The Juliet Spell

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Harlequin Teen
ISBN13: 9780373210398

2.5 Stars (rounded up to 3)

Goodreads Synopsis:
I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it-even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best-a Fame spell. Good idea, right?
Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.
Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and-ahem-maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him-cars! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

I'm a huge Shakespeare fan and have been since I was a child: I've read quite a few plays, I thoroughly enjoy going to see live performances of them, and I've never been much of a Romeo & Juliet fan. So I appreciated the fact that The Juliet Spell didn't treat it like THE BEST PLAY EVER WRITTEN!!!!!1

But it still didn't manage to cast its spell on me.

Reasons to Read:
  1. Descriptive Scenes:This was by far my favourite part of Douglas Rees' writing; his descriptions of the play as the characters were rehearsing literally jumped off the page for me. I was totally engrossed by them, and I could perfectly imagine seeing such an outstanding performance in real life. Those scenes were utterly captivating, and I was pleased that a book about a play was written well when dealing with said play.
  2. A marshmallow read:Why a marshmallow? It's light and fluffy. Sometimes, I find that you really need a book like that. A quick, sugary sweet read that doesn't require a lot of depth and isn't overwhelmed with symbolism and angst. Definitely chick lit, so if that's something you enjoy, then here's a pick for you.
Unfortunately, I don't really like marshmallows. And I had a few problems with The Juliet Spell by the end of it. It wasn't that the story was so improbable, because that doesn't bother me. Nearly all books I read are improbable. But what was improbable were the characters' reactions; they rarely seemed surprised or nervous by the bizarre events taking place.
And I really wasn't a fan of Miri. Her language was off with how often she ended her sentences with "man" and "dude".

Almost like she didn't have any female friends...
Oh, right. She didn't. In fact, she didn't seem to have any friends at all until this book came along. A few acquaintances, but it seemed like the author just forgot to write in friends for her outside of the people she interacted with during the rehearsals for Romeo & Juliet. Plus, she was kind of a doormat. She would get upset, and then just completely forgive and forget. Which would be admirable (I don't like long, drawn out angst and I think some of her reactions were mature) but for someone whose father abandoned her and her mother, as well as someone whose crush continually snubbed her, she didn't seem to care much.

I didn't see the ending coming from a mile away, because there really wasn't much of a lead up to it. And I didn't feel that it added very much to the story either.

But it is an interesting spin, and some of the writing was very effective. For those who enjoy simple reads and tidy endings, it may be worth picking up for you.

e-galley received from publisher via netGalley in exchange for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

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Belle said...

A "marshmallow read" - I love that term! I might have to borrow it :) It's a shame you didn't really like this one, I love the cover and concept.

Anonymous said...

Hahah! I love the "Marshmallow Read" reference. I'm glad I didn't pick this one up, I had a funny feeling about it.

Jess said...

hmm, I was thinking of checking this book out. Great review.

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