publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
released: August 9th, 2011
hardcover, 304 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: from publisher for honest review
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.
Over 700 years, Juliet and Romeo are pitted against each other in a war of love---Juliet fights to save the love between soulmates, while Romeo fights to destroy it. Juliet jumps from body to body and then has to figure out who the two soulmates are that she has to keep together. She lands in the body of Ariel, a girl who is a bit awkward and unself-assured due to a burn scar on her face and mother who has always made her feel self-conscious about it. I loved the way Juliet had to balance her actions between how she would react and how Ariel was expected to act, and the fact that with each life she overtook, she strove to make things better in that life, despite that not being her purpose for being there. It made for a very complex character. It was almost like reading a story told in both first and second person perspectives. I thought the romance was very sweet and I loved Ben's character---definitely not love at first site but a sort of instant easiness with each other that grew as they got to know each other, despite Juliet's efforts to hold back. I found the main plot twist concerning them to be predictable, but not in a way that completely ruined the story---more like you are just waiting for the characters to realize it, too.
There are some really great satisfying and heartfelt moments concerning Ariel and her mother and the intensity and conflict in the friendship between Juliet/Ariel and the best friend, Gemma was so infuriating as it needed to be. There are some really creepy moments and a good amount of violence and gore, which was slightly unexpected. Romeo made a fairly nasty villain, but his true intentions were always kind of unclear. Still, I found a few parts dragged for me and the details of the Mercenaries and the Ambassadors became a bit muddy and confusing.
Still, an interesting take on Romeo & Juliet! I recommend giving this one a try at your library.
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