Publisher- Pan Macmillan
Publication date- 2011
Synopsis- 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?
Review- I was a little wary about starting another YA paranormal series, particularly one that draws on Greek mythology, because of my disappointment with various other YA series in this realm such as The Furies, The Goddess Test and Everneath. Thankfully, I was swept up in this story of star-crossed teens Helen and Lucas, on the island of Nantucket.
Helen has always known she was different, she’s ridiculously tall, fast and strong, but she’s also shy and doesn’t like to draw attention to herself so she plays her skills down. Until the handsome young Lucas Delos comes to town and captures the attention of every girl in school. I started to get the sensation I was reading Twilight because of Helen’s shy, awkward nature and Lucas was presented at the beautiful, perfect love interest. But then the story takes a turn. Helen has a strong reaction to him when they first meet, but not because she is in awe of him- because she hates him. In a blind rage, she attacks him in the school corridor and creates her own worst nightmare as she becomes the centre of all the school gossip.
She discovers she’s a demigod and has been able to live as a rogue with her human father after her mother abandoned them and inadvertently kept them hidden from the
Helen and Lucas struggle to be around each other as The Furies demand that they kill each other, but when they ironically save each other’s lives they break the bloodlust and the drive to kill each other dissipates. This seems to be resolved rather quickly in the story, even though I was led to believe by the synopsis that this would be the main conflict keeping them apart. Helen begins to train with the Delos family to learn to protect herself and to have better control over her powers. She has amazing strength and some cool abilities such as using lightning and flying. She develops a close friendship with Lucas and they are drawn to each other. They hold hands all the time without even realising and Helen realises she is developing feelings for her and even though he appears to feel the same way, he restrains himself.
I probably couldn’t relay all the Greek mythology stuff accurately to reflect the plot line, but it’s quite interesting and there’s plenty of challenges placed in the way of Helen and Lucas. She gathers a lot of strength and confidence and becomes more at ease with herself. Helen’s also in danger as she is the only known remaining demigod from her House and there are many demigods from Lucas’s house who want her dead so they can fulfil the dream of taking over Atlantis.
There are some great personalities and conflicts in the story, with Helen’s cheeky best friend Claire, her long-time friend Matt and Lucas’s hostile cousin Hector.
I loved the emotional closeness Helen and Lucas shared and felt their relationship was paced well and was realistic. However, I was very frustrated by the ending when everything seemed to be resolved but another roadblock was put in the way of Helen and Lucas’s happiness together. I really hoped that this would be resolved quickly in the sequel, Dreamless which I started to read right away.
I’m happy I decided to pick up this book and give it a go, because it’s probably the best YA paranormal book I’ve read with Greek mythology aspects in a long time.
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