Customer Reviews for

Juliet

Average Rating 4.5
( 507 )
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5 Star

(279)

4 Star

(135)

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(53)

2 Star

(25)

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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A refreshing and lovely version of a classic tragedy.

The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is a beast you don't mess with; star-crossed lovers are untouchable in my book. By reinventing this well-known plot, Anne Fortier took a risk; a calculated-check the wind direction and temperature, analyze the audience and market-ris...
The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is a beast you don't mess with; star-crossed lovers are untouchable in my book. By reinventing this well-known plot, Anne Fortier took a risk; a calculated-check the wind direction and temperature, analyze the audience and market-risk. Thankfully it paid off.

In a maneuver comparable to Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, Fortier retells a well-known story by delicately narrating two distinct plots: present day Julie Jacobs, hunting down a mysterious treasure armed with nothing but a cryptic letter from her dead aunt; and Giulietta Tolomei as she falls for the devilishly handsome, charming, and romantic Romeo Marescotti in 1340 Siena, Italy. Set amongst lush and fragrant vineyards and crumbling ruins, these two women, centuries apart, are somehow linked and it's up to Julie to set the record straight. Was Shakespeare's tale really what transpired so many hundreds of years ago?

Reading two plots with several characters with the same names (lots of Tolomeis, Salimbenis, and Marescottis throughout) can be a little confusing at times (especially when those characters may not be who they say they are). But pushing on, the reader is rewarded with an enthralling and richly detailed story arc. Drifting from the romantic to the tragic to the thrilling, the idea of Juliet is wonderful. My one disappointment was that the 1340 storyline of Giulietta and Romeo ended too swiftly, I didn't feel it was given appropriate time and attention. With such a well-known event and characters being used, I wish there'd been a more dramatic conclusion.

Reading Juliet made me woozy with heady romance; the fourteenth-century kind with flowing dresses and balconies and poetry. In short, it made me desperate to read Romeo and Juliet, or at least watch the movie. The ache of their tragedy seeped through Fortier's words to pierce my heart with sadness. Overall, it was a beautiful and refreshing story, not entirely perfect, but lovely regardless.

posted by TheCrowdedLeaf on August 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not what I expected

I may be alone in my assessment of this book, but I was thoroughly disappointed. Hearing it was a feminine "Da Vinci Code", and reading the synopsis, I was intrigued, and yet from the get go, I felt let down. In the very beginning, our heroine Juliet/Julie/Giulietta, st...
I may be alone in my assessment of this book, but I was thoroughly disappointed. Hearing it was a feminine "Da Vinci Code", and reading the synopsis, I was intrigued, and yet from the get go, I felt let down. In the very beginning, our heroine Juliet/Julie/Giulietta, states that her identify is an anti-war activist with no real aims or goals in life. She is not truly anti-war, she is simply pacifist by some magical hereditary desire to end the conflict between warring families. She never does anything with her life because she plans on inheriting her rich Aunt's money. She is not passionate. The author never clearly develops her character or the story beyond a tale of reincarnation through rather confusing means. She never displays any sparks of intelligence, wit, strength, or other notable characteristic which would make her a heroine. Other people solve the riddles to the story, the bad guys are underdeveloped mafia hit men, and Julie/Julie/Guiletta has weird jealousy issues with her twin sister and is the epitome of the helpless damsel in distress who wins the man with little effort. I am sorry, but I am a big believer that a heroine of a novel can do better than be a hood ornament. I grew up in the era of Mulan, not Sleeping Beauty. If I had saved the receipt for this book, I would have returned it and got my $29.00 back. I am not saying the Da Vinci Code was world class literature to last the ages, but "Juliet" is not either. If you are looking for women of depth such as The of Mists of Avalon, or Memoirs of a Geisha, do not look here.

posted by kmlsdlion on December 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    The storyline was great, but was let down by the love story of a

    The storyline was great, but was let down by the love story of alessandra and giulietta. The story was based on one of the most dramatic/well-known love stories of all time, yet the present-day relation was a bit boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Juliet

    This was ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Good story

    Nice mystery with good characters...keeps your interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    quick, enjoyable read. but ending gets ridiculous and falls apart

    The historical connection made for an interesting story, but the plot got a bit convoluted and fell apart in the end.

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  • Posted October 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Easy read

    I have to say that the book it's self is an easy read, but the 1st few chapters aren't really that great. I found my self hoping that it was going to speed up very very soon and if it didn't I was going to put it down. After about 150 pages or so the book started to develop more and I started to take a liking to the Characters which in this book have to aliases. Character development was good... the plot was good and kept and interesting twist on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. I like how she brought the story more to life and how it became a mystery to not only purify her character's families from the curse that they all have befallen for the tragedy from Romeo & Juliet's story. Over all I would recommend this book to others and have to say when the story line picked up it was a good book.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A fun read, but sometimes confusing

    There is something irresistible about Shakespeare's star-crossed young lovers, and Anne Fortier takes the allure to new heights in her ambitious saga that is equal parts historical romance and modern mystery. Juliet seamlessly blends fact and fiction to create a wholly original version of the timeless lovers' twisted fate. The novel alternates between the original events of 1340 and Julie Jacobs' present day escapades, and the flashbacks to medieval Siena are unquestionably the most captivating aspect of the story. Fortier's Romeo and Giulietta are a little more mature than Shakespeare's characters, making their love more believable and, consequently, even more heartbreaking. It was a delight to see a different side of the immortal duo: rather than wallowing in self-pity, Romeo takes daring leaps of faith and remains unswervingly loyal to his Giulietta, while Giulietta herself shows quite a bit of spunk and even a little darkness. The vignettes envelop readers in the atmosphere of the bygone age and make the familiar story simultaneously fresh and foreboding.

    The parallel modern-day events move slowly at first, but the latter half of the novel pulls readers into the intrigue and danger surrounding the Tolomei family secrets and keeps them guessing with a constant stream of shocking revelations. The two narratives are told in a subtly different style and cadence that distinguishes them and demonstrates Fortier's talent for storytelling, and the Shakespearean quotes sprinkled through out are an effective addition. However, the modern plot occasionally becomes confusing, and it's never quite clear how much the past and present converge. At times, characters conflate the medieval Giulietta and Romeo with their contemporary counterparts to the point that it is impossible to tell to which pair they are referring or if, in fact, the two are one and the same. The plot would be much more coherent if the foreshadowing was eventually explained in full, rather than leaving allusions half-fulfilled. Though the modern aspect of the novel faltered a bit, Juliet is still an overall thrilling and enchanting tale that will entertain both fans of the Bard and newcomers to the literary icon. ~Review from thebookishtype[dot]blogspot[dot]com

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    so-so

    Not much of a Shakespeare, nor am I particularly a reader of romance novels, maybe that's why I can only give it 3 stars. It's technically not a romance, but it reads like a really cheesy one. The only parts I liked were the flashbacks--the author did a wonderful job on weaving the different time settings together. The plot was eh, and I think if it were done differently I would have been more receptive to it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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