31 January 2012

Juliet Immortal: a mini-review

Stacey Jay has posited a unique re-examination of Shakespeare's immortal lovers: what if Shakespeare's story is a fake?  What if Romeo killed Juliet in a bid for immortality, Juliet being offered a chance to "live" by joining the other side in a war for soul mates?  In Jay's YA novel Juliet Immortal, Romeo and Juliet cross paths many times over the years until this most recent shift when everything goes awry.  Juliet falls for the boy she is supposed to save but Romeo has plans to reunite as well....

This wasn't a knock out of the park for me.   I LOVE the concept of this novel.   I really do - it's a fresh re-imagining of the Romeo and Juliet story with a paranormal twist, great layering with the school musical as a side-plot.   But Juliet/Ariel is really the only fully-formed character - Romeo's motivations weren't apparent to me, just an angsty, why-can't-I-get-what-I-want 400 year old teenager.  Even Ben doesn't have much depth, just a good-hearted guy with a pseudo-bad rep.  While I liked the ending it would have been stronger if there hadn't obviously been a set-up for the sequel (which I believe comes out in the fall, Romeo Redeemed or something like that.

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