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all hearthfires & holocausts

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Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini I was given this ARC free of charge from NetGalley. I'll try to keep my review as spoiler free as possible.Admittedly, I began reading Starcrossed with very low expectations. My initial excitement over the premise dimmed when I read a few preliminary reviews comparing it to Twilight; I went in with my eyeball muscles limbered up, ready to roll at a moment's notice.I was very pleasantly surprised, and happy to be wrong. While there are some inconsistencies in the mythology, overall I found it a very engaging twist on what is arguably the most well-known story in Greek mythology. Perhaps those inconsistencies were deliberate; had Angelini followed the storyline to the letter, Starcrossed would have been a very predictable read. I felt it was paced well for the most part, and enjoyed going through the discovery process with Helen. I liked Helen. I was able to relate to her fear of standing out, of not wanting to be different from her peers (who doesn't have that fear in high school?). I thought she was strong and smart, and loved that she held so much power. My one complaint is that she didn't ask enough questions. Once she discovered what she was, why didn't she push to find out who? When she and Lucas fought, why didn't she push him to tell her why he couldn't be with her? For someone so strong, she was very passive in a lot of situations. I understand that perhaps she was avoiding those questions because they were too much to deal with, but I would have liked to have seen her stand up for herself more. She had so much physical strength, I would have liked her personality and sense of worth to be equal to it. Though there was some of the magical instant connection happening between Lucas and Helen, it was less jarring and annoying than some other YA stories simply because it worked in context and Angelini backed it up with interactions and revelations that supported and enhanced the connection they shared. Now, as far as the Twilight comparisons? Sure, there are some similarities, but at no point did I feel like I was reading a Twilight/Percy Jackson crossover fanfiction as some have suggested. Starcrossed is not only its own, unique story, but a much better one than Twilight on almost every level--writing style, plot, pace, characterizations were all leagues ahead of Twilight. What I'm trying to say is, even if this was a blatant rip off, it's like Angelini stole the pebble from Meyer's hand, grasshopper. Like, if they were in a cage match, Starcrossed would totally beat Twilight with a chair. Or like jump on it really hard. Or something. And most importantly? The argument closer to all argument closers?Lucas Delos > the sparkly virgin who can't drive...I mean, fly Edward Cullen. Boom. Roasted. Overall this was an exciting and intriguing read. I'm looking forward to the next book, and hoping that Helen will evolve into a stronger, more confident person.