I hate to say this but I am going to be tearing this one apart. I think I’m the first person to write a negative review for Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini on the entirety of the internet. But that said, here goes nothing.
This book did nothing for me. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And here’s why.
Starcrossed is set on Nantucket island and features the shy, willowy Helen as she gears up for the first day of her junior year of high school. She and her father live alone and she has a job and a best friend, but something is coming. Something that will change Helen forever. Before she can even realize it the island is abuzz with news of the Delos family moving to the island. Helen begins to develop feelings of rage and unrest as she hears more about them. She begins to see visions of three women demanding blood. And, worse of all, the minute she meets the gorgeous Lucas Delos she tries attacks him.
Is Helen going insane? And what does all of it mean? And, why oh why, should I care?
I heard about this book over a year ago… all the book world has been waiting for it. “It’s Percy Jackson for high school girls! It’s the new Twilight series!” Blah, blah, blather. I was as excited as everyone else, but I’m over it. This book did so little for me.
Part of the problem is in the writing itself. This is a debut novel and it shows. Angelini’s writing is less of a fluid storytelling style and more of a disjointed spewing of every thought Helen (or rather Angelini) has as she goes along. I watched as paragraphs of random thoughts congealed together to form what is supposed to be a narrative and I wondered why the character was so ADD. Then it hit me; Percy was ADD and this book is trying to be exactly that. I can’t help but feel that Angelini decided to smash two popular things together to try to make something new and failed miserably.
I see that she loves Meyers. It shows. The writing is so similar. The problem is that no matter how much I (and everyone) loved Twilight (and the subsequent books) upon the initial reading there seems to be a universally agreed upon fact. Meyers, for all her success, is not a good writer. She’s great at character development and in capturing the essence of Bella’s spirit but not a great writer. We follow Bella because we identify so hard with her. Helen is no Bella. She’s drippy and annoying and easy to disconnect from. I found nothing engaging about her.
To mimic something in tone, and do it worse than Meyers, is a crime. To try to tailor it after something that is so universally loved is also a bad move. It’s going to get weighed against and slaughtered if it fails. I didn’t even make it through one hundred pages and I was tossing this down in annoyance. I didn’t like the voice of the main character, the smashed together plot line (which I feel I’ve read before) and the direction it was going. It felt overly contrived, and I was not amused by it. The only thing I enjoyed about it was the setting.
I’m not even the hardest core Meyers fan and I feel bad for her. In this case imitation is not flattery. The formula is way too similar. I feel even worse for Rick Riordan who shares a very like idea. This is an example of how his books could have been done if they were done. Very. Badly.
I wish I had more reviews up to compare it with. I know others are going to love this, and it will sell a ton. However, I did not love it. I did not like it. I couldn’t go on, and that is always a bad sign.
1 out of 5 stars.
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