Book Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed is the first book in a trilogy, and a debut novel by Josephine Angelini. Released by Macmillan Children’s Books on 3rd June, Starcrossed is 528 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.

Helen Hamilton is painfully shy, doing everything possible to make sure she doesn’t stand out for any reason at all. All Helen wants to do is get on with her life and manage to graduate high school without anything massive or crazy happening. Unfortunately, Helen also thinks she’s going insane. When a new family moves onto the island of Nantucket, Helen knows something isn’t right. For starters, she tries to kill one of the Delos boys in the corridor at school and she has no idea why she instantly hates him so much. Just the mention of his name gets her annoyed.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Helen is also seeing ghostly visions of three women weeping blood and having some intense nightmares that feel closer to reality than dreams. An ancient curse dating back to the Trojan war means that Helen and Lucas are destined to never be together but they can’t help but feel something for each other. Will they turn out to be that couple who starts the war again or will they be able to keep their distance?

What I thought

Starcrossed was one of those books that when I heard about it, I knew I had to have it. Macmillan were extremely nice is sending me a really early copy in February and I don’t think I can express just how excited I was when it arrived!

The supernatural aspect of this book was one that I have never heard of or read about before. Unlike many other YA books focusing on vampires and werewolves etc, Starcrossed is all about 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. The Scion race is divided into four different houses although there is only one house with a high number of family members left. Back during the Trojan war, The Furies (the creepy weeping women) set the houses against each other and put a curse on them to make sure that what Helen and Paris did would never happen again. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules though and Helen and Lucas are one of those rare couples that have found a way to be together…kind of. If Helen and Lucas want to be together fully, they have to face facts. Their relationship could restart the Trojan war. This was an aspect of the book that I loved completely. I have always been interested in history and mythology so I couldn’t have asked for a better subject for a book. I really enjoyed the twists that Angelini put on the Trojan war and how she intertwined some classic mythology with new ideas of her own. 
The beginning of the book was quite confusing but thankfully, it didn’t last very long. As I was beginning to get to know Helen, and began to feel like I knew what she was all about, everything changed suddenly and questioned what I originally thought of her. In the blink of an eye, Helen had gone from shy and reserved to full on attacking a really hot guy at school. As soon as this happened, the story started to unfold and different things were slowly being explained. I really liked Helen as a character as she had plenty of different sides to her. Even though she was shy and reluctant to stand out in her classes, she was obviously ambitious and deep down, she wanted to do well for herself. Not having many friends in school also made her quite mysterious and that made me want to know more about her all of the time. As the story went on, I found myself liking her more and more, especially as she grew more of a backbone and began standing up for herself. Not to mention the awesome Scion powers she has!

While Lucas was great, he was not the perfect guy for me. There were little things about him the whole way through that bugged me and I wasn’t really sure why. I think the main thing for me was that I wasn’t sure how sincere and truthful he was being from the beginning, considering the way they met, and that doubt about him was always in the back of my mind. I was glad that I did get to like him a lot more later on in the book but I never really loved him like I was hoping to. Some of this is due to the nature of his relationship with Helen and everything that they have going on but I cant go into that as I don’t want to ruin some of the major twists. As you will see later in this review, he had some competition for my affections! On a positive note though, Lucas was definitely a good thing for Helen, if you take all of the craziness away. After meeting him, she grew a lot as a person and began to be more comfortable with herself.

The build up towards the end of the book could have been done a little better, for me anyway. I felt as though there wasn’t quite as much tension as there should have been and the action didn’t last nearly long enough. I wanted a completely epic battle and I didn’t get it. I think that is definitely going to come in the other books in the trilogy though, especially if you think back to the story being based on the Trojan war. I cant wait to see where the story is going to end up and what other aspects of Greek mythology and history will be added in to future books.

Strangely enough, one of the main things (apart from the Greek Gods stuff) that made this book for me was the secondary characters. It is very rare that I love the secondary characters over the main characters but this is one of those cases. As much as I loved Helen and Lucas, the Delos family were too interesting and entertaining to not love more. As a house full of nearly all Scions, the family had many different abilities and this is what drew me to them. Each family member could do something amazing but they were all so different, personality wise as well. As for the boys in the family, each has their good qualities and I was having a hard time deciding which one I liked the most. They were all giving Lucas a run for his money.

As a debut novel, Starcrossed is fantastic. While I didn’t completely love all of it, the majority was amazing. Greek mythology, action and romance are three of my favourite things so add them together and you get a winner in my eyes. Some of the hottest couples in YA are in trouble. Helen and Lucas are the new forbidden love in town and their powers will blow everyone else out of the water. Watch your backs Edward and Bella!


  1. I completely loved this book! I can't wait for the next one.

  2. I'm another one that is excited for the next book too. I didn't love all of this book either but it was a great story.

  3. Every since Percy Jackson, I've been loking for a good demigod book that sparked my interest.
    Starcrossed is now not only my favorite demigod book, but my favorite book as well. I can't wait for the next one!


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