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Fiktshun - All Things Fiction

Book Buzz: Starcrossed

Back with another Book Buzz post. I decided to skip the Early Buzz post this week in favor of keeping the buzz going for a book that I absolutely adore.

Not that there isn’t plenty of buzz for this book still going on, but I’m hoping enough readers have discovered the book by now that they want to keep talking about it too!

The Book:

Starcrossed is a young adult novel written by Josephine Angelini. It was released on May 31, 2011.

Loved it or Hated it?

Loved it. Loved it so much I had to read it twice. Because reading about Helen and Lucas just once was not enough. I’m all about the character connection and I made an instant connection with the two mains. Big time.

The Early Buzz:

The very first bit of buzz I heard about this book was about the cover. Everyone had instant cover love. I don’t think I’ve heard one bad word about the gorgeous cover for the U.S. edition.

Then came the talk about it being a retelling of the Greek myths. When the buzz started on this book it was still early days for this trend. So everyone was talking. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on this story that promised a modern day look at the Greeks. After the success of the Percy Jackson books, readers couldn’t wait to discover a story with a female main character.

But what seemed to excite everyone the most was the idea of a tragic love story. Star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet, Edward and Bella. This book was going to have it all for fans who missed those sparkly vamps, who sigh at the idea of eternal love, and who believe that in books true love only exists if the characters are willing to give up their lives for the one they love.

Fizzle or Sizzle:

The majority say “sizzle.

Starcrossed has two camps. Those who love it, and those who don’t. The “love it’s” are the largest group. According to Goodreads, Starcrossed’s average rating is currently 4.16 stars and on Amazon it’s coming in at 4 stars. (Amazon doesn’t round.)

The sizzle buzz: Addictive, enchanting characters, strong heroine, swoon-worthy hero, twists and turns, cover love, the mythology.

The fizzle buzz: Insta-love, too long, slow beginning, narration/writing style, Helen, too similar to the Meyers books.

What Happened?

As always, time passes. At a month past release date the blogger buzz has died down. But the reader buzz is still going strong.

As word of mouth spreads, which seems to be overwhelmingly positive, more and more readers are picking up this book. It’s pretty hard to miss on the shelves. The cover is beautiful and at least in the stores I’ve been to, it has prominent shelf and table placement.

It will be interesting to see if the buzz on this book lasts until the early buzz starts for the next book. With the book tours, author signings, publisher’s marketing and publicity efforts, and with that torturous cliffhanger ending, it just might happen.

What’s Left to Buzz About?

The main characters. Lucas…and Helen. While this book has so much more, first and foremost it’s all about them. The two ill-fated lovers, with a destiny that’s beyond their control. How tragic and awesome is that?

The love story. It may not start out as one, but the early intensity is electrifying. And volatile and different. And the wait for it to turn from hate to love is of the “hold your breath until it happens” variety.

The twists and turns. And there are quite a few. They keep this story exciting. They leave you on edge and keep you guessing as to what will happen next.

Buzzworthy?

Absolutely. It’s got all the makings of a book and series that will be extremely popular – a tragic love story, a strong female main character, a super-hottie male love interest, surprise twists, a cliffhanger ending, an elaborate world, a variety of characters including a feisty best friend, and much still to be revealed about their enemies and their fate.

What do I say?

This book is ultra crush-worthy. I loved how the mythology formed the basis for this tale. I loved each and every twist and turn. But it was ultimately the characters that made this story an off-the-charts read for me. I adore Lucas and Helen. And I so totally love Hector.

Too long? No. I didn’t even notice the book’s length. Not with either of the two reads. Length was not a problem for me.

Similarities? I’m not blind. If I strip this story down as others have, I can see the comparison to that other series about vampires. But I didn’t feel like I was reading those other books when I read this one, aside from when I read the initial discussions about their wealth and the remoteness of their house.

But when I was reading that other series, I ended up making comparisons to the classics that were referenced in each book. Yet in this series, probably because I’m not as familiar as I should be with the Greek myths, I didn’t feel as if I was reading a copy of a classic tale. If you want to know just what I thought, here’s my review for Starcrossed.

Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?

Buy it, buy it, buy it! How could you not want that gorgeous book on your shelf. Oh yeah, and it’s a must read and great start to this new series.

***

Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

Posted in Book Buzz, Fiction | Tags: , , ,

25 Responses to “Book Buzz: Starcrossed”

  1. I am really hoping to go to my local bookstore tonight to grab a copy of this book. I have been going the last two weeks because they say they have 3 instock but they are no where to be found so I checked today and one has been sold so I am hoping they have found them because I really want to read this. It sounds so good :)

  2. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Cindy – I have a feeling people hide them behind other books until they can afford to buy. When I was a child I used to do that…

    I hope you get a chance to read it soon, because it’s a wonderful story. Very easy to fall in love with the characters and my much preferred way of reading the Greek myths.

