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The Juliet Spell

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good book :D

    This book and the one I'm reading right now are written by guys and you know what? They really do a pretty awesome job describing a story from a female's point of view. Amazing!

    The story is about Miri, a girl that has acting running through her blood thanks to her mom who, despite the fact that she wasn't famous, loves acting and her big dream was to be able to play Juliet but sadly she never made it and now Miri wants to get the role in her school's play to dedicate it ho her. So she decides to make a spell to become Juliet, to be the perfect Juliet... and destiny grants her wish.

    The greatest help comes in the form of a gorgeous guy who appears out of nowhere in the middle of her house and besides the weird way he speaks, like an old English man... really really English man, he screams and shouts saying that Miri must be a witch and to leave him alone if she doesn't want to suffer.
    And besides smelling really badly Miri discovers something incredible: this guy's name is Edmund. Edmund Shakespeare. Brother of the Skakespeare.

    And since he is stuck in our time they must find a way for him to fit in our world. Somehow.
    Good luck with that.

    But when he gets to be Romeo and Miri is Juliet a spark shines between them and love complicates things even more.

    What if he disappears one day? What if he doesn't?

    And without telling anyone one of their friends begins to talk with someone from Edmund's time and things get crazier.
    Oh, yeah.

    Personal opinion:
    Once again I have to say that Douglas Rees created very believable characters with Miri and Edmund.
    She feels like a real teenager with her doubts and fears, her feelings to understand and her dreams to fulfill; and then we have Edmund, a very colorful and charming character who speaks in this old English that gives him more insight.

    There is only one thing that made the book difficult for me: Edmund's old English. Since my mother tongue is Spanish and I haven't really study or read something like this before it was a little bit hard to understand what he was saying but after a few pages it begun to make sense to me ^^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this book!!

    The Juliet Spell is about how Miranda (she likes to go by Miri) tries to land the role of her life as Juliet in a local production of Romeo and Juliet, and so she casts a spell that she hopes will help her in her cause and instead she gets William Shakespeare's brother Edmund in her home. At first I had a hard time with suspending reality and the idea of an Elizabethan person being thrust into the modern age getting along as well as Edmund does(and even having a fling with one of Miri's rivals). But Mr. Rees does a pretty good job of making you go along with it, and it kept me hooked all the way till the end.
    However, I liked Miri. Her character is really nice and she is just trying to be the best Juliet she can be. Her Mom was really big in theater when she was a young woman and so Miri wants to dedicate her role to her mom, as a way to pay homage to her.
    The other characters are not as well formed, but they keep things moving in the book. Edmund is at times likable, and other times someone you would not want hanging around. But he has some redeeming qualities, and always surprised me when I was ready to thrown him off the bus.
    Overall this is a good book and a really good romance between Miri and Edmund. But along the way you kinda learn more about the play and even Miri learns to let someone else into her heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Best book!!!

    I found this book at the library ,and thought it looked i sat there for hours and read it! I kinda cried at the end, but i love it soooo much and the romance of it is soooo sweet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Good story.

    I love the story of Romeo and Juliet, and this was a creative and funny twist on it, however,the ending was disappointing for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Sweet & fun!!:)

    So there are alot of reviews of just long paragraphs, so I am going to make this short and simple. I definetly reccomennd it if you want a cute, fluffy, fun, old timey romance. I am just ashamed that the author honestly thinks that teens talk like that!!!

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun fantasy with a Shakespeare twist!

    (A strong three-and-a-half star read, so I'll round up.) The Juliet Spell was a sweet story, if not exactly believable at times. The main characters were a bit too accepting of the fantasy stuff--Miranda and Edmund's response at the beginning was really the only one that was even remotely believable in this regard; everyone else found out and pretty much accepted it without question--but overall this didn't really affect my enjoyment of the book. Other than giving me a bit a of pause and a "really?" moment, it probably even helped a bit, since having to read over and over again as the various characters were clued in to what was happening probably would have gotten old quick and this way the story kept moving. There were a few bits that were left loose at the end (at least two people may or may not be stranded in Elizabethan England for all eternity) and the "science" of how it all worked is still a mystery to this reader at least, but I'm willing to let more than a little logic go in the name of a fun fantasy read, and this one was fun. The touches of Shakespeare throughout were entertaining, at least to an English major, and weren't written in a way that should bother those who don't know the Bard or his works well (and may even lead to a few "AHA!" moments as YA readers encounter his works later on in life). Overall, I really enjoyed this one and will be looking for more books from this author to read and add to my classroom library.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    YA Bound

    I love Romeo and Juliet. Like, uber-love. I was obsessed with the play in high school, could recite the old 1970s movie version with the characters verbatim, and went opening night to see the Leonardo Dicaprio version when it hit theaters. So when THE JULIET SPELL became available for review, I jumped on it. And for the most part, I was very happy with the outcome.

