I waited a while before picking up this book. I knew it was the first one in a paranormal romance trilogy, which I'm sometimes not too fond of. However, now the book and its sequel have been translated into Italian, and are displayed prominently in my local bookshop. So I picked up Starcrossed, I read the first chapter, and wanted to keep on reading.
Helen Hamilton grew up on the island of Nantucket, raised by her single father. She's tall, blond, strong, fast, and beautiful, but also shy and sort of awkward - she feels stomach cramps every time she's at the centre of attention. Now she's a junior in high school and runs track, hoping to win a college scholarship that will get her off the island.
On the first days of school, she meets new student Lucas Delos. His extended family has just moved on the island after many years spent in Spain. He's incredibly handsome, yet Helen feels murderous rage against him and tries to kill him with her bare hands. Every time she meets him, she sees three creepy, dishevelled women in a toga who prompt her to assault. During the nights, Helen has mightmares of being thirsty and walking on dry land, only to find her sheets bloody and dirty in the mornings.
It turns out that Helen, just like the members of the Delos family, is a supernatural being cursed with reenacting the tragedy of the Trojan War. She's like Helen of Troy, destined to fall for Paris, even though their love threatens to bring the whole world apart. For this reason it is essential that Helen and Lucas, while in love, not get together. Throw in an extranged mother, a multitude of cousins in a bloodthirsty cult, the search for immortality, Atlantis, and the Oracle of Delphi, and you have a fascinating story.
Josephine Angelini uses mythological references to weave her own, original version of the Trojan war and how the struggle between gods and demigods went. The result is something new, gripping and unpredictable. I'm glad I could find a YA book in which I can't tell how things will turn out in the end after just a few chapters.
There are a couple Twiloght similarities - heroine living with her single dad, rich large family moving into small town, a group of astonishingly beautiful siblings/relatives with supernatural abilities, one with the ability to detect lies (similar to mind reading), one who can predict the future. But this is done so much better than Twilight that the similiarities end there.
I liked this book very much. I'm biting my nails to find out who Helen's father really is - Jerry, Ajax, the mysterious Daedalus who's mentioned just once, or someone else entirely? And if Daphne is lying, why can't Lucas notice? I will definitely be picking up the sequel soon.
Read this book if you're interested in mythology and an original, paranormal love story.Cover attraction:
beautiful. While not exactly original, the dress and the water bank actually refer to the real story (what bothers me in the conventional girl-in-beautiful-dress YA cover, is that is usually has nothing to do with the real story, so much that covers could be interchangeable). It's shiny and very pretty in real life. A winner.