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“I don’t care how hard being together is, nothing is worse than being apart.” —Starcrossed
Starcrossed Trilogy #1
by Josephine Angelini
AR Test, Must Read
Helen has always been odd. Her biggest fear growing up was that someone would find out how much of a freak she really was. It’s not until a strange new family moves to her hometown on the island of Nantucket that she begins to realize just how different she is from the average teenager.
When the Delos family arrives, they open Helen’s eyes to another world. One where the ancient Greek stories of Troy, Tartarus, and Mount Olympus are true. Helen is more closely tied to this world than she could ever have dreamed. She is a Scion, a demigod, and with that knowledge comes the awakening of a myriad of powers she must learn to control.
But along with the Delos family arrives a curse. Scions have been tormented by the Furies for millenniums; three sisters who demand a blood debt be paid. This tortuous debt has cost countless lives, divided families, and driven Scions insane. Yet if that debt were to ever be paid in full, it would bring the end of the world.
Starcrossed is a page-turner that creates a world so wonderful one can’t help but wish it was real. Ancient Greek myths mesh with modern times in a delicious way, creating vivid characters and a whirlwind of action.
The Starcrossed series is best suited for more mature readers because the fight scenes add suspense, but also violence and blood. There are few kisses but a plethora of sexual tension because Helen cannot be with the man she is falling in love with.
- While injured, Helen sleeps in the same bed as Lucas. “She gasped involuntarily as one of Lucas’s hands ran up the length of her thigh and latched on to the sloping dip from her hip to her waist. Then she felt him tense, as if he’d just realized that pillows weren’t shaped like hourglasses. His head jerked up and he looked around.”
- When discussing Lucas with Helen, Kate says, “He’s like . . . wow! I could go to jail for even thinking what I’m thinking . . . But we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you and Lucas and the importance of condoms.”
- Creon lusts after Helen. “She was powerful, and yet so unaware of her potential she was nearly helpless. His hands shook at the thought of conquering her.”
- Helen thinks she accidentally killed a child molester with her lighting. “That creepy guy . . . remember how he kept ‘accidentally’ bumping up against you and stroking your hair?”
- When Helen is learning jujitsu Hector cracks a joke about Helen’s, “prone body and open legs.” Then Claire teases, “I would have thought it would be harder to get between your legs, but Hector doesn’t seem to be having any trouble at all.”
- Helen and Lucas experience a lot of sexual longing while trying to stay away from each other. Helen asks Lucas, “Why are you sleeping on my roof and not in my bed?” Later she realizes that “There was a part of Helen that knew exactly how to seduce Lucas whether he wanted to be seduced or not, and that freaked her out.”
- Helen wears the cestus, a mythical object that protects her. It looks different to everyone, because it turns into what most attracts them. When testing it, Helen “looked at Hector, focusing on him alone, and she felt her necklace change shape in her hand . . . Helen looked down and saw that she was holding a tiny scrap of lace that more closely resembled diamond-encrusted dental floss than underpants.”
- Helen and Lucas kiss. “Lucas caught her and supported her as they tumbled on the wind, holding and kissing each other as he guided them safely back down to the catwalk.”
- Lucas and Helen try to find a way to be together without being considered married. Helen suggests, “What if I wasn’t a virgin?” Lucas responds, “We’d be considered a married couple in the eyes of the gods, regardless of who took your virginity.”
- When Lucas sees Helen in her pajamas he says, “since you apparently sleep in the most ridiculously transparent tank top I’ve ever seen, I’m going to have to ask you to get under the covers before I do something stupid.”
- Helen attacks Lucas when she first sees him. “Lucas was holding her by the wrists to keep her hands away from his neck . . . if she could get her fingers half an inch closer, she could reach his throat. And then what? a little voice in her head asked. Choke the life out of him! answered another.”
- Helen is attacked by a mysterious woman. “A wiry arm wrapped around her neck, simultaneously pulling back and pressing down until Helen fell to her knees . . . white and blue blobs bloomed across her field of vision . . . Helen crooked her arm and rammed her elbow into her attacker’s solar plexus with every bit of juice she had in her tank. She heard the person suck wind and then felt herself get dropped.”
- Helen gets beat up when trying to learn how to fight. “Helen swallowed a mouthful of spit and blood and instantly regretted it when she choked on one of her own teeth.”
- A reporter is murdered by a Scion. “She was lovely in terror–a perfect, pleading mast of alabaster white skin . . . Creon wanted to hold her like that for days, but a split second of enjoyment later he heard a snap. Like a switched-off TV, the light in her eyes contracted to pinpricks, and then went completely dark.”
- It turns out that Helen is impervious to all weapons. “He started hacking away at her. Four strokes in, and the blade was ruined . . . The rain of blows ended abruptly when the sword fell apart.”
- Creon tries to kill Helen. “He brought it down directly over her heart. Creon’s knife made a dozen pinging noises as it shattered and scattered off her skin . . . Lucas jumped on Creon with a vicious snarl, and the two of them began to fight so fast Helen could barely see their hands move. They punched and grabbed and gouged at each other, both of them changing from claw-handed boxing to some kind of strange wrestling in which they tried to bend each other’s joins in the wrong direction.”
- Helen’s mother wakes up after being abducted. “There were deep vertical slashes on both her forearms that were still leaking fast-pumping blood even as they healed.”
- A Scion, “drew a small bronze blade from his belt and slit Pandora’s neck so deeply he nearly cut off her head. She was dead before her blood had a chance to soak into the sand.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Helen’s mom, “Jabbed a needle into [Helen’s] neck . . . Helen felt her muscles go limp and refuse to follow her commands. The world faded into a pale gray haze.”
- Helen’s mother is drugged with her own syringe.
- The words hell and ass are used frequently. Such as, “What the hell are you wearing?”
- Crap and damn are said several times. For instance, when Claire sees Helen fly she says “Oh, damn it. You are a vampire.”
- Jackass and shit are said once or twice.
- Helen thinks, “I’m not usually a bitch–I’m just super-grouchy because I’m being stalked by three blood-crying ghosts who won’t let me sleep.”
- When Helen is learning to fight with Hector, Jason yells, “She’s never fought before, you dickhead!”
- Many of the characters in the books are demi-gods and have powers such as super-strength, super-speed, lightning bolts, flight, power over water, etc. In the book, “most of the ancient myths and great dramas are based on real people. The gods are real, and they had children with mortals. Half human, half god. We are their descendants. Their Scions.”
- Scions are plagued by the Furies who force Scions from other houses to attack and try to kill each other. “For the first time in Helen’s life she knew what pure, heart-poisoning hatred was. She was not aware of the fact that she was running toward him, but she could hear the voices of the three sobbing sisters rise into a keening wail . . . The sisters were tearing at their hair until it came out of their scalps in bloody hanks.”
- When Claire finds out what Helen is, she admits that she, “was a little worried [Helen] might try to drag me off to hell and drain my essence at some point.”
- Cassandra is the Oracle. “The voices coming out of her were old and young and everything in between, all speaking in harmony . . . Cassandra’s mouth was glowing, and her hair was writhing around her head like snakes.”
- Helen and Orion spend much of their time in the Underworld, where all spirits go. They meet Hades and Persephone, and the god of death is mentioned.