Book Reviews





Starcrossed - REVIEW

I feel that recently YA fiction has lost it's way a bit. I'm sure that there have been books published in the last 6 months that don't follow the "My life was just so damned normal until [insert goregeous, arrestingly beautiful, adonis-like creature of a guy] came into my life and made it dangerous and exciting coz he, like, had powers!" formula, but I'm also sure there's very few.

Starcrossed, unfortunately for me, is not one of them. Recently, it has been attracting many complimentary reviews, and "best YA book of 2010" status. And in fact the blurb sounded interesting when I read it, so I downloaded it to Kindle and jumped in.

Let me just tell you right now, if you are considering reading this book based upon the blurb - it is very misleading. Misleading in the "I could almost report you to OFCOM for false advertising" sense of the word. Here it is, by the way:

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton sees Lucas Delos for the first time she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.
With an ancient curse making them loathe one another, Lucas and Helen have to keep their distance. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can't prevent what will happen . . . 

The whole loathing/murderous thing? It's about 3-4 pages of the book. It quickly makes way for sappy, all-engulfing, ridiculous love. The book's 528 pages long - that's an awful lot of non-loathing the blurb conveniently breezed over...

Also, apart from the weird allusion to Gods, is there anything that would have you think this book, and its entire plot, is based on the Iliad and Greek mythology? Forgive me for thinking this might actually be a bit dark and gothic at the mention of ancient curses... and did anyone else think plot segments might take a bit of inspiration from Shakespeare due to the title? Maybe it's just me...

Oh, and the thing the Gods cant prevent? IT NEVER HAPPENS! So I guess the Gods did prevent it, huh?

So, blurb-bashing over... Onto the content. It's actually not too badly written. The first and last few chapters are quite enjoyable. But Starcrossed is about 300 pages too long. There's waaaay too many characters that are non-essential to the plot and there are a lot of scenes that don't really move anything along, and seem only to serve as a plateau for "hand holding" between Helen and Lucas. There was also a background storyline going on about Helen's father dating/not dating his co-worker that didn't really need to be there...
As a result I found Starcrossed hard to read for any length of time. I'd pick it up for five minutes, read a bit, get bored, and forget about it until the next time I had nothing better to do.

As for the Greek mythology, at first it seemed shoe-horned in and a little bit laughable... then I came to just accept it, as it obviously wasn't going to go away any time soon... and then it got so contrived and confusing I couldn't be bothered any more and wished it would all just end already.

Annoyingly, as with every YA book in the world these days, it seems to be the first of a series. I don't think Ill be buying the next one.

I found this really strange video promoting the book on Amazon. Please tell me this isn't making it onto a screen of any kind and publishers are just trying a creepy new way of advertising literature?

No comments