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on 26 March 2017
Great :)
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This was without question one of my top 5 best books from last summer. I could not detach myself from my kindle for the whole day (much to the exasperation of my mother) until I had finished it... and re-read my favourite parts.

Josephine Angelini's intricate series of twists had me with my mouth open 90% of the time, to the point that my mother started teasing me that I would catch a fly if I kept it up. I argued that seeing as she's a slower reader than I am and that her reaction would be exactly the same as mine, she would be catching a lot more!
I like to think I'm fairly good at guessing or having some notion of the twists to come, but Josephine Angelini had me completely off track with a new and better unexpected twist every time!

This book started as most YA do, girl meets boy, girl and boy can't stand each other and yet they want to. Or at least that's what I'd thought. In actual fact the moment Helen met Lucas everything spiralled out of control and out of what I could have ever imagined.

With ancient households, curses, grudges, magic, myths and the meddlesome presence of gods, Starcrossed was a torturing page turner that I could not unglue myself from and couldn't read fast enough.

Josephine Angelini's style of writing was superb and perfectly matched the tale she told. Speeding, slowing down, soothing and relaxing, quick and witty everything was in sync with the scene at hand. But no matter how she adapted to the story, I did not. My steady reading pace only increased as the twists became even more unexpected and breathtaking.

When I reached the end I'm fairly certain I unleashed a short string of not very lady like words (my mother was not impressed and feels she may have slightly failed my upbringing). When you read this book I assure you, you will feel no different. Starcrossed ended far too soon for my liking. I'm pretty sure I thumped my ipad too and that it came very close to flying into the sea (I was lying on the beach reading). I desperately wanted more but there was none to be had sadly. I have patiently and torturadely awaited for the sequel Dreamless to be released and at last we are almost there!

If you liked this I would recommend reading the series The Goddess Chronicles by Aimee Carter where you will be able to dive into more myths and gods. If on the other hand your looking for another good read but a different paranormal setting they I would suggest: the Die For Me series by Amy Plum, Finding Sky by Joss Stirling, the Existence series by Abbi Glines and The Premonition series by Amy A. Bartol
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on 28 July 2013
Starcrossed was one of the few book I purchased after I decided to expand my usual reading type. I am trying to move on from Vampires as I own so many series already with vampires in. This as it goes is one of the best series I have read and I have read many series. It is so original and brilliant that I could not help but read all three books.

My decision to by this book was based mainly on the Greek Mythology part and the fact that their love is forbidden. I cannot help but feel weak kneed at the thought of a forbidden romance. I am a sucker for romance and love triangles so this was right up my street. I also like how it is not a typical love story. Their are a few hurdles in the way - one being that Helen and Lucas cannot be around each other without wanted to kill one another. This is both tragic and funny In some cases. Not funny because of the dying part but how it seems to occur in the worst of places like school corridors etc.

I like how Helen is a strong character and can protect herself, she can even hold her own against Lucas... anyway enough of the spoiling and I will say that I am glad I purchased this series. It is fresh and original and kept me interested. The series never failed to entertain me or make me skip a few pages to get to the good bits. I wanted to read every word.

I guess it is up to you though at the end of the day...
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The beginning of Starcrossed is pretty confusing but don't let that put you off. Once the initial explanations are out of the way, the story really gets into the swing of things with main character Helen. Just when you think you have her pegged, everything changes and she becomes completely different but that is definitely not a bad thing as this is what Starcrossed is all about. The fact that Helen didn't know what was going on around her was a good thing for me because it made everything a complete surprise. As her character changes so suddenly, it provides a lot of action and this makes the book really exciting and unpredictable. All of these changes come because of Lucas, the new guy in school and it doesn't take long for the reasons to be explained. I always had my doubts about Lucas and I was never sure about how sincere he was being which didn't make him the most likable main male character. Just like Helen, Lucas has a lot of secrets and this was the best thing about his character.

Without a doubt, the thing that makes Starcrossed so special is the subject it focuses on. With many YA books being about vampires and werewolves, it was nice to see something different for a change. The subject that Starcrossed focuses on is Scions. Scions are the descendants of Greek Gods from hundreds and thousands of years ago and their incredible abilities and talents have been passed down through each generation. I loved how different and exciting this was and it really brought something entirely new to the genre. Starcrossed is also largely about the Trojan War and the star crossed lovers, Paris and Helen and as this is a subject that is so interesting on its own, it was great to see it being rewritten so well.

While the majority of Starcrossed is really good, there was a massive down point. The ending was really rushed and the build up just wasn't on point. While there was a lot that happened throughout the story, the ending felt like it came out of no where and then the book was finished. I would have loved for the ending to have been drawn out a little more or written a little differently but at least it does leave wide openings for the next book in the series as a lot of questions were left unanswered.