  3. wish I had this book to discuss with you but the buzz is strong girl…and if it is just as you say it is then I’ll be loving and buzzing about it months after I get to read it! lol^^

  4. Caitlin says:

    I actually really hated this book…I couldn’t finish it. Don’t get me wrong, I can see why it’s so popular but for me it was too similar to that series, and Helen annoyed me completely. I also thought some parts were really, really silly.

  5. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Alba – Oh no, you don’t have it to read yet? That’s terrible. We may just have to fix that… How can you NOT own this amazing book.

    @Caitlin – Thanks so much for your comment. I love getting another viewpoint. It’s a big part of the reason for these discussion posts!

    Though I will admit that I liked that series other series too. Not necessarily the writing. But the characters. Actually I liked the unfinished novel better than any of the completed ones… And in that one Bella ticked me off with her indecision.

    I just saw the characters so differently in Starcrossed when I read it. But I know where you’re coming from, Helen kinda like Bella, Lucas, kinda like Edward and Hector kinda like that other brother, oh what’s his name… the big good-natured guy… I just didn’t feel the similarities while reading, but when pointed out to me after I get it.

    And there are those who did, like you, hate Helen, which is why she’s listed in the “fizzle” section. I liked Helen. Me, I couldn’t stand the pesky friend. Again, can’t remember her name, but lots of people loved her.

    If she knew what she knew, why didn’t she say something, and she’s just too pushy. But, I also like when I can’t stand a character. Helps keep the reading interesting for me.

    And as you may know…I am a sucker for a love story. And I was kind of fascinated by the whole Greek element. (Again, I am ashamed that I didn’t really enjoy studying the actual Greeks in school, but this piqued my interested.)

    Starcrossed takes on a life of its own somewhere in the middle and twists away from the similarities, but if it’s not something you enjoy, then I definitely don’t push for sticking it out unless it’s an agreed-upon review. There are so many books out there to love, why spend time on ones we don’t.

    I’ve given up on a few that just didn’t do it for me, too.

    I really feel that love and hate books are buzzable. Just look at how many people despise the sparkly vamps series. Yet they’re hugely popular and talked about all the time.

    It’s those forgettable, lower-to-middle of the road books (not saying I’ve read any)that miss the spotlight.

    Thanks again for your comment. It gave me another chance to ramble on. I just love discussion!

    I wonder what would happen if I did a buzz on the House of Night series actually…

  6. blackplume says:

    I haven’t read this yet coz I’m getting mixed reviews for this one. The cover is really catchy and the mythology sounds interesting but the more reviews I read the lower it goes in my pile.

  7. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Blackplume. If you aren’t sure, you should check out the 99 page free peek online. You’ll get an idea if you think the beginning is too slow or if it might be something you’d like.

    I fell in love with this book. I think it read really quickly. I didn’t find the beginning slow. But I really am a visual reader. (Which is why I’m a super slow reader.)

    Everything I read turns itself into images, so even though I’m reading the words, I’m actually creating the world in front of my eyes. This book allowed me to do that, so that my surroundings completely evaporated.

    When books don’t let me do that, where I’m well aware I’m sitting in a chair, or lying on my couch, that I have issues with them. Time just sailed while I read this.

    And if the world I create in my mind is different from another book’s world, then I don’t see the similarities for other books. Okay, that probably sounds odd… But it’s like I’m watching a movie, almost. And I didn’t visualize the same pictures as I did for those vamps.

  8. Ana Lucía says:

    you really love this book…I can’t buzz about because I haven’t read it and like Blackplume said I have read mixed reviews…but if you say is that good I bet it is :)

    I did the same when I was little, I hide the things I wanted…I still do hahahaha

  9. Deea says:

    OMG!!! Almost two days without Internet and look what I’m missing here! *cries* Congrats on your 500 blog followers and 300 Facebook likes, you really deserve them and many more because you’re AWESOME and same is your blog! And whoa… that’s a hell of a giveaway! *suffers a heart attack* Alba, Ana Lucia, hope I didn’t miss the party!:(

    Anyway, to the point of this post. I’m so glad you chose Starcrossed for your Buzz post, I could talk about it forever!:D

    I loved this book! And even with the fizzle parts, I think Starcrossed is just impossible to ignore – you either love it or you hate it, but it definitely gets to you one way or another. That’s why it’s so popular, right?:D

