Eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Laurent is living the American Dream. Born into a wealthy, socialite family with more opulent surroundings and material things than any girl could even fathom, Kaitlyn is the fresh, young face amidst a sea of morally-amiss Manhattan Debutantes. She is educated, poised, and on the outside - entirely virtuous. Her life, in short, is perfect.
Or so it would seem.
Inside the walls of her Upper East Side mansion, Kaitlyn is struggling. After her parents' divorce and her father's remarriage to a beautiful but otherwise utterly vapid woman, Kaitlyn quickly finds herself living in a realm of self-created fantasy, completely detached and entirely clashing with her new family – particularly, her classmate-turned-stepbrother, Marius. Arrogant and with a penchant for playing games, he is intrigued and infatuated by Kaitlyn's faux-chaste outer facade that she uses to cover an otherwise calloused heart.
When the two of them enter into into their final semester at Trinity Prep, and the buzz around campus is that a gorgeous new teacher has set foot in the classroom, Marius makes Kaitlyn a bet: seduce the man who is now her Literature teacher.
If she wins, she gets his trust fund. Money that she can use to finally escape a life that she has come to loathe.
If Marius wins...he gets her virginity.
When an initial spark turns into full-blown obsession, and her affections are inevitably returned – Kaitlyn learns that there are no actions without consequence, and some affairs are simply star-crossed.
I should say before anything else that I've never believed in love at first sight. But when I first saw him, something stirred inside of me. Immediate, utterly insufferable.
I had once claimed to not have a heart - to not feel things as those around me did.
Now it was all coming out at once; as if someone had sliced open my chest and extended my literal heart for the world to watch beating.
Luna Lacour says she loves classic literature and it shows in her writing. It is extremely lyrical. It's also very descriptive. A lot of the story is spent inside Kaitlyn's head, which wasn't always a great place to be. She was quite a solitary person and she carries a fair amount of baggage, so it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows in there. Normally when you read about a girl who comes from money, they are surrounded by friends, but that wasn't the case with Kaitlyn. There are no real friends to speak of. Until Tyler comes along. At first glance they are such opposites, but they find something in each other that they both need, and a fantastic friendship develops. I really loved Tyler. He's the type of friend that anyone would be lucky to have.
"It's a shameful thing you know, touching a student," he added. "I swear, I've never had these thoughts before. I was a proper well-intentioned man before I first saw you."
The author has forever in my mind stamped the picture of James Franco as Will. Him and his gorgeous smile are what I see when I picture Will and, if for nothing more than that, I loved him. But he was definitely more than that mental picture. To me, he came across as strong but he also had an underlying vulnerability that I couldn't help but be attracted to. At times he seemed much younger than his age, but I think that was because of that vulnerability.
Then there was Marius. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with him going on. I really didn't understand him and his motives until much later in the book, where he captured my attention a lot more.
There wasn't a lot of the story that was conducted in a strict learning environment so for the most part, I actually forgot that the relationship taking place before me was between a teacher and his student. Yes, there were portions of the book conducted in school, but Will didn't come across as one of those teachers standing at the front of the classroom, but more of a get in with the students type of teacher.
If I had to pick something that I would have liked done differently, it would have been the beginnings of the relationship between Kaitlyn and Will. One of the things that I love about this type of romance is how forbidden it is and I felt that Will gave in much too easily. There wasn't really a lot of wrestling with their feelings or the ethics of it all. They wanted, so they took. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story though. I just would have liked to see more of that initial struggle.
All in all, Star-Crossed was a great debut and I will definitely be reading more of Luna Lacour's writing in the future.
I had to have him, and I had to win. I had to win, but I had to have him.
4/5 Will Tennant Stars