Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: Juliet

By Anne Fortier
Publication date: August 24, 2010

My review:

When her Great Aunt Rose passes away, Julie inherits a plane ticket and a key to a bank box with the cryptic message that her mother Diane had found a treasure in Italy before her tragic death years ago. Julie also discovers that her real name is Giulietta Tolomei and that she is named after an ancestor on whom Shakespeare’s Juliet is based. The Tolomei family and the Salimbeni family were mortal enemies for centuries although now they are supposedly at peace. Eva Salimbeni has even befriended Julie and tries to encourage her to date her handsome godson Alessandro. As Julie searches for clues she is followed by danger and she can’t help but wonder if there really is a curse on her family and if the Salimbenis are involved.

Juliet combines mystery, romance, and Shakespeare to produce a tale that is entertaining if a little uneven.  The idea that Romeo and Juliet were a real young couple who lived in Siena was intriguing. The story switched back and forth between Julie’s story in modern Siena and Juliet’s story. The details of life in Siena were fascinating and I enjoyed reading about the various places that Julie visits.

I found the main characters to be likeable, particularly Giulietta, and I thoroughly enjoyed the modern romance even if it was predictable. Of course with Romeo and Giulietta the outcome is well known but there were a few surprises. Julie could be a little frustrating at times when she did not see the obvious but I still liked her character. What bothered me about the characterization was the strange way in which one of the modern characters seems to undergo a drastic change in behavior without explanation. I also thought the pacing plodded along at times. Still I found this to be an interesting take on the story of Romeo and Juliet and there definitely a few twists I wasn’t expecting. The combination of romance, history, art, and mystery will likely appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Readalikes: O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell, The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier, The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig


  1. Romeo and Juliet is my least favorite from Shakespeare, but this book sounds really nice. I like how it switches from modern times to the past. Fantastic review. :D

  2. wow, this sounds like an interesting book! And I kind of got it mixed up with O, JULIET until you mentioned that they were separate books :P
    Very nice review!

  3. I've had this book for a while and I know I should read it with all these great reviews.

  4. I know what you mean about drastic, unexplainable changes. Drives me up a wall. Like Adriana, not a big fan of Romeo and Juliet either. Great review though!

  5. I like the idea of the two characters past and present and the mystery. Sounds like a decent read and I loved your honesty in this review.


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