    I’m also a visual reader, and I was so captivated by the story that I didn’t even feel like I was reading anymore but that I was right there the middle of the action with the characters. Angelini’s world-building is absolutely amazing! Not to mention the characters – I think they are my favorite part of the book – they seem so real, unique, strong and they are so different from one another and they complete the story perfectly. They made me wish I had friends or siblings like them!*dreamy sigh*

    I think Lucas and Helen’s ‘encounter’ was a bit forced. I mean, that first scene with the two of them and the ‘now I hate you and want to kill you, now I love you and want to jump you’ thing seemed a little… over the top for me. But not enough to make me not like them and their tragic, romantic story! They’re so adorable!<3

    I also loved the mythology and I wish I were more familiar with the original stories. But I read them too long ago and they were school work, so…

    And on the similarities part: I noticed them too, especially because I tend to pay too much attention to small details, so I couldn't miss them here. BUT… they didn't feel offensive or annoying to me or anything. They just where there in the back of my mind and I was too busy loving the story to pay them more attention.

    *whispers* I liked Helen a little better than Bella, and sometimes I felt like Angelini was showing Meyer how things should have been said and done in the first place. Especially with Lucas' family and the way she portrayed all the cousins. BTW, Hector is awesome, but I love Jason!:D

    OMG, this comment is going to be longer than your post. LOL That's what happens when I'm Internet deprived.

    xoxo

  10. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Ana – I did. It was so charming and the love story is what got me. I love how they started out hating each other. It was so perfect that it changed. And talk about one of those cruel love stories where destiny gets in the way. Ugh. So cruel!

    As I’ve said before, I don’t take a critical eye to books. If I do that, pick apart every detail, I just won’t have a good time reading. I go in hoping every book I read will be magical.

    Some aren’t, sadly. Some books keep making me look away, get up, want to read something else. Some get me annoyed, not with a pesky character, but just with the inconsistencies or other small details. I just didn’t find that with this book. I was happily immersed.

    So for me, it worked!

    Hahaha, good to know you hide books so that others at the store don’t take them…just in case I decide to do that as a grown person one day. :)

  11. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Deea – I’m so glad you loved this book too. I thought the world-building was amazing. And I liked Helen way better than Bella. She was just a stronger character, more decisive. Bella was wishy-washy. But I did like those books. I just think this author had a bit more skill at crafting the story.

    I love volatile love/hate stories in books. It felt a bit rushed, I would have loved more hate time before love time, but I totally understood the insta-hate. Of course that might have made the book closer to 700 pages!

    And I loved the fact that this book was longer, like the Cassandra Clare books. Not all books should be long, but this one felt so quick that I just didn’t realize it.

    I haven’t read the finished copy yet so I’m curious if anything has changed…

    It’s odd what small details people recall when reading. I usually notice if someone said something inconsistent or if they’re wearing something different to what they were before. Or especially if they’ve put something down, like a purse or a phone and then walk out without the author ever saying they picked it up. I keep thinking, “but you left your phone/purse.”

    But I miss details like similarities to other books, unless the plot follows in exactly that order where the rhythm is the same and I feel like it’s like the author used the timeline or outline from another book and placed their plot and characters on top.

    Sadly I’ve seen a few instances. Not too much since I started blogging, though. And at least it was following the classics so may have been unintentional rather than the idea that if that formula/order worked, I’ll try it for mine.

    I enjoy books that are written because the author wants to write, loves to write, and loves his/her characters, not one where it seems as if they’re writing just to turn a profit. *cough, cough* I am Number Four *cough, cough.*

    I’m so glad you left a long comment. Feel free to keep talking. These posts are meant for discussions. I just wish I had a way to make the comments easier to read…

    And I love Jason, but what took a bit away from him was that he liked that pesky girl. I know I shouldn’t fault him, because she is feisty, but do you really push your friend just to see if any injury comes to them? So not cool.

    I know people like her a lot, but she reminds me way too much of someone I knew who annoyed me to no end. So I just can’t like her. Poor, Claire was it?

  12. I love this book so much! I have both a Signed ARC and a hardback and I really want to get the hardback signed, I”m just waiting for Josephine to come to SEattle. I have my fingers crossed for that day. I also of course had to participate in the Toga contest, it is awesome. You should enter in it too!

  13. Deea says:

    I tend to be too critical with the books I read (must be my philologist background – I grew up reading, reviewing, criticizing, analyzing books) so I always find something to complain about, but I really try to turn off that part of my brain when reading for pleasure.LOL I’m working on it!

    I agree with you about Helen – though she had her weaknesses, she wasn’t as whiny as Bella. Of course, I loved that series too, but from very different reasons.

