Author: Josephine Angelini
Release date: May 31, 2011
Source: ARC received from NetGalley
Series: Starcrossed #1
Summary: (from Goodreads) How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
First impressions: I got hooked into this book pretty quickly. I loved the New England rustic setting and Helen and her best friend were really likable.
Lasting impressions: I'm struggling to find words. Though I didn't outright hate this book, I'm actively trying to forget that I read this one.
Conflicting impressions: I'm going to admit something that for me is really difficult to do: I'm not sure I followed a whole lot of what was going on. I felt like I needed to read the Cliff's Notes on The Odyssey before attempting to process the backstory, and that made this a lot less enjoyable for me.
Overall impressions: I'm starting to think that the whole gods/goddesses YA subgenre is just not for me. I've read a couple now, and my experiences are turning me off to picking up another any time soon. What I don't get is that I feel like this should be interesting to me. I like Greek mythology. So what am I missing?
As I mentioned above, this book started out great for me. Helen is cool, and the super extreme killing urge she experiences upon first glance at Lucas was a hoot (HOOT I SAY - make fun of me if you wish). It seemed so fresh and interesting, and when Helen is nearly killed shortly thereafter, I got even more excited about the possibilities.
Where was this going? Why did she want to kill Lucas? Who is trying to kill her? Why is she waking up with dirt and blood on her feet? Mysterious! Love it!
And then I waited 400 pages for the answer. 400 incredibly boring pages at that.
Somewhere in that middle portion, all of this exposition is laid out for us, but in this very dry manner that made it about as exciting for me to read as the Wall Street Journal. Trust me when I tell you that the WSJ is not my scene. Helen discovers all of these things about herself (I can fly! I can love Lucas after all! I'm a demi-god!) that should be exciting, but instead are presented with all of the pomp of a deflated souffle. There is very little explanation, and a whole lot of Helen simply practicing her skills while she waits for the antagonist to arrive.
Which brings me to my primary problem with this story. Said antagonist doesn't arrive - literally does not set foot in Nantucket - until two-thirds of the way through the book. There is nothing as frustrating as watching a heroine prepare for a fight against someone who hasn't even been introduced yet. It may have taken Harry Potter seven books and thousands of pages to prepare for his final battle, but at least we knew from word "go" that his nemesis was Lord Voldemort.
The ending did pick up and engaged me in much the same manner as the beginning, but the long middle stretch totally undid any positive feelings I had for this book. I recommend it if you love Greek mythology and Twilight (to which this has often been compared), but this one just wasn't for me.
Rating: 2/5 stars
Want a different perspective? Read this cute review by Kaitlyn in Bookland.