Saturday, November 26, 2011

Of Shakespeare(s), Star-Crossed Lovers, & the Theater

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
I’m Juliet.
At least, I wanted to be.
So I did something stupid to make it happen.
Well, stupid and wonderful.

    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....

Will Romeo steal her heart before time steals him away?

A cute read. Seriously, I was grappling with how to describe The Juliet Spell and those were the words that came to mind. The Juliet Spell is like a a truffle: sweet and light. There's no paranormal drama, no dystopian society, and there isn't ridiculous relationship drama. For readers looking for something sweet and unique, this is the book for you! Anyone on a Shakespeare kick or fulfilling their theater obsession will enjoy this book. And hey, if you're enjoying some time traveling/bending books pick this one up!

The theater kids are spot on. I did talented theater and I chuckled at just how accurate Douglas was about drama kids. Miranda is great: spunky, driven, funny, and smart. The book is about the theatrical production being put on, so if you don't like that kind of stuff be warned. I liked the odd friendship of Drew and Bobby, even better was the trio of Bobby, Drew, and Edmund better. Of course the action leading up to that particular friendship seemed a little to easily mended, but I like it enough to overlook the almost unrealistic uniting. 

Speaking of Edmund Shakeshaft (or Shakespeare), he is a hoot! I wasn't gushing over Edmund. His complete fascination with the modern world and the way he talks just tickle me pink. I liked him and he's a character, but I never felt enamored with him. I think it's a good thing though, you know those time traveling stories always have tricks up their sleeves. I won't give away details but Edmund is dashing and I had a change of heart about him toward the end. I also enjoyed Douglas Rees' take on a certain brother of Edmund; there were some great moments featuring Will.

Speaking of characters, the adults in The Juliet Spell felt weird to me. I was okay with suspending reality with the time-travel, but some of the adults seemed a little unreal. Now parents don't normally have a powerful influence in YA books, but I had a hard time accepting Miranda's parents' behavior. Mrs. Hoberman is easier to believe than Mr. Hoberman- I mean changing his mind just like that? I guess it's possible, but I just found their acceptance of the time travel stuff and some of their decisions to be a little odd. Some of the adults in the book where just quirky, which may have been what threw me off a little.

Overall a charming read and I give it :


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