    Anyway, I’m glad Starcrossed was such a long book – and yet, it wasn’t enough! I loved ‘spending’ time in that world! And in that homey atmosphere at the Delos mansion… <3

    LOL You may be right, but I still like Claire.:D Ok, she may be nosy and pushy, but she's also so adorable and caring!

    I wonder if there will be any any ARCs or eGalley's for Starcrossed #2, that ending was killer!

    Umm… is there a way to be notified every time a new comment is posted? Like in blogger?:P

  14. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Kristina – Ooh, it would make a perfect matched set. If I had my car the other day I would have gone to Pasadena where she had a signing. I just live kind of far from there now. Hopefully she’ll go up to Seattle soon.

    She has another contest going on now, which I want to check out. The toga contest sounds like a lot of fun, but, we’ll see… The last thing my boss wants to find is a picture of me in a toga on the internet :D

    @Deea – I have always stayed away from criticizing books. I actually am very critical about films though. My family and I always discussed and picked apart films, so I am really critical, from cinematography, to the different shots, to dialog, to fonts on the credits, I am very particular. So I know what you mean.

    I refuse to be critical of books unless they force me to be.

    Both series are character-driven which is what makes them immensely popular. I loved the love story in the vampire series. It was so romantic. I read those books a few times. My first YA reads and the first vampire books I’d read since Anne Rice.

    I really want more time with Helen and Lucas, too. And after that ending I’m dying for Dreamless I believe it is!

    I’m not so sure about the “caring” part. Haha. I felt more like she just wanted not to be left out. She is feisty and stubborn and I don’t hate her and I’m glad about her and Jason, but I don’t think I’d have had Helen’s patience with her if she was my friend.

    I would love it if there were eGalley’s. That would be amazing…the not having to wait an entire year part.

    I’m checking on that comment thing. I know WordPress has something, but not sure how it works. I’ll try to test some things out one night late and let you know.

  15. You can always dress up a pet, friend or stuffed animal in a toga. I enter her swag giveaway. I really would love to meet her one day, I have my fingers crossed.

  16. Sharon J. says:

    Oh I really liked this book! And that was really surprising because usually I hate books with insta-love, kind of uh..flat characters and changing up (or in some cases butchering) of Greek Mythology. I think that like what you and the other commenters said it was in her characterization and world-building that made this book so good- especially how she does it so well with seemingly simple writing. But I’m scared I’ll be disappointed with Dreamless now that the surprise factor is gone.

    Now I just have to get the US hardcover version of this book because the cover we have in Aus is nowhere near as nice as the US one. And while on that topic and because you mentioned the author doing signings is there any way you know how to get signed copies of some books to ship internationally? A website maybe? Only a few authors ever come down here and being a little out of sync sometimes with the writery world I miss some. Like Cassandra Clare!! Argh how could I!! You guys have it so lucky in the US.

  17. Ohh a book buzz post I can join in on! It’s funny, I didn’t even notice the similarities to Twilight until people started talking about it. You know that I loved this book so much. I want to join the Delos family… so bad. They’re awesome and my heart hurts for Hector and the predicament he is in near the end of the book. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. Ah. So much I could talk about!

  18. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Kristina – I might dress up a friend… that’s a great idea. The pet would not like it – I tried that once… not a good idea… and I don’t have my stuffed animals anymore. :( I moved too many times and let’s just say my stuffy guys didn’t like it.

    But I may beg the only friend who might do it… and then convince her not to enter the contest. :D

    @Sharon – I’m hoping in Dreamless there will be some elements of surprise. We still don’t know what the bad guy is going to do or what will happen with Hector. I have a feeling there will be a few more twists and turns. At least I really hope so.

    I thought it was so awesome when Cassandra Clare came to Australia. I heard everyone was totally crazed!

    I think some of the Indie bookstores may ship internationally. You can probably email them and ask. There would probably be a charge, but I know that Richelle Mead, Maggie Stiefvater and Jeri Smith-Ready all have online indie stores that you can email to inquire.

    If you want to know some of the websites, email me at fiktshun[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll send you the links!

    @Kaitlyn – I only felt that one bit when they talked about the family and the remote house. I was like, hey, they had that in the Meyers books. But I didn’t think of Helen in any way like Bella, and I really like Lucas so much more.

    Oh my gosh, I know! Hector was so awesome. I loved his personality in the series. I hope that doesn’t change. Oh, and totally feel free. I kind of feel like if people are checking on the comments they must have read the book so it isn’t spoilery.