Starcrossed isn't the perfect book but it does have a lot going for it and looks to be the start of a great series.
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on 24 April 2017
You don't even know how amazing this book series is x
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Helen Hamilton is a shy girl who has felt out of place and as though she doesn’t fit in. When the Delos family turn up, Helen’s world is turned upside down, as first she is plagued by nightmares and visions, and every time she sees Lucas Delos she thinks he’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen, but she wants to kill him too…

I’ve recently been very interested in stories with mythology as a theme and words cannot describe how much I LOVED Starcrossed. I was drawn in straight away by the story and the characters. I instantly liked Helen, who is shy and feels awkward because she has superhuman strength, as well as being tall and fast too. I found myself relating to her and I particularly cheered her on throughout.

I really enjoyed the interactions between Helen and Lucas – I could feel the tension between them radiating from the pages and I constantly wanted to read on to see what would happen between them. I was really rooting for them but there was hate between them and oh Josephine you had me HOOKED to their story!

This story is absolutely perfect for any fans of myths and legends, or actually anyone who LOVES a fantastic plotline and romance too! I was genuinely blown away by this novel, I was hoping for big things after hearing so much about Starcrossed but Josephine Angelini really excels in her storytelling. She effortlessly brought every scene to life with her descriptions and the characters seemed to jump straight off the page into real life.

I particularly enjoyed that I had no idea which way the novel would go, Josephine threw in many twists and unexpected moment which left me gripped, gasping and racing through the pages desperate to know more. I finished the book quite breathless and I am now very much looking forward to the next part in the series – Dreamless. Starcrossed is stunning – full of suspense, surprise and ultimately a truly fascinating story. Wow.
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on 14 September 2013
This is easily on par with Twilight, Fallen and the Selection when it comes to quality of writing. It was a good idea but the execution was painful and uninspiring.

I wanted to grab Helen and shake her by the shoulders screaming "GO BACK TO NURSERY YOU SPOILT, PETULANT LITTLE CHILD!" She was so immature it was infuriating. Oh, and she's a special Mary Sue too. The most beautiful, the most powerful, the fastest, the freaking best at everything and INDESTRUCTIBLE. Seriously. Now let me go puke...

The characters, all of them, were very flat. They feel as though they've been given only just enough to be classified as a character rather then a name on some paper, but no more. As though by adding some depth would have been a curse. This makes the story even more flat and shallow and DULL.
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on 14 April 2014
The good:

Great, interesting, intriguing premise. And to be fair to the writer, I have to say I did read to the end (albeit skimming or skipping larger and larger chunks as I went), intrigued how she would close out this first book of the trilogy.

Unfortunately, this is all that I can say that's good.

The frustrating thing is that it feels like a really interesting premise that was ruined by poor writing and lacklustre storytelling. This book felt eerily reminiscent of Twilight... Which from me, is not a compliment. There are a few spoilers further down this review, I've done my best to keep them minimal, but some of the bad and ugly of this book is hard to discuss without a few minor spoilers.

One of the irritating things overall was that the writer didn't seem to have a grasp on the POV. The book as a whole felt like it should have been written either in first person or in a deep third, but there are odd chapters/sections paragraphs not from Helen's point of view. That wouldn't be an issue if this had been skilfully or smoothly done, but it isn't. Too many of the POV changes just felt like out of place intrusions into what was mostly Helen's head. At times the point of view degenerates into a total mess.

There are also too many plain old grammatical errors, badly phrased sentences, metaphors which entirely fail to work, etc. My absolute favourite moment was after a murder and a bloody fight, melted pavements - this in the town centre, by the way, and Helen finds her way there by following the sounds of hand to hand combat - one of these geniuses says they'd better move because "Mortals will be coming." Gee, ya think?! Give me strength.

Angelini is altogether too fond of said bookisms, with characters gasping and yelling, whining, mumbling, allowing, chastising (yes really), not to mention saying things with gratuitous and unnecessary adverbial additions.

Oh, and the allergy to pronouns: this was a minor niggle for quite some time and then I came to a couple of paragraphs which were almost entirely about Helen, and didn't refer to another female character. Why, then, the need to keep repeating Helen this, Helen that, Helen the other? I know her name. I'm almost 3/4 of the way into the book. She's called Helen. I get it! I don't need it repeating four or five times in one short paragraph. This is what the words "she" and "her" are for!

There's some rather dubious faux science of how the powers work: honestly, I think "it's magic!" works better than throwing in a few science-y words and pretending that's an explanation. They're demigods, I'm suspending my disbelief: trying to make the magic "scientific" is unnecessary and actually intrudes on me buying into the the mythology. Later Helen magics up some power that's "hotter than the surface of the sun": I'm no scientist, but... Really? And they all survived with just a bit of melted pavement?? Hmmm.

