Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Synopsis: 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. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there’s something about him that’s making my eyes go star-crossed….
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
There are many stories that I have read through out the years, and only a few are memorable. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is one of them. So imagine my surprise and enthusiasm when I saw Douglas Rees’ The Juliet Spell. A contemporary Shakespearean tale that brings a modern twist to one of the literary world’s most beloved tale of love and hope.
In The Juliet Spell, Rees tells the tale of seventeen year-old Miranda, a high school student who is an aspiring actor. Her school, along with a community theater, is putting together a production of Romeo and Juliet, and like most girls at her school, she covets the role of Juliet. Above all her reasons, Miranda wants to play the part of Juliet for her mother, a former actor turned nurse. But Miranda was just a girl who wanted to play Juliet for all the right reasons, but was caught up to forget that in the end, Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy.
Throughout her life, Miranda has experienced heart break and loss. From her mother’s days of unsuccessful acting, to her father walking out on them to “find himself,” Miranda has taken every opportunity to hope life goes her way. And if that opportunity happens to be a little spell she chants, why not, right? With some research, Miranda has put together everything she needs to chant and perform a spell. With the simple words, “I want to be Juliet,” Miranda hopes for the best. And Miranda’s best? Why Shakespeare’s brother, Edmund himself.
I would have loved to known Miranda. She is self sufficient, strong, but so young and innocent that you can’t help but love her. She is definitely an A type personality, taking charge of her own destiny, but definitely clueless and lost. I wanted to pull her in a big hug and tell her that she is loved. She pines for so much, that it just breaks my heart. She was enchanted, that’s for sure, that she lost sight of what was important.
Edmund was charming, cute, and such a breath of fresh air that I wish I had my own 15th century Shakespearean actor. His accent was adorable and his manners commendable. While I did not agree with a few of his actions, I couldn’t really blame him. I mean, if I was brought here through a spell, I would probably act the same way. What do I mean? Read it and you’ll see.
I also loved the other actors. I have a pitter patting heart for a certain boy, but I won’t mention his name. I’ll ruin the surprise at the end of the story. Just know that he is the one in the shadows, and while you root for Edmund, your heart will secretly long for him. I know mine did.
In this quirky and amusing tale of love and hope, Miranda faces the aftermath of her spell and what it has brought her. Rees writes so well, that I was enchanted of the magic of this story. I believed that everything was possible for Edmund, for Miranda herself, and above all for love. Rees’ character development was great as well as the interaction between the characters. Despite the events that took place, and believe me, some of them had me scratching my head, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
In the end, I am reminded that, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” That is definitely true for this book. I recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet.
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