teenage Greek Mythology. Here’s hoping for some more girlpower in the second book.

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Author: EMK

Just blogging away in my free time while I try to make something of my life

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Starcrossed”

  1. And of course Twilight (and it seems this one) is merely a rehash of Romeo and Juliet(it’s not coincidence that Bella is studying that particular play during the novel).

    1. True very true. Although Starcrossed goes for a rehash of Helen of Troy and Paris (Lucas would have been called Paris if his parents went with the ‘traditional names’). It’s so obvious it’s funny. Forget Twilight even, the writer literally said ‘Why hasn’t anybody done the Iliad with teenagers yet?’.

      1. That’s just plain lazy. There are supposedly only seven plots, but you can at least mix them up a bit and make them your own. Don’t just change the names of the characters. (Don’t know if you know this, but that’s exactly what Shakespeare did. Most of his plays were existing stories that he just changed a bit. R&J, for example, was based on an epic poem that was popular at that time)

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