Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
It’s been a rather lukewarm month for reviews, I’ve read a lot of books that I just couldn’t rave about, but for Valentine’s Day I did not want to leave you hanging. Starcrossed I enjoyed to a nearly embarrassing degree.
Helen has always lived on Nantucket with her father. And this year is just another school year; it doesn’t matter that there’s new family moving to the island. Everyone else is excited, but Helen can’t see how that will that really change high school. But she learns just how wrong she is the moment that she sets eyes on Lucas Delos. Not only is he the best looking boy she’s ever seen, she has an uncontrollable urge to kill him. The arrival of the Delos family means the end of life as Helen has known it, but the beginning of something new and exciting. Woven through with plenty of greek mythology, Starcrossed was was engaging, exciting and fraught with sexual tension.
This book also totally broke my resolution to not read another series book until the author is done writing the series. I’m going to have to wait until at least MAY to find out what happens next and then who knows how long for the third book. All I can do is hope upon hope that Angelini has an actual story arc planned out and that this will be a well-written, tight series. I cannot temper my loathing of any series that drags on and on (I’m looking at you L.A. Mayer – if you don’t wrap up Bloody Jack soon, I’m jumping ship). This first one was too good for her to spoil it by not having the future planned out and planned well.
Also, because Angelini is kind enough to name drop the Greek works that influenced her own, it’s a super opportunity to get teens into classics like The Oresteia, The Iliad, and The Odyssey. They can check out any of those while they wait (impatiently) for the release of the next in the series.
Great for – Anyone who felt The Lightning Thief series was lacking in romance. It would also be a good read after Goddess of Yesterday (which heartbreakingly does not have a sequel). I really think this will be a hit for a lot of teens, especially since the recent resurgence of interest in mythology.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – The main characters have a good deal of sexual tension throughout. It’s discussed that they shouldn’t start anything because they won’t be able to stop. There’s kissing. There are rumors that certain characters slept together. We know that one male character is promiscuous but we aren’t privy to any of his assignations. Bras, underwear and see through clothing are mentioned. A boy and a girl sleep together in the platonic literal sense. A reminder to use protection is issued and we learn that demigods impregnate women more easily than mere mortals. There’s a child molester mentioned. One character must remain a virgin always.
Profanity – “hell,” “jackass,” “dick/head,” “suck/er,” “bitch,” “badass,” “slut,” damn,” “shit,” “piss off,”
Death, Violence and Gore – Much like The Lightning Thief or anything else with a firm base in Greek tradition, this one is high on the violence. Helen has scary visions of the furies. There are a few murders, one is particularly graphic where a head is sliced nearly off and blood pours out. There’s a ton of fighting, ranging from intentional sparring to fighting between cousins which is violent but doesn’t have any real intent to harm, to intentional fighting with hope of injuring. In the course of fighting, there’s a good deal of blood, electrical shocks, drugging, attempted stabbings, actual stabbings. Additional violence includes a flying accident that nearly kills two characters, a car accident that seriously injures a few characters, tearing of hair and near drownings. And then there’s the section where Angelini relates the basic plot outline of The Oresteia which includes: a father sacrificing his daughter, a woman killing her husband, a son killing his mother. But don’t blame Angelini for that, blame the Greeks.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None (am I crazy? Did I just forget to record this? I never have in the past, so I’m going to hope that I didn’t miss anything.)
Frightening or Intense Things – Helen has a lot of anxiety and they talk about getting her help from a doctor and possibly medication for this. Also, there’s this really icky part where Helen is all bruised from some encounter or another and she jokes that she’ll tell people that Lucas is hitting her and he jokes back that he’ll say she likes it. NOT OKAY.