Add in some heavy handed foreshadowing just for good measure and a few more grammatical errors than are acceptable in a book the reader has paid to read. Basically, it all reads like it need a darn good edit and a good deal of pruning. Why is a book allowed out in this state??

Then just for fun we have a big dose of Special Snowflake syndrome: Helen is stronger and has more powers and is more beautiful than any of the others of her ilk, with a magic item that makes her practically invulnerable. Excuse me while I vomit... Her dad is, like Charlie Swan before him, apparently blissfully unaware of his daughter's abilities and her increasingly strange ways of spending her free time. He isn't quite as much of a clueless space cadet as Charlie, but it's a close run thing. After enormous chaos he does finally confront her, but, predictably, when she says well, I'm not gonna tell you, he returns immediately to space cadet. Yup, that sounds likely.

The first reaction between Helen and the new people in town is that they all hate her on sight, and she hates them just as much. Nice, conflict, always fun. Except in a passage which is less than clear Helen and the (ridiculously handsome, natch) Lucas end up falling from the sky, and apparently save each other's lives (at this point they were still fighting, and when they fall I think she's unconscious, so... Yeah, this didn't make a lot of sense). This fixes the blood feud just like magic (sorry, can't help myself) and from then on the family spends all their time going on about how wonderful and important she is, though exactly why isn't clear. It's all terribly convenient, though by no means the last convenient bit of plot fudge Angelini will throw in.

Speaking of the ridiculously handsome Lucas: ugh. Apparently he's so perfect, Helen would have a sex change for him. Yuk. Quite besides being one of the most ridiculous lines ever written, that's some pretty gross minimising of actual transgender people who have, you know, actual reasons besides teenage crushes to have gender reassignment surgery. It's pretty revolting on many levels, so let's move swiftly on.

His beauty isn't dwelt on quite as much as good ol' Edward Cullen's, but it's altogether too close. When she's "only seen him twice" (actual quote) she can apparently already tell he isn't vain, despite his excessive beauty, which is what makes him so beautiful. Not the muscles or height or colouring, though these are apparently enough to need describing a LOT. Nope, she loves him 'cause, after seeing him two whole times, she just somehow "knows" he doesn't think about his gorgeousness. I believe you, Helen, thousands wouldn't. She does get one over on Bella Swan in that she calls him out on some of his creepier behaviour; naturally (him being so pretty and all) she doesn't actually, you know, DO anything about it, but at least we aren't expected to just see it as cute. It's a small thing, but it deserves mentioning in amongst all the awful.

We also discover why Helen and Lucas's oh so pure love is star crossed: in fact, it turns out Lucas has known all along but didn't tell her because he wanted to spend time with her. Apparently, it didn't occur to him (or to his family) that if he loved her, it might be an idea to give her the down low on why it's a bad idea and they can never be a couple. Everyone else - including the adults and the supposedly ever so wise mum - knows he's stringing her along, but apparently it doesn't occur to any of them to take him aside and point out the crappiness of this behaviour.

He loves her, but apparently it doesn't occur to him that she is just as entitled to an informed decision about their entanglement as he is: nope, poor Helen doesn't find out till she's already in deep. Wow, Lucas. How loving of you. She does at least confront him about this deception, but it's pretty swiftly swept under the rug of "but I twuly lurve you, really I do!" Yup, he loves her so much he makes sure she will suffer just as much as he's going to. Wow, you're a real catch, Lucas...

Just as well he's beautiful (unlike everybody else who are just, and I quote, "nondescript shapes" to Helen) and therefore easily forgiven. Whoops, need the vomit bucket again. When she isn't able to spend time with him, she thinks maybe it'd be a "comfort" to go "stark raving mad". Because, you know, romanticising mental illness is cool these days. Another yuk.

Not only does Lucas look like a Greek god (well, he should, he is one after all), he's also super sensitive and adorable and admirable (how this fits with his huge deception of the girl he supposedly loves I'm not clear). He doesn't actually display these traits particularly, but why show when you can tell? Oh, and he's apparently super duper perceptive for noticing that "no one acts rationally when it comes to their family." This statement of the obvious makes Helen swoon. Pullease. It made me literally eye roll - credit to Angelini, I don't think I've ever actually done that at a book before, though I've felt like doing so many times.

The baddies are at least actually baddies, in that they're slightly more revolting than the good guys. Part of the family is on a mission to rid the world of evil femininity so that the poor boys can control themselves... I hope that Angelini is intending to revolt the reader by this particular gem, it's not entirely clear. To give her the benefit of the doubt I'm going to assume this is supposed to be totally repugnant. Probably/hopefully this is elaborated in further books, but honestly I can't say I care enough to find out. When the best thing I can say about the good guys is that they're not quite as grim as the bad guys...

