Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: The Juliet Spell (Douglas Rees)

AUTHOR: Douglas Rees
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PUBLICATION DATE: September 27, 2011
PAGES: 304
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: Romance
GIVE IT TO: HS and upper-MS girls; Shakespeare fans; drama geeks
OVERALL RATING: Recommended; 2/5 stars
SUMMARY: Desperate to play Juliet in her community's production of Romeo and Juliet, Miranda performs a "pretend" spell to "Please let me be Juliet" and unwittingly conjures Edmund Shakeshaft, brother to William Shakespeare, into life in the 21st Century.

MOVIE COMPARISON: Shakespeare in Love meets Encino Man

WHAT I LIKED: The Juliet Spell is a cute, funny story that teen girls will like. It is an easy-read with lots and lots of Shakespeare references, quotations, and even the man himself. Miranda is a likeable and realistic main character, and many girls will relate to her lack of confidence, confusing family problems (what's up with her parents?), and strong feelings for someone who doesn't reciprocate. While reading, I kept thinking of that Brendan Frasier movie Encino Man. Incredibly dumb, but who cares? I liked it anyway.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Readers will have to suspend some serious belief with this one. Wow. Edmund was conjured up how? By whom? Seriously? Then Shakespeare shows up, too? Then the family is magically put back together because the dad has an experience with a pasta pot? And mom takes him back even though he never paid child support for a year? Then someone shows up with a gun? Huh. The story quickly goes from silly to absolutely absurd, but hey, so do some of Shakespeare's comedies. Despite the abrupt ending and gratuitous use of the word "ye," it was fun.

  • Language: medium; some ill-placed language that really isn't necessary to the plot. Includes a couple of instances of the f-word.
  • Sexuality: medium; some kissing and references to teen sex (but nothing is described); a nurse talks to Edmund about using a condom and the consequences of sex (all really important for teens to know anyway)
  • Violence: mild; Edward gets into a couple of fights protecting Miranda's honor
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; teens drink at a party; some talk of marijuana use at the party (major characters do not partake)

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don't have it yet, but after reading, I went ahead and ordered it. It's too much fun to pass up, and my drama girls will love it.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. The way people were conjured into the present was really unbelievable but this one does require you to suspend your beliefs. I think expected more but it's not a bad read for those who are just looking for something light and and like drama.


Let's start a conversation! All commenting on Mrs. ReaderPants is moderated and CAPTCHA-free! Please submit your comment only once--it will appear shortly.