Thursday, March 17, 2011

Juliet by Anne Fortier

I picked up Juliet because I saw five star review after five star review on Goodreads. I also saw Jamie Ford's glowing comments (author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which I lovedlovedloved). So okay, I had to try it. And it was pretty good. I wasn't blown away like the rest of the reading world, but I liked it.

The story is about a young woman named Julie Jacobs (she later finds out that her real name was Giulietta Tolomei) who is surprised to find out that she has been left out of her beloved aunt's will, but instead is secretly given a key to something her mother left behind in Siena, Italy when she died. So off Julie goes to Italy to unlock the puzzle. She comes to discover that she is a descendant of another Giulietta Tolomei, the woman who inspired Shakespeare's tragedy. The story then goes between Julie's journey to find out the truth and Giulietta's life in 1340.  It's an interesting plot with mystery, colorful characters, and history. There is a modern day Romeo & Juliet spin to it, an evil twin, and bad guys lurking in the shadows. Overall it was a good story.

I did have a few problems with it that separate my opinion from many others. There were times when it seemed to shift into fluffy chick-lit. I have nothing against chick-lit, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Then it shifted back to feeling like historical fiction. I got into that mode and then, surprise, it was chick-lit again. It couldn't decide what it wanted to be. I definitely would have preferred historical fiction with a more serious modern day story. Another thing that I thought was overdone was the sibling rivalry with the twin sister. It was a good part of the story, but started to feel a little ridiculous with the twists closer to the end. I can't elaborate without spoilers so I'll leave it at that.

I didn't find this to be a "must read" five star book like many other people did. It was entertaining though. I'd give it 3.5/5.  

1 comment:

TheBookGirl said...

Great honest review Christine. I never got around to reading this one when there was alot of buzz about it, and then it sort of fell off my radar screen. From your description, I think I will pass. I like historical fiction, and I am known to read chick-lit every once in a while, but I don't want to read them in the same book.