Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: Juliet Immortal

Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Delacort Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: The most tragic love story in history . . . Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

Juliet Immortal has an interesting premise. It’s both a retelling and a continuation of a story that most of us know very well.

After Romeo betrays Juliet to gain immortality from the Mercenaries, or the agents of dark, she is recruited to work for the Ambassadors, the agents of light. As an immortal, Romeo is sent to couples who are destined to be soul mates and convince them to choose immortality over love by killing each other. Juliet is sent to the same couple but her job is to convince them to love, not kill, each other.

Juliet has a really tough job. Not only does she have to physically and emotionally fight Romeo (who is always trying to kill her, again), her mission is further complicated by the body of the girl she temporarily inhabits. Prior to Juliet’s soul moving in, Ariel is an emotionally damaged girl with low self esteem. I love that Juliet works to make Ariel’s life better, to improve the relationships with Ariel’s loved ones. I also love how this story is told from Juliet’s perspective and she is the hero, not the victim in the story. Not everything or everyone is as they seem initially, and there are some nice twists in the book that I was not expecting.

While I like many things about the story, I’m not crazy about the insta-love in the book and the speed at which the entire story takes place. I do understand that the story mirrors Romeo and Juliet which happens fairly quickly as well, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I love Ben’s character and I see why he and Juliet like each other, but again the all consuming love after a few days is wearing thin on me. Why do the events of so many YA novels take place in a week or less? I also thought the ending of Juliet Immortal was a bit contrived.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and Jay’s writing. I like the original take on a classic and think anyone who enjoys YA will like this more Juliet empowered version of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Content: Kissing, sexual situations, mild profanity and violence


Angel Snyder said...

Great review! I am also annoyed at how the main characters of YA books seem to just fall in love with each other in just a matter of days! Really? Sigh.
Anyway... I still can't wait to read this book! This and Anna Dressed In Red are on the top of my list!

Jade said...

The retelling of a classic in this way must have been interesting. To make Romeo and Juliet bitter enemies instead of star-crossed lovers is a unique perspective. But by your review it seems somethings were a bit lost. While I'm not the biggest fan of insta love either, there are some books where it works. Unfortunately they are few and far between. I much prefer a friends or acquaintances to love story. They are usually mroe interesting. Still, it would be fun to read a new take on Romeo and Juliet.

Christy (Love of Books) said...

I think this book sounds so interesting. I'm going to have to look past the inta-love thing and give the book a try, because I don't think I can pass this one up.

Bookworm1858 said...

I feel like the instalove and speed have to be due to the connections to R&J...at least I really hope so because otherwise it bothered me too.

Christy @TheReaderBee said...

The insta-love really got to me as well. I liked the characters, but they just moved a bit too fast for me. :) This was my first read by Stacey Jay, and I'm definitely interested in checking out more. :) Great review!

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

I just finished reading this... can't wait to review it. I totally agree with you about the insta-love, but honestly, that's what Romeo and Juliet are famous for, so it didn't surprise me.

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

This seems like a very different but interesting take on Shakespeare's classic. I think it's always dangerous to redo something that great in the first place, but it seems fairly good!

Omg, the insta-love is wearing thin on me too. I swear if I read one more book like it, it's getting chucked out my window! lol


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