The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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....

The Juliet Spell was a story I enjoyed (for the most part). It's original, quirky, and I totally love Romeo and Juliet, so this was a great contemporary meets sci-fi "re-telling" (although it wasn't one). There were a couple of things I didn't like about the story though. Some that kind of took the interest away from the story and put me a little off-kilter.

Miri's character was strong– but to be honest, I thought she was just a little to obsessed with getting the role of Juliet and Edmund. Okay, I get the part about Edmund, but honestly, would I lust after the role so much that I would turn to magic in some desperate attempt to gain that part? No. I've auditioned several times for school plays. I have been turned down and in no circumstance (even if I really wanted the part) have I ever become so desperate to do anything. Disappointed? Maybe. But never desperate.
Another thing that kind of ticked me off was the fact that she ignored Drew for the most part and kept on going after Edmund (more on him later). HELLO. There's a perfectly nice guy, who is practically doing all the work for you. I just thought that her ignorance was unsettling.
Now, EDMUND. I will have to say, I really did like him. He was well-developed, stayed in character for the whole novel. His speech was authentic, and to my own knowledge seemed Shakespearean, so he probably was one of the most interesting characters. BUT as the story progressed, he become one of those boys. Ick. Who chased after the pretty shallow girl Vivian and wouldn't listen to Miri's warnings about her. Just a little sickening.

Drew was a really sweet character, but his long-winded explanations about time travel really lost me. Nothing much to say otherwise. Same goes with Bobby. I understand the whole jealously thing, but what I don't get was Miri's short-lived crush on him. That was just a bit weird.
Her parents were a little unsettling as well. Her mom quickly accepts the fact that Edmund is Shakespeare's brother and allows him to stay in the house, no questions asked. Not very realistic I must say. *SPOILER ALERT* and then her dad goes off to find himself, doesn't really pay much for child support and then BAM! Comes back to open arms. ...No comment.*SPOILER OVER*

But what I did love was the whole theatrical experience of it. As I said before, I really love Romeo and Juliet and have seen it live and all, but to read about all the work going into one major production was really interesting. As well as learning more about Shakespeare's plays. I've read Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar, and so I loved reading about some of the background and plot to the other plays, which I might give a go after reading this book :)
The ending was satisfying though I must say, all though it was on the sad side. I thought it ended well– so a great beginning, great ending, and only the middle bits were a bit iffy. Sounds like an alright story to me.

Overall, The Juliet Spell was one of those books that I'd been dying to read and had to put it off until recently. I enjoyed it immensely, and even though I felt the characters and story could have been developed better, it was enjoyable and didn't have any real "dry" spots. Give it a try– it's really worth a read! (especially if you're a Shakespeare fan...)

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  1. Hmm I was pretty apprehensive when I saw this one at B&N, so I'm kind of glad I didn't buy it.. Library time! I understand how you could be upset with the characters, I find that very disappointing! I'm glad you still were able to enjoy the book though. Have a fantastic day and thank you so much for this really awesome review! It's hard to be honest sometimes, you did a really great job. I appreciate it!
    -Katie @ Magic is in Words

  2. Hmm I was thinking of reading this. I'm glad you were able to like the story even though the characters were a bit under-developed. Not quite sure still if I'll take the chance to read it.


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