Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reading Reflection: Starcrossed

Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1)
by Josephine Angelini
Published May 31st 2011
P. 487
Rating: 4/5

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

I guiltily admit that the first few chapters of this book had me so confused as to why so many people loved the story.  I didn't connect to Helen or understand the events in her life, and I wasn't drawn in enough to really care.  I gave serious consideration into quitting the novel.

Then, one line focused my attention: "Meeting his eyes was an awakening.  For the first time in Helen's life she knew what pure, heart-poising hatred was."

What?!  From that point on I was hooked.  I wanted to see why and how this potential love interest, Lucas, elicited such a strong reaction in shy, awkward Helen.  She knew she was different and hid this from her peers, but after the Delos clan moves onto the tiny island she can't seem to control her strangeness or her newly found rage.  Lucas and his family have some of the answers, but not all.

I might not be a total sucker for Helen and Lucas individually, but there's something about the whole premise of the story that draws me in.  My favorite part of this story was actually my confusion.  Not understanding the behavior of the characters because Helen didn't understand.  Then the author slowly integrates information and events to keep you sucked into their plight, answering some questions while creating more.  There are so many past stories, obstacles, and mysteries to be uncovered that I couldn't put the book down. 

I loved the supporting characters too, especially Claire, Helen's best friend. The twins, Cassandra, Hector, Jerry... I liked them all.  They added so many other dimensions to the story.  I can't wait for second novel of the series. 

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