The Discovery of Romeo & Juliet (news + review + project inspire)2:31 PM
1. I joined the Bloggers Commenting Back! community after getting curious about it by seeing it on all my favorite blogs. It's a group of bloggers who reply to all comments on their blog and visit & comment back on the blogs that have commented on theirs.
You may have seen this logo around the blogosphere:
2. I decided to be a part of The Blog Notes Project hosted by Amber @The Mile Long Bookshelf!
Here is what will happen as explained by Amber:
*Sign-ups close on April 18th. There is a really simple form that you can fill out to join the Blog Notes Project. Check it out here.
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
The most tragic love story in history . . .
Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.
"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
I found this book by accident, or...accidentally on purpose. I'm doing an ABC challenge in one of the Goodreads groups I belong to where you read a book for each letter of the alphabet in a certain time (in this case a year). Turns out, I didn't have any books that started with 'J' on my TBR list. I know, weird. So I turned to the all-knowing Google search engine and that's how I discovered Juliet Immortal on someone else's ABC Goodreads challenge.
I wasn't sure if I would like it because it was based on Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's play, and I hadn't liked the movie at all. I was yelling and making sarcastic comments at the TV almost the whole time the movie was playing, and it still made me sob at the end. Ugh. This is what happens when you have common sense and a softie movie heart. It is the worst pairing.
Anyways, (yeah I don't know how I strayed so far off topic) this book blew me away. First of all, the premise is extremely intriguing, even though the "she meets someone she's forbidden to love" part might have sounded a little cliche and (to me) like a pure romance novel...I have a weakness for re-tellings. And there aren't a lot of books out there that focus on fighting to protect the souls of true lovers against someone who's your ex-lover.
The setting is not a huge focus of the book, but what was described of it was crucial to the story and helped me picture what I felt like was a small, tired town that crouched in rolling hills with mist wrapped around it. It had that feeling of possibility. It was filled with shadows that held unimaginable things. It felt a little dark, a little haunted. Even the descriptions of the school contributed to that.
Every secondary character embellished the setting with their twisted pasts or broken souls (and some of them were just evil jerks). I think every character that I got to know had some kind of scar from something. Juliet was a very strong heroine. No, she didn't have black belt. She couldn't throw a knife with extreme precision (or even at all). But she never gave up, and she never stopped fighting. In some ways she might have hurt herself by looking at things the wrong way but she wasn't a quitter. You know that lovey-dovey, "Oh Romeo" *dramatic sigh* that we all know? Yeah, you won't find her here. I also really liked that Juliet tried to understand people and not pass judgement too quickly. She genuinely cared for her charges, even though her own "love" turned out rotten. And let me just say right here that Romeo is the most complicated and confusing villain of all time. One second I would be growling at him for being such a complete twisted evil person, and the next I would reluctantly feel sorry for him. No matter how hard I tried, I could never tell what was going on in his head. He was unpredictable and a very well-written character.
The plot was made up of a lot of tiny plot twists and then at the end BOOM! I got hit in the face with a concrete wall. Let me explain. There are no certainties in this book. I would assume something and then later that assumption would be very wrong. If I could choose a sentence to describe this book, it would be:
Nothing is as it seems.
Can I just say, "Feels."
One thing that I will point out is that there is a little bit of "love at first sight" going on, but much to my surprise it didn't make the story worse at all (and I'm not too crazy about love at first sight). I just felt like hugging the characters and pushing them together and saying, "Guys, you've been through so much. Just go be happy together."
If you are into darkish paranormal/romance YA then this is definitely the book for you. (Or anyone else. EVERYONE GO READ. NOW.)
Day 22: "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." Look for the positive side of things. Make an effort to see the flowers in the desert, the ray of sun on a cloudy day, because there's always something good you can find.
Day 23: "Keep your head up. Keep your heart strong." The haters are gonna hate. They're irrelevant. You are important. Value yourself because you are so important. It's unbelievable how important you are.
Day 24: "Sometimes, rock bottom is the perfect place to rebuild." It hurts, sometimes, to have everything you worked so hard for taken away. But you can make it again. Maybe people have brought your self-esteem to zero and you wonder how you're going to face them out there. Start over again because you can do it.
Day 25: "You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it." You were born for a purpose. Maybe you don't know what it is or how that's possible. But you are here for a reason.
Day 26: "Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." This is for you, my writer pals ;) We all know that plotting and researching are the only parts of writing that count as logical (and maybe not even then). Your imagination is what makes the soul of the book though. Don't worry if you're having an off day, or if you've completely run dry of ideas. Everyone has those--you got this.
Day 27: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined." Pursue your dreams. Don't listen to those people who tell you it can never happen.
Day 28: "But without the dark, we'd never see the stars." Sometimes the world is a scary place to be, sometimes circumstances make us wish that we didn't exist. But there are always stars. Keep going because you'll be able to see the good parts better for the dark. Keep stargazing.
Day 29: "Don't lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come out." Never lose hope. <3
Day 30: "Birds flying high, you know how I feel. Sun in the sky, you know how I feel. Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, for me...and I'm feeling good." Take the chances that new days give you. Embrace the world more tightly every morning. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. I bet you'll feel good ;) (Unless, of course, it's raining. Or snowing. Or you know.)
I think Project Inspire was supposed to end on the 15th. Once again, super sorry that I didn't post every day, but I think I caught up on this post thus the extreme length. Hope you enjoy and I'll try to have the Project 30 Days of Inspire page up in a few days with a trendy slideshow of all the quotes.
Day 31: "Use your smile to change this world, but don't let this world change your smile." I definitely know that there are times to fake a smile (like when a stranger rudely interrupts you while reading), but don't let your REAL smile disappear. Hold on to it, smile for yourself, and who knows, someone may keep smiling because they saw you smile.
Day 32: "A smile is the shortest distance between two people." Isn't it the nicest feeling when someone you don't know smiles at you? Try it out and smile at a stranger today. :D