Starcrossed

Occasionally, I come across a book that’s been out a while and I wonder, “Why in the world did I wait so long to read this?!”  That’s the case with my latest read, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.  Starcrossed has been out a little over a year, and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  Why, you ask?  Well, this book (and, hopefully, the entire series) is kind of like the best parts of the Twilight saga, the Mortal Instruments, and the Percy Jackson series all rolled into one.  That’s really the best way I can explain it.  If you liked any or all of those series, you should definitely give Starcrossed a try.

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire life trying not to be noticed.  And on the small island of Nantucket, that’s nearly impossible, especially when you’re a beautiful, blond, athletic, smart, tall girl who kind of stands out from the crowd.  But Helen knows that, if she’s not careful, she’ll stand out more than ever before.  You see, Helen has some pretty special abilities that she doesn’t quite understand…and it’s getting harder and harder to hide her true self.  And when the mysterious Delos family moves to Nantucket, things get even worse.

When Helen first sets eyes on Lucas Delos, she wants nothing more than to kill him.  Violently.  (She even tries to in the halls of her school.  So much for not being noticed.)  Helen doesn’t know why she feels so strongly about this–or why she sees three creepy women crying blood whenever she sees a member of the Delos family–but the urge to wipe out Lucas is almost uncontrollable.  Why?  Why does mild-mannered Helen want so badly to kill someone she’d never met before?  Well, the answers she’s looking for are as old as time itself, and Helen will need to overcome her newfound homicidal rage to find out what’s going on and where she fits into it.

Helen isn’t quite prepared for the answers she gets, but it’s something of a relief to know why she’s so different.  (It’s also a relief when her urge to kill Lucas finally fades.  But some equally disturbing urges are coming along…if you know what I mean.)  Helen and Lucas, both demigods destined to be at war, are repeating roles in Greek tragedies that have occurred throughout history…and the Fates seem to be determined to keep Helen and Lucas apart at all costs.

Even as Helen, Lucas, and the entire Delos clan work to figure out what is going on–and how Helen fits into the bigger picture–Helen and Lucas are battling their own desire to be together.  Can they thwart the Fates and make their own way in the world?  Will something–or someone–come along to drive them even further from each other?  Will they be strong enough to stay together when the Fates–and even their own families–seem determined that they remain starcrossed lovers?  Find out how one girl both battles and embraces her own destiny when you read Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.

I adored Starcrossed, and the recap above doesn’t begin to do it justice.  This book is so much more than a simple supernatural love story.  It’s got drama, action, a bit of comedy, bad guys (both human and not-so-human), mysteries to be solved, misdirection, happy families, mythology, a girl with mommy issues, flying, fighting, curses, friends, and, yes, a very complicated relationship between Helen and Lucas (which reminds me a lot of the Clary/Jace relationship in Cassie Clare’s Mortal Instruments series).  There’s something here for everyone, and I think this book definitely deserves a place in any YA collection.

I loved this book so much that I just ordered the sequel, Dreamless, and I plan to read it as soon as I can.  The third book, Goddess, should be out in May of 2013.  If you’d like to learn more about this series, visit http://www.josephineangelini.com/, or follow the author on Twitter @josieangelini.  You may also want to check out this book trailer from HarperTeen.  Enjoy!

A Need So Beautiful

In previous posts on this blog, I have mentioned my many fears–clowns, zombies, evil children, thunderstorms, rodents, reptiles, arachnids, bugs, and the dark, just to name a few.  I haven’t however, mentioned my greatest fear, the one that really keeps me up at night and leaves me depressed during my waking hours.  It’s deeply personal, and I’m pretty sure only my mom knows that I have this fear.  It’s the fear of being forgotten.  The thought of no one remembering my existence is shattering.  (I’m pretty sure this all started in the eighth grade.  My science teacher was handing out papers or something, and he came to one with my name on it.  He had no idea who I was…and school was about to get out for the summer.)  Anyway, this fear took center stage when I read my latest book, A Need So Beautiful, by Suzanne Young.  The protagonist, Charlotte, is forced to face her own destiny, one where she loses everyone she loves and is completely erased from their memories.  She will be forgotten…

Ever since she can remember, Charlotte has felt the Need, an uncontrollable urge to help people in need.  She cannot control when or where the Need will hit, but she feels intense pain until she helps those who call to her.  At first, the Need would hit her every month or so.  Then, it became every week.  Now, though, the Need plagues her one or more times per day. 

Charlotte doesn’t know what’s happening to her, or even what she really is, but the Need is quickly destroying her.  It’s wrecking her relationships–with her boyfriend, her best friend, and her adoptive family.  She wishes she could ignore the Need, but the pain is just too much to handle.  She must help those who need her, even if it means losing parts of herself.  But when things begin to get even worse–like her body emitting a golden glow and people around her forgetting who she is–Charlotte seeks answers.  First of all, who and what is she?  Why does the Need compel her to help people she doesn’t even know?  And can she change her destiny before everyone in the world forgets she ever existed?

Charlotte’s search for the truth leads her to something she never expected.  She is one of the Forgotten, sort of an angel sent to earth to help those in need.  When she helps people, she is instantly forgotten.  And every time she helps someone, she draws closer and closer to the end of her own life.  She will wear out until she is nothing but light, and her entire being will be erased from the memories of those she encountered.  But there might be a way out.  There may be a way to keep her life, her plans, her boyfriend, and her family.  Is Charlotte willing to do anything to be remembered?  And what is the price she will have to pay to make it happen?  Will she be able to pay it?  Read A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young to find out.

A Need So Beautiful is a breathtaking book, and, if you’re anything like me, it will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished reading.  It made me think about what it would really be like if no one remembered me.  (It would suck, by the way.)  But it also made me consider that there might be worse things than being forgotten.  Would I be willing to sacrifice my own desire to be remembered for the greater good?  Would you?

FYI, this book has a couple of adult situations, mostly involving sex, so I would recommend it for ages 16 and up.

If you’d like more information about this book or others by Suzanne Young, visit http://suzanne-young.blogspot.com/.