"Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers."
I know I was probably out of my mind when I went out of my comfort zone (the YA comfort zone), but I really, really want a different story to cover up how terrible Romeo and Juliet was to me. (Romeo and Juliet, as in Shakespeare's work. You all know that I wanted to slit my own throat after reading a few sentences from his work. Forget waiting around for Romeo. I would die if I read Shakespeare's Act I again).
Okay, I seriously need to write this review before I do anything else. (I'm so freaking busy every day and every night).
There are two stories. The main one is of present time. The second one is of Giulietta (Juliet) and Romeo, the original couple. The second plot (yeah, I can call it that) ends in tragedy. Anyone who watched West Side Story or any other variation of Romeo and Juliet knows that the original starcrossed couple dies. And of course, they die in tears and blood. So much disaster. So much craziness. But I'm going to put together the parallels. Please be aware that there are some darn spoilers!
Fortier's 1340 : Main Plot/Present Day : Shakespeare's Version
Giulietta : Julie : Juliet
Romeo : Alessandro : Romeo
Nino : Umberto (but really, I think it is that man who spared Umberto's life even though Julie's mother calls him "Nino") : Paris
I'm going to stop here, because there is so many darn parallels that it is going to be impossible to list them all. Ignore Nino's parallel, because I'm not 100% sure on that one.
I prefer this tale of Romeo and Juliet. Curses, magic, romance, and a bunch of other crazy things. It is particularly fun, and I really enjoy this book from the beginning to the end. And I want to say that I much rather to read this story than Shakespeare. We all know how terrible I was to Shakespeare's version. I nearly tore the book apart just from the sheer number of blah, blah, blah, blah.
With every chapter, there is an interesting... Hmm... That isn't a good way of explaining this. Let's try again. Remember Clue? With every clue you see in that Clue movie, a different suspect comes to life. Is it that woman? Is it Scarlet? Or is it... It goes on and on and on. It is the exact same thing with Juliet. And I find all of the mystery entertaining.
And also, I do find Romeo a bit annoying. Fortier's 1340 version and Shakespeare's version. The present day's Romeo is just fine.
Rating: Four out of Five