Author: Stacey Jay
Series: 2nd (Juliet Immortal)
Published: August 9th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Personal Copy
Description: 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. I Give This ....
I'm a huge Shakespeare fan, so there was really never any doubt that I would read this. It was just a matter of when. I finally picked it up, and really I'm glad I did because there are some interesting thoughts concerning the original tale of Romeo and Juliet.
Juliet is inhabiting the body of Ariel for most of this tale, while Romeo is Dylan. It's not overly confusing even though both character names are kind of used interchangeably. We get little bits and pieces of information concerning past lives, especially concerning the original life were they made their choice to become what they are. I really liked the idea that Romeo and Juliet are waring over true lovers souls. It's the ultimate battle between good and evil, although I found the idea that one soul could be corrupted to kill the other a little disheartening.
There are two points that I found extremely interesting about this story. First, that the bodies they are chosen to inhabit are already at ends with each other. Ariel is truly a broken soul. She has only one friend, if you count her as that, and often feels like her mother doesn't love her. It's no wonder that she agrees to go out with Dylan, who is only acting on a bet. But of course Ariel finds out and in an act of extreme anger, she sends their car off a cliff. Enter in Romeo and Juliet. Juliet's job is find the ones marked as true lovers according to the aura and help the realize their true feelings. Once they are marked as being truly in love, the power of their love is given to the Ambassadors of Light and there is no danger of them being tempted by the Mercenaries. That is what Romeo is.
I was a little surprised at Romeo at first. I expected someone heartless just from the description. But, those initial scenes in the canyon are that of a psychopath. So, yeah I was a little confused when Romeo suddenly switched to the idea of this being their shot to get out of the vows they took so many years ago. I don't blame Juliet for not believing him, I didn't. Which brings up my second point. The actual story of Romeo and Juliet. I think this book does an excellent job of highlighting the fact that it's a tragedy and not the ultimate romance. The very idea of the mercenaries is to snuff out that ultimate love. I think that why Romeo influenced Shakespeare into writing the tragedy, so that was what people could identified with. It gave Romeo an edge in the game.
Overall, I liked the book. But, there were times the storyline behind the Ambassadors and Mercenaries just got too complicated. The bigger picture behind what each group was doing just didn't make any sense to me. In the end, I didn't really think either group was inherently good or bad.