Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Review: The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

From Goodreads: 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: 2 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees was a quick and easy read, two reasons why I continued reading rather than abandoning it.

First off, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, and with the exception of Drew (whose possible explanation about how Edmund time traveled was way too hard for my brain to grasp), nor did I like any of them. I thought they were too trusting, too forgiving … well, you get the idea. Here are two examples to illustrate my point:
  1. Miranda’s mother doesn’t even blink an eye after being told by her daughter that there’s a guy sleeping in their guest bedroom, and she continues to let Edmund stay with them even after learning Miranda likes him. Sure, nothing happened, but why put the temptation there?
  2. Though Mr. Hoberman left to “develop as an individual” and didn’t pay child support while he was gone, Miranda and her mother still welcome him back with open arms once he decides that he’s ready to come home. WTH? Where did all the grovelling go? 
Also, besides the fact that Miranda and her friends didn’t really talk like the teens I know, I found it really confusing as to why they often lapsed into Edmund’s way of talking. Shouldn’t Edmund be the one trying to assimilate instead? 
Another thing that bugged me was the romance. I kept waiting for Miranda to figure out that Drew liked her, but instead she fell for Edmund. I knew the two of them were “destined” to be together the minute Miranda got the tingles from holding Edmund’s hand. (Ironically, it also just happened to be the day she summoned him). Yep, Miranda got the tingles the first day she met Edmund and wanted to be his Juliet by the next. *groan* 
It’s not all bad though. Edmund’s reactions to modern things is pretty funny, and I liked that when Shakespeare is brought into the present, it changes the present. As well, I thought the ending was fitting even if it felt very rushed. 
The Juliet Spell was released in September 2011 by Harlequin Teen. 
Comments About the Cover: I think it’s cute. The black and white gives the cover a vintage feel whereas the splash of fuschia allows the title and sneakers to stand out and emphasize that the setting is modern.  

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Harlequin Teen) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I haven't heard much about this one - sorry to hear it was a disappointment :( Connecting with the characters can really make or break a reading experience.

  2. I was wondering if this was any good. It doesn't sound like my cup of tea either. If I can't connect with the characters I usually lose interest pretty quickly. Thanks for the review!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. Shoot. I was looking forward to this one, and despite the quick and easy nature of it, I can tell already that some of the characters are going test the limits of my patience:) I think I'll wait on this one!

  4. I like the cover too, with the splash of color. But I will probably be skipping out on this one. Not only because of the insta-love... I mean, I could be game for that old world charm myself, but I feel like I'd have major issues with those points you illustrated. And it already irritates me just to know that the modern kids try to mimic Edmund's speak.

    Thanks for the review, Z.

  5. I read the summary and thought it would be really good. It actually reminds me of the movie from years ago called Kate and Leopold.

  6. Heh, yeah the characters don't seem to behave very realistically in those situations... sounds pretty silly, really. How did the author not realize that most people don't act that way?

  7. Totally agree about the rushed ending. I liked it though; just don't expect too much.

    And for the record, the space-time-continum and pasta pot scrying stuff was just crazy. I'd almost rather not have an explanation at all.

  8. well, this doesnt look like a book I will put on my shelf.

    Thanks for the review my dear! and Happy Thanksgiving day!! =D
    yummy turkey!! =P

  9. Those points you mentioned would make me crazy too. It sounds like a fun premise that fell a bit flat. I agree with Jenny about it being like Kate and Leopold - gotta love the dreamy Hugh Jackman!

  10. I wasn't sure if I would love this book and now I know why I must not buy it. Seriously this book is so nog for me!Ugh, sounds like that the romance really sucks. :(


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.