Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

***Spoiler Alert***

Author: Douglas Rees
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: September 27, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Source: NetGalley

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. WAYpast. Cars amaze him--CARS! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star--crossed...

As I read this book, I kept thinking, 'Yes! This is going to make four or five stars! I am loving this idea, the characters, the flow!' Then, the book dove...hard. Let me explain.

What a great plot! Girl wants the role of Juliet (what actress doesn't?). Girl casts a spell to get role after bum audition (what girl wouldn't?). Girl gets hot Shakespeare from the past instead (what girl couldn't live with that?). It's a sweet idea!

Miranda was not my favorite female lead character. Her character seemed flat and it was difficult to get a connection. In other reviews, bloggers have suggested that it was the fact that the author is male, so writing this from a female's perspective was awkward. I kind of agree to that. He seemed to put his effort into the male characters more than Miranda's. He did a great job with Edmund! I really enjoyed his persona, his passion, and his spark! My favorite was definitely Drew, though. Such a sweet, head-over-heels in love boy. The best friend that was always there. I think these two saved the book for me.

The biggest downfall was towards the end. I was happy with the explanation of Edmund's time travel to be magic. Bringing into the factor science experiments, battery-water....blah blah blah. It lost me. Then I actually laughed at the whole phone app thing. Really? Magic was more believable. It got way too confusing and too quickly. It was quite the let down.

On the romance-side of things, I did not like the battle of relationships. Edmund was a player. Period. It's the time-period he came from. For Miranda to just take him later on seemed implausible. He's dirty in more ways that just needing a good bath. It was obvious from the beginning that Drew had been in love with her. The way it all played out did not make me happy. Miranda was seconds for Edmund and Drew for MIranda. Ick.

In all, I gave three stars just because this story has such good promise. It didn't make even a fraction more because it just faltered in the end. I would love to get your opinions on this story.


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