On Sale 8.17.2010
The story begins with one Julie Jacobs. Julie has been entranced with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet her entire life. When her Aunt dies and leaves her a letter explaining that she is in fact Giulietta Tolomei and that her mother died while investigating a family treasure Julie/Giulietta leaves on the first plan for Siena, Italy. While in Siena she learns that family ties run deep, and that no only were Shakespeare's most infamous lovers real, she is related to the real life Juliet.
When I got Juliet in the mail last week I was both excited and a little concerned for what it would turn out to be. The story itself seems forced. Julie is not likable. Having her goals in live grow from her desperate need to be different from her sister Janice made them both petty and unrelateable.
The story of Siena, and the flashbacks to 1340 were helpful and interesting, but they felt like, with a little more detail they could have been their own novel. This was also a case where I would get to an end of a chapter and be upset that there was a drastic change in time and situation. It would only take a few pages to get back into the groove of that specific story but still, it's never fun to "suffer through" a chapter just so you understand what is going on. I was frustrated all through the middle of the novel, when there was little being discovered and much whining and disbelief.
The romantic elements were definitely the strongest in both storylines. The Romeo and Juliet love through time was less creepy then I thought they would be. In a way modern day Giulietta's journey to love is sweet and understandable, and while it's hard to get into a 1340's mind frame, the original Romeo and Juliet story has its own charms.
All in all, a good summer read, but it took far longer and a lot of suspension of disbelief to get through.
A huge thanks to the LibraryThing early review program for the copy.