By Stacey Jay
Published 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
After I read her Megan Berry series, I would have told you that I would follow Stacey Jay to the ends of the earth. That series was fresh and funny, a quick and easy read with one of the best heroines in recent YA history. So when I heard about this book - a complete reimagining of Romeo and Juliet?!?! - needless to say, I was beyond stoked. I happily snagged an ARC at ALA.
I don't think I can provide a decent plot summary here. There is so much going on in this book that I don't know how to accurately describe it all. Let's see if I can get at least some bare bones down here: Romeo was recruited by the Mercenaries (that would be the bad guys) to kill his soul mate, Juliet, and aid their evil cause. As she lay dying, Juliet was rescued by the Ambassadors (the good guys, naturally) and became one of them. Through the years, both have returned to Earth for their respective causes and fought each other bitterly each time. Juliet is sent to protect soul mates, inhabiting a person close to them, while Romeo must convince one to kill the other, only able to possess the bodies of the dead. In the present day, something feels wrong about this visit from the beginning and Juliet struggles to find the answers before Romeo's side wins.
Okay, I think that's a pretty good description of the basics. But, like I said, a lot of things are going on in this book, so there is far more that I could have said. At times, I felt like it was way too much to digest - I understand we are suspending belief here, but maybe this might be a little overkill? No, okay, I guess I'll roll with it. So, for me, there was a little too much happening. Additionally, because of the wealth of plot elements going on, it was sometimes difficult to get the characters all straight. Is this really Juliet that I'm reading about? Or is it the person she's inhabiting? This made it difficult to get really attached to any of the characters. However, I think for all that she's got going on, Jay still manages to craft a compulsively readable novel that will potentially appeal greatly to a wide audience of teens. So even though this wasn't as spectacular for me as the Megan Berry series, I'm pretty sure I would still follow Stacey Jay to the ends of the Earth.
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.