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Oh My (Greek) God

A review of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, which features Greek gods and smoldering chemistry.

Oh My (Greek) God

BOOK REPORT for Starcrossed (Starcrossed Book 1) by Josephine Angelini

Cover Story: Shiny
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: TMI
Bonus Factors: Greek Mythology, Superpowers
Relationship Status: Booty Call

Cover Story: Shiny

I personally find this cover a tad embarrassing, although it's really not THAT bad. It does relate to the book, and while it looks vaguely YA supernatural-ish, the girl is neither headless nor floating, so that's a plus. Maybe it's the iridescent background that gets me. I'm a believer that everything should be sparkly, except books and coffins.

The Deal:

Did y'all ever go through a Greek mythology phase? Not only is that a serious question related to this book, it's also a great pick-up line to try out next time you're at Comic Con. Anyhoo, I remember checking out a MASSIVE tome on Greek myths in the 5th grade and reading it in bed with a flashlight because I didn't want my mom to find out that these gods and goddesses totally had sexual relations sometimes!

See, since the ancient Greeks didn't have reality TV yet, they had to use religion for entertainment. I like to picture Mount Olympus as the first Real World house, with all of the gods fighting, backstabbing and screwing each other. And unfortunately for 16-year-old Helen Hamilton, she's about to be the new roommate. Helen, one piece of advice: stay out of the hot tub. That thing is NASTY.

Here's what we would learn from Helen's RW audition tape:

Her whole life, Helen never felt like she fit in, even though she's athletic and drop dead gorgeous. (Ain't that always the way!) Her mom left when she was a baby, and even though she's got a great relationship with her dad and a spunky best friend named Claire, Helen's main goal is to fade into the background. Unfortunately, the gods (literally!) have other plans for her. A new family has moved into town, and the Delos kids are rumored to be the hottest thing to hit high school hallways since CliffsNotes. Their arrival brings horrible nightmares to Helen, who wakes up every morning with her feet caked in mud and blood. And the first time she finally lays eyes on the beautiful Lucas Delos, she is filled with the inexplicable desire to... kill him. That's right, not kiss, KILL. And, even better, the Delos kids want to kill her too! Fun for everyone! But blood isn't the only kind of lust that sparks between Lucas and Helen, and as they attempt to overcome their hatred, Helen learns that her family tree might be a little more Greek than she thought.

BFF Charm: Yay

At first, I thought it might be too hard to be friends with Helen. She's model-hot and has kickass superpowers, plus the finest guy in school has a crush on her. I mean, I'm all about being a Willow, but at least let me date Oz or get to do some magic, you know? But then I realized that if I was besties with Helen, I'd get to hang out with the Cullens the Delos kids and watch them do all of those wacky things supernatural teens love to do like play baseball in a thunderstorm experiment with their crazy skills and fight each other. In other words, I'd finally get to live in a superpower training montage, which is ONE OF MY LIFE GOALS. So, Helen, I promise not to get jealous of you if you promise to let me hang out with your Delos pals after school. Also, there must be snacks.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Is there anything sexier than a love/hate relationship? Or, in the case of The Cutting Edge, a love/skate relationship? Right away, the swoon between Helen and Lucas is intensity in ten cities because when they say, "I want to kill you!" they don't mean it in the "Why I oughtta!" sitcom sense. They REALLY mean it. And yet, they're so attracted to each other, they can't help but try to fight that murderous instinct. Just when you think the relationship can't get hotter, something happens (I won't spoil it) that raises that number to a 7. The raw hunger they have for each other is smoldering, and I'm guessing that this score will go up in the sequel.

Talky Talk: TMI

Oh, book. This is where you and I had some problems. I'm fine with third person, but just because we're not in the character's head doesn't mean we need every little detail spelled out for us. This book clocks in at 487 pages, and I think a good editor would have knocked off at least 100 pages of unnecessary exposition. This is a fun, compelling story, but the incessant, clunky explanation weighs it down. Moreover, it feels like Angelini got in over her head with the increasingly complicated plot, and her main way out of it is to have characters pull a Chris Farley Security Guy. The play by play style of writing just isn't my cup of champers (unless it's utilized for sexy business scenes, and then I'm more than fine with it).

Bonus Factor: Greek Mythology

As I mentioned previously, this book is packed with Greek god goodness, so if you're into jealous, wrathful beings screwing and hating each other (who isn't?!), you'll get a kick out of the mythology.

Bonus Factor: Superpowers

DANG these kids have some sweet, sweet powers. I won't give away who does what, but there's healing and prophecy (ok, those are kind of lame) and super-strength and light control and FLYING!!!! Flying is awesome. Just ask this guy.

Casting Call:

Since Helen is incredibly beautiful and statuesque, I decided to go with a real supermodel instead of an actress. I mean, you can totally see why she'd be a high school loner, right? RIGHT?

Jac Jagaciak as Helen

Casting Lucas was a piece of cake. Or should I say, HUNK of cake?

Ethan Peck as Lucas

Seriously, you guys, it is WAY to easy to lose* 30 minutes of your life watching Ethan Peck being dead sexy on YouTube.

*By lose I mean enrich. Highly enrich.

Relationship Status: Booty Call

This book reminds me a little too much of previous flings gone bad (Twilight, Mortal Instruments) for me to consider making our relationship serious. At the same time, I can't deny that it's got some pretty attractive qualities. So while I don't think I'll ever call it my boyfriend, I'm not above the occasional hook-up... especially after a few shots of Ouzo.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from the author. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Starcrossed is currently available.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).