Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Published August 9th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
"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
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.
Than this of... Ariel and her... Ben?
The synopsis was probably all it took to get you hooked and aching for this book. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet with a wicked paranormal twist? I was sold. Ambassadors of light? OK. I can admit I anticipated a little bit of cheese there and honestly didn't know what to expect out of the story. I read the first sentence and knew instantly that Jay's writing wasn't going to be anything to smirk at. It took one sentence for me to be addicted and one chapter for me to abandon every thing else I had planned for the day and devour this book.
My inner fan-girl is OMGing at that first chapter. It's a beautiful, beautiful love scene between Romeo and Juliet that draws you right back into the classic story that so tugged at your heart, followed by Jay's unique twist that breaks it far more than the original death scene did.
Juliet hates Romeo. He traded his soul mate for immortality, became a sick, murderous agent of evil and spends the next 700 years trying to rip true love pairs apart.
The Dread Pirate Roberts said "Death can not stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while." No Wesley, death can give you a 700 year opportunity to kick the shit out of it.
Every so often, a true soul mate pairing will occur and with it, an agent of each faction. Juliet, of the Light, attempts to fully unite the pair, securing true love and win a point for the good side. Once her task is complete she fades away until the next pair appears. Romeo, an agent of the dark, also appears with each soul mate pair. His job is to convince one of the lovers to kill their lover in exchange for immortality. Accomplishing this wins a point for the bad guys and Romeo gets to stay on Earth, inhabiting a body until it's time for the next assignment. There's poor Juliet, pretty much dead until she's useful again, and Assholeo gets to play for Team Zombie (can I get a woot for anything Zombie!). Juliet enters the body of a girl named Ariel who has just deliberately crashed her date's (Dylan) car, almost killing him and leaving Ariel in limbo until Juliet leaves her body. It usually takes a day or two for Romeo to show up, giving Juliet time to settle into the life of the person she is inhabiting, but as Dylan begins to come to, there is something in his eyes that has Juliet instantly afraid.
No. It can't be. We've never- He's never-
"Did you miss me, love?" he kisses me on the cheek, a rough, playful kiss that leaves a bit of wet behind.
Dylan has died after all. And Romeo has found a corpse. It's my last thought before his hands are around my throat.
Enter hero stage right: We meet a young man named Ben who, for reasons unknown, is startlingly familiar to Juliet. There's something reassuring about his presence- something that makes her feel safe with him. Something that makes her want him. It is not Juliet's place to feel an attraction to a mortal. She is not Juliet, she is Ariel and must preserve Ariel's life as best she can while fulfilling her duty to unite two destined lovers. It's been so very long since Juliet felt anything for anyone,other than the hate she has for Romeo, that this new emotion is something she craves more of. But she isn't really alive and she can never have him.
Are you squealing yet? Yes, it is over the top schmaltzy romance and I could smell a love triangle coming but I DIDN'T CARE. Jay's writing is gorgeous and the story is so wild and intense that I loved it, loved it! A highly imaginative twist on one of the most memorable and powerful love stories. It will have you running away screaming when you hear the name Romeo and yet, somehow it still manages to preserve the intense hope that true love can really exist.
*Quote taken from an ARC of Juliet Immortal and may differ in the finished copy.