  19. well yeap, I blame it on my whole country for not bringing me more books to read, share, and talk about I miss tons and tons of oportunities of getting newly released books over here…and even if I do manage to order a few from time to time it completely leaves me without $$ and have to wait months to finally have them at home! lol but I’m dying to read this book keep the buzz going!!^^

  20. Sharon J. says:

    Thanks for replying Rachel!  I’ll go check out some websites you suggested myself because you’re probably super busy writing an awesome post everyday (I’ve already said how amazing that is in another comment right?) so I won’t add to your load. 

    And by not having surprise in Dreamless I meant not having the surprise I had in Starcrossed where it turned out to be good. If and when I do read Dreamless my expectations are probably going to be very high because I can’t help it! 

    After reading your and Kaitlyn’s comments I wanted to add that I actually didn’t like Hector, he was my least favorite of the ‘good guys’. He seemed kinda rude, hotheaded, arrogant and violent though the scene with Helen’s cestus was kinda funny….. but put me further off his character.  Regardless I still felt sorry for his situation at the end. 

  21. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Sharon – Thank you so much. :D My expectations for Dreamless are so super high. I hope the sequel is even better than Starcrossed! I always love when they just get better and better, and this series definitely has that potential.

    Ah, poor Hector. He is definitely a hot-head, and totally rude, but that’s why I like him. But Helen put him in his place.

    That end made him totally sympathetic. Poor Hector!

  22. Raychelle says:

    I absolutely loved Starcrossed! I regret not knowing more about the original stories, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying them. I really enjoyed these characters. Everyone has great comments about why they like or dislike the characters and I can relate. I do however love each of them. Hector is by far my favorite. Of course I hated him in the beginning, but he really grew on me. Jason and Claire are quite the match. Lol. That relationship will be interesting. She is most definitely a feisty character. Helen and Lucas, what is there to say. I love how their relationship unfolded. I didn’t notice the length of the book either as I am also a very imaginative reader. I didn’t think I read slow until I started blogging and saw how fast other people read. Oh well, better for me since I create the scenes as I read. I have not read The Meyers series and I’m not sure I want to either. It just doesn’t sound that good. I dont know maybe one day. As far as Starcrossed being similar, I think many books are similar to others and that is not (always) intentional. Many writers have similar ideas or develop characters in similar ways just because that’s their style not because they are ripping someone off or trying to attract that audience. No matter which came first, even if they are similar I would always be drawn to Starcrossed more. I felt that connection while reading it and couldn’t put it down. It made vacation rather difficult. I can’t wait for Dreamless and to meet the new characters. I hope the buzz on Starcrossed will remain until it closer to Dreamless is available.

  23. Fiktshun009 says:

    @Raychelle – I think I regret not knowing the history a little bit, too. I think it would have made it even more exciting.

    Hector is my favorite, too! Poor Hector though… I love characters that I start off hating that I then grow attached to, versus ones I start of loving and end up hating.

    Jason and Claire are an interesting couple. He has to have the patience of a saint to deal with her.

    Oh, hearing how people read a book or two in a day, wow. There’s no way I can do that. Even if I didn’t read that slowly, I just can’t put a book down and immediately pick up a new story. It takes me hours to disentangle myself from the world. I can, however, start re-reading the book again immediately.

    I read the Meyers series before I started blogging. It was the first YA books I’d read and I’d only done so based on a recommendation from a friend. I did enjoy them. The characters more than anything. And I loved the unfinished story more than the entire series. I wish some of my favorite writers would write books from another character’s perspective. Like I’d love a Starcrossed novel re-telling the events from book one from Lucas or Hector’s perspective. It would be cool to fill in those gaps from their viewpoints.

    I agree with you completely. Everything is similar. But this was not the same. I didn’t feel it was ripped off or copied. The characters felt like different characters. Helen was Helen and Lucas was Lucas. I hope this buzz continues and I hope that means excerpts from Dreamless because I really can’t wait!

    Great addition to the discussion!

  24. This book just became avaiable through Library2Go after reading this post I thinkni may have to bump this one up on my TBR.

    These Book Buzz posts are fantastic. I love the array of information on can glean from reading the post even if you haven’t read the book yet.

    I have a few suggestions for Book Buzz: The Fallen Series or stand a lone Imaginary Girls.

  25. Fiktshun009 says:

    Thanks so much Gina! I would love to take a look at Imaginary Girls to see where things stand with the buzz. I enjoyed that book a lot but noticed that not everyone did. I’ll definitely add that to the book buzz future discussion posts.

    For the Fallen series do you mean Sniegoski’s or Lauren Kate’s? I have read the first two in Lauren Kate’s, but haven’t read “The Fallen” series by Sniegoski yet.

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