Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, Or, This Sounds Familiar...

Imagine a high school girl living in a small town with her father who is more of a peer than a parental figure- and she plays an equal role in the household duties such as cooking. Now imagine this girl is so beautiful every boy in town wants to date her, though she is oblivious to this fact because she feels so awkward and uncomfortable in her body that she can’t imagine anyone wanting to kiss her. That is until one day when the new family moves to town and stirs up gossip. It’s a big family and they’re all impossibly attractive. Our small town girl finds herself unreasonably drawn to one of them, and their instant mutual attraction is only thwarted by the concerns of his extended family and the impossibility that they could ever have a physical relationship. But they know in their souls that they were destined for each other and they will betray whomever they have to in order to be together. Does all this sound familiar?

Yes, I'm totally comfortable right now
Can't you tell by my posture?
No, this isn’t Twilight. Meet Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. It starts off in beautiful Nantucket, Massachusetts with an easy to like Helen Hamilton. Helen has always felt a little different, but it isn’t until the appearance of the Delos clan that she finds out the truth about herself: she’s a demigod (genetic inheritance from her absent mother) and one of the strongest of her kind.

It’s refreshing to meet a heroine who isn’t “just a human” while her supernatural boyfriend gets to have all the fun. Helen is stronger than all the Delos boys- she can manipulate gravity and summon lightning. That’s pretty kick-ass! Unfortunately, Helen doesn’t seem to find too much empowerment in her newfound skills. In part because she has been conditioned from a young age to hide this side of her (her mother somehow enchanted Helen so that she would get mega-menstrual cramps any time she exposed herself; I know they call it “the curse” but that’s overkill), in part because she’s too wrapped up in her insta-love with Lucas Delos (whose true name was meant to be Paris; you see where the story is going, right?). 

Our love is instant and eternal
The story started off strong with a tall, awkward girl (I’m also 5’9” so I was pumped to be reading a story about a tall girl who was also fated to wear too-short pants, after all these stories about teeny little short heroines), some super creepy blood-weeping Furies and mysterious dream-walking. All signs pointed toward go… until Lucas started being an Edward. He will decide for them what information Helen should know. He will tell her how to spend her time and what’s safe for her and how their relationship will progress.  He can get jealous and possessive... while simultaneously telling Helen they can never have a relationship and she should get over it already.  

Most frustratingly, he can cuddle with her, flirt with her, kiss her neck and entice her to bed, but any time she tries to reciprocate, he complains that she is trying to seduce him and end the world and she has to learn to control herself. Because, oh yeah, by the way, they are from two different demigod Houses, and if they were ever to consummate their love, the wrath of the gods would destroy the world. Because nothing is simple when you’re a teenager and it isn't hard enough to make sensible, adult choices about sex. But while he’s allowed to let his hands wander, he will literally pin her down if she tries to do the same back to him, because he “only has so much willpower.” Why is it always assumed that women have willpower when men don’t? 

This image can be applied to:
Helen being the most powerful
Lucas being controlling
How Lucas envisions Helen whenever he's turned on
Your pick!
I like the Greek angle, and I’m digging all this supernatural/paranormal stuff (the girdle of Aphrodite! Falsefinders! Controlling light!) but while Angelini writes enjoyable details, I’m not convinced that she has mastered overarching plot.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...