Juliet Immortal

Juliet ImmortalBy Stacey Jay

Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

“These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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.

Goodreads Summary

With the feeling of warm blood trickling down her face, Juliet Capulet Montague awakens in the body of high school junior Ariel Dragland. Ariel’s been on the date from hell with Satan himself – well, a jerk from school who took a bet that he could have sex with “the freak” – and she grabbed the wheel and launched his car off the highway. It looks like Dylan’s actually dead in driver’s seat until Ariel – now inhabited by Juliet – sees him breathing. Her annoyance with the creep turns into a desperate need to get out of the car when she sees that Dylan isn’t just Dylan anymore – it looks like her old love turned nemesis Romeo has found both her and his new host. With him chasing her like a madman, Ariel finds safety with a boy named Ben who she feels a strange connection with.

Juliet has been sent into Ariel’s body, to that specific time and place to make sure a pair of soul mates finds their way to each other. Ariel is very attracted to Ben and he seems to be very interested in her too but the following day, Juliet sees that she’s found her pair of soul mates – her best friend Gemma and Ben. In order to finish her job, she has to break her own heart and convince Ben that she’s not the one for him, all while trying to keep Romeo from doing harm to all of them.

I’ve really been anticipating this book for a while but once I had it in my hands, was half dreading reading it for fear that it wouldn’t be as good as I’d hoped. It was better. It wasn’t always just Good Juliet, Bad Romeo. Because of the seven hundred years the two of them had been working and chasing each other, there was an extra maturity and depth to their characters and really – it’s an insane, interesting, twisty version of Romeo and Juliet!  How can that not be a good starting point?

What Juliet and Romeo are and how they came to be aren’t spoilers, since it’s all explained mostly from Juliet’s perspective almost immediately. Having been given a promise of eternal life and happiness, Romeo stabbed and killed Juliet shortly after their wedding. Instead of following his path with his maker, Juliet was given the choice to become an Ambassador of Light. She travels from body to body, ensuring that soul mates find each other and cement their bond. Romeo chose to become a Mercenary. His job is to chase Juliet and try to break up the soul mates before she can finish. Because of their personal connection, he’s also on a mission to chase her down and try to kill her again. Juliet and Romeo contact their makers during their jobs through mirrors but this time neither can.

The body Juliet enters this time is fragile and damaged. Ariel has been physically scarred by an accident when she was a child and as the result of overreactions to the scarring, has retreated into a shell and been labeled a “freak” that few people will talk to. Her only friend Gemma is abusive, she’s been railroaded by her mother into doing something she doesn’t want and then along comes Ben. It may be Juliet inside of her for now, but the external Ariel is what he accepts and her talents are what he appreciates. Ben has some issues of his own that got him in trouble and landed him in his brother’s house but Juliet saw beneath the event to the underlying sense of honor and the goodness of his heart that made him act. They make a perfect couple but they’re not destined for each other.

It didn’t take a map to see their polar opposites in their supposed soul mates Romeo and Gemma. Selfish, abusive, erratic, without honor or scruples and prone to violence, it’s inexplicable that they could be matched.

It’s true though that this isn’t all perfect Juliet and horrible Romeo, although he is pretty rotten until very, very late in the book. Juliet struggles with her duty to the Ambassadors especially not knowing if this is the time she’ll be forced into a barely-there existence in the mist this time or what. She’s angry that she’s been in service for so long and not allowed happiness when she was the one who was murdered.

Romeo meanwhile is finally getting that he made the wrong choice. Time’s running out and there are things going seriously, grossly wrong for him. He’s pulling out all the stops to make it right – or at least his version of right. This was really a story where you’re reading and thinking one thing and you get to a point near the end where some things you thought you figured out were wrong and others went in a different direction.

There were some things that could have dropped my rating for this that I didn’t think were that bad but deserve some mention anyway. I’m not a huge fan of insta-love but considering this is a take-off of Romeo and Juliet, well, how can I complain that much? The other is that the final chapter is really not good. Not horrible as in, leave it off because the book will be so much better without it. But not good as in it would have been so much better if it had been written with the same characters somewhere else. It was corny, cheesy, schmaltzy and utterly unlike the entire book that came before it. I gave it a pass because it was only one chapter. If it had been one more it seriously might have dropped this from an A to a B+.

My Summary: This is a wonderful book if you’re willing to take a classic and let it get a little warped. There’s still a couple too impossibly in love for things ever to work, just add in a slightly deranged Romeo on the hunt for his Juliet, mix in a little mystery and a dose of horror and you have a definite recommended read.

My Rating: A

Barbara

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Comments

  1. Does this end happy? I can't tell from the review, and now I'm nervous. lol I'll still read it though, because you liked it so much. I just want to be forewarned if it doesn't have a happily ever after…

  2. lol – corny and cheesy ought to have been the giveaway. 🙂 Well, yes there's an HEA – I can't stand books that don't. But it's just weird. It could have been much better. And if you want a spoiler, you'll have to beg, minion. 😀

  3. LOL I knew you would get into the spirit of this minion thing. Geez, not even a week in and you're already making me beg for things. 😉

  4. I've seen the cover around, but never really read any reviews yet. Yours is very complete and makes the book seem like a highly unusual Romeo and Juliet story. Very intriguing.

  5. Hi Sarah! Thank you – it's a really good book and worth reading. I love the traditional Romeo and Juliet story but still thought this was such a good twist on it.

  6. I have wondered about this book. Thanks for the great review. I'll have to check it out!Steph

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