This book starts off with introducing us to Helen, a tall, beautiful girl who hates being tall and beautiful. Random people stare at her because she is beautiful, but Helen is shy and hates all the attention. As someone who is short, average, very shy, and went through her teenage years basically being glanced over by everyone, I had difficult time connecting with her. And I think this was a very risky move on the part of the author. A lot of teenager girls (heck, a lot of adult girls) want very little in life other than to be tall and so beautiful that everyone notices.

And Helen hates it. And she focus’ on how much she hates it. Coupled with the fact that it takes us a couple chapters to be introduced to all the main players and for the plot to get going, I had a difficult time getting into this book. If you find you have the same problem, I urge you to continue, because once things get rolling, the really get rolling.

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is -no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together – and trying to tear them apart.

My favourite thing about this book was the first meeting between Helen and Lucas. It played on every stereotypical meeting between the main girl and the love interest, and just as you’re rolling your eyes for the third time, it flips everything on it’s head and does something that truly shocked me. I was not expecting it at all. It was at this point that I really sat up, and was drawn into Helen’s story. And after this incident, the plot moves along at an intense pace and I had no idea how everything was going to unfold.

This book is shrouded in mysteries. From Helen’s nightly dreams about a desert, to the truth about her mother, nothing seemed obvious to me. And near the end, when you thought all the big reveals were done, there was another one and I just loved every single one of them. They didn’t feel like they had been inserted to keep the story going.

Also, I loved Helen’s dad. I loved how down to earth he was, and how he was involved in everything. And how loyal Helen was to him. There aren’t enough good parents in YA books that don’t bug the heck out of me.

Great, original, romance, awesome Greek mythology inspired plot, cool dad, lot’s of mysteries, and an ending that felt complete but left you needing more. So, in other words, a fabulous read. Plus Lucas was totally adorable. I cannot wait for the second one!

Now, as a bit of an aside, I’ve heard a lot of comparisons between this book and Twilight. Or, a lot of people saying this book is set up just like Twilight. Even I was guilty of this before getting into the book. And I wanted to mention an observation I made with someone (I don’t remember who) a while ago. The Twilight characters are such non-characters (not necessarily in a bad way) that you can pretty much insert them into any fictional piece with about six or so main characters. Really, think of something, anything, and you can match up the Twilight characters with who they would be in that fictional world. Friends, Buffy (though, there’s a debate on whether Edward would be Angel or Spike), heck, I could even put them into Gilmore Girls. I dislike Dean about as much as I dislike Jake.

So, I think all these comparisons say more about Twilight than they do about Starcrossed, or any other book/movie that is compared with Twilight. Twilight is just so well-known that comparisons are inevitable. But, I assure you, this book would hold it’s own with or without Twilight.

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