Basically, this is a really, really fantastic, intriguing premise let down by cringeworthy "lurve", unlikeable characters, poor writing, less than stellar storytelling, enough really awful lines to give me a migraine (I don't think I'm getting over the sex change comment any time soon, I just...) and plot holes you could fly Pegasus through. I think the horrible writing is almost worse because the premise has so much potential. Greek gods! Blood feuds! Magic! Intrigue! What a shame that the book based on such great themes and ideas is so godawful.

As I said at the start, I do have to give the author just the tiniest bit of credit for the premise, and for the fact I did want to know what happened at the end, but it really is outweighed by the negative to the extent that I can't even bring myself to give this book two stars. If you're looking for a Greek god rehash of Twilight, dysfunctional relationships and all, you might like this. Otherwise, give it a wiiiiide berth.
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on 2 February 2014
At first, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. The blurb explains that, when “shy awkward Helen Hamilton meets Lucas Delos for the first time, she think two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she’s ever seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands”. But really, that’s just the start of it, barely grazing the surface of the fascinating world that Josephine Angelini has created in Starcrossed.

One of the things that captured my interest in this novel is the Greek mythology that inspired the story of Helen, Lucas and the rest of the Delos family. It’s such a fascinating subject and Angelini clearly did her homework.

The character development in Starcrossed is incredible, and the connection between them all is totally believable. I hate comparing anything to Twilight, because the saga really isn’t my favourite and I’m still baffled by its success, but the Delos family relationship and the way that Helen is accepted into their home reminds me of the concept behind Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly vampire novels.

Honestly, this novel is up there in my top ten, closely following Divergent and The Hunger Games. I would recommend it to any fans of Twilight, but if you’re not a fan don’t let this put you off because Starcrossed is much, much better. If you’re interested in Greek mythology and classical civilization you’ll love it too. Plus, it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and so far it’s not predictable at all, so if you’re a fan of books and reading, I recommend Starcrossed to you too.
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on 24 May 2013
This book is based on Greek gods and all the mythology that comes with them, and of course, teenage romance. I must admit, I'm on the fence as to if I like It or not but I'll try not be too critical in this review.

In Starcrossed, a new mysterious family moves onto the Island, Nantucket, and the whole population of the island are fascinated with them. The minute our leading lady, Helen, sees one of the Delos family members, Lucus, they go mental and try to kill each other, lovely right? The blurb makes out that this loathing between Helen and Lucas lasts through most of the book when in actual fact, it last maybe 4 chapters? (Admittedly they are really long chapters) So the mystery behind that is solved quite quickly. The rest of the book kind of plods along slowly building up to the big finale at the end...woo! I must admit I didn't predict the big secret from Helen's mum. Horray that it she was lying! But this also means the next book in the series and maybe even the last book, will be drawn out by both characters sulking and crying the whole time! Please god, no!!!

Lets move along to the characters. Helen was an okay lead character as they go. She did come out with some award-winning lines to make you cringe when talking about Lucas, but cheesy lines seem to be in fashion at the moment. JOY! Sadly, I don't really feel much for her, I'm not sure quite why but she's just lacking in something, hopefully she'll grow on me throughout the series. Lucas was a bit bland, I didn't really find him that interesting I desperately tried but in the end I just found him boring. I love the Delos family, Hector in particular. He was funny but tough and far more interesting than Lucas, so naturally by the end of the book things happen to him that means he wont be around for a lot of the series. There goes one of the most interesting characters. I didn't really see the point of Matt and Claire, they kind of just got in the way for most of it but if Angelini was to make Helen completely leave them out and befriend all the Delos family by herself, then the comparisons between this and Twilight would be even heavier no doubt. I did find the fact that the whole family was gorgeous and talented and perfect..blah blah blah, annoying, but they are meant to be related to the gods , gods being godlike and all usually are depicted as being perfect..so Angelini, you're forgiven :)

Overall I think this books layout is a bit wrong, there wasn't enough action at the beginning to make the loathing between Lucas and Helen interesting and believable. The hatred turns into love too quickly for my liking. The middle of the book is filled up with lots of learning about her past which was, at times, a bit on the dull side. But it does build up towards the end redeeming the book for me.

I will be reading the next book in the series as I brought them as a pair and as much as it does have very similar character traits to Twilights characters, I did quite like it. Hopefully I'll grow to like Helen and Lucas in Dreamless and the story line will be more interesting.

Would I recommend it: If you like Twilight and other soppy teenage romance books then yes.
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