    After a somewhat slow start that, for me, relied a bit too much on narration and inner-monologue, Edmund hit the page and the story really began. Witnessing his shock to the various technological wonders that comprise our everyday world was fun, and while the pacing of his response was a little fast and slightly inauthenti, I appreciated that it allowed the story to unfold quickly. And once this story got going, it took off.
    I loved Edmund, and I loved every aspect of his relationship with Miranda. It had the perfect amount of tension, banter, caring, and steaminess to keep me turning the pages. The mixture of magical realism and contemporary, along with one of the best plays of all time, was a thrill and delectable treat. I inhaled it in one big gulp and found myself smiling almost throughout.
    As a protagonist, Miranda rocked. Her voice was engaging and relatable. The other characters rounding out this book were wonderful, too. Vivian was the perfect antagonist-just the right amount of sexy and jealous vibe without over doing it. Bobby and Drew were well rounded, and they gave the reader lots of love interest possibilities to root for. And the adult characters were extremely well done. They weren't stereotypes, and they didn't exist merely to provide filler or plot twists. They managed to avoid being too heavy handed while also giving much needed wisdom (in particular the relationship between Miri and her mother) and a bit of drama.
    I won't give any spoilers, but I can say that considering the plot inspiration for this story, the ending was spot on. If you love Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, magical realism, a bit of historical flavor, theater, and/or hot English guys with even hotter accents, THE JULIET SPELL is definitely up your alley. ~~ Rachel, blogger at YA Bound

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A YA read with wit and charm...

    The Juliet Spell
    By: Douglas Rees
    ISBN: 9780373210398
    Expected Publication: September 27, 2011 by Harlequin Teen
    Available Format: Paperback, ebook

    My Rating: ?????

    Miranda has waited her whole life to be Juliet, and her chance is finally here. Instead of depending on fate, and the judgment of the director, Miri puts together a fame spell that will ensure she snags the role. Much to her surprise, a handsome young man appears in the middle of her table-a young man that says he is Edmund Shakeshaft, the younger brother of none other than William Shakespeare himself! Miri finds this might be a bit more than she bargained for, and the balance of time and history has been seriously disrupted. She and her friends have to find a way to make things right even if it means breaking Miri's heart.

    I have to say, Douglas Rees is pretty in tune with the teenage girl. Miranda is an entertaining female character, and thank goodness she isn't angsty or whiney! I think some of the things she has had to face in her life have made her a stronger girl, and she handles this new adventure with grace and flair (as does her mother!). Conjuring up this crazy spell in the middle of a table with a volcano of salt was brilliant-absolutely something I could have seen myself doing once upon a time, just for kicks. And, I probably wouldn't have been too upset if some handsome, charming guy just happened to show up, even if he was from the sixteenth century and needed a good bath.

    This little novel is full of wit and charm, and you really can't go wrong with a bit of Romeo and Juliet. I especially love the banter between the brothers, Edmund and William. I also love the fact that Miri's dad is a psychologist who has gone away to "find himself"-priceless! My favorite part of the book was where they performed the play at the outdoor mall. I could picture every bit of it, and I WANTED to be there!

    This book isn't going to make you contemplate the meaning of life or run for president. There are things that are simply unbelievable or unrealistic, so don't try to read too much into the plot. It is purely a fun, YA (mostly chick) lit that will most definitely make you smile.

    I'm just wondering why I haven't read any of Rees' other work yet??

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Courtesy of Readergirl Reviews a Teen Book

    I love contemporaries. I love contemporaries about school plays. So I really expected to love this story. Unfortunately, everything fell a little flat for me. I had no problem with the motivations, the spell casting, the strangeness of how the spell backfired so much or how Edmund came to be in Miri's house. What got me was the unrealistic way in which the characters moved through the story.

    I try to think back to when I was 16. If I suddenly told my mom one day that William Shakespeare's brother had shown up due to a spell I cast and that he was now going to live in our home, my mom would have either a) believed that I believed it and thus had me committed; or b) would have thought I was trying to get away with having a boy live with us by making up a ridiculous story and would have kicked Edmund out immediately. Either way, she wouldn't have just accepted it.

    Edmund is only in the 21st century for a couple hours before he decides that it is both acceptable and perfectly natural to just decide to be a part of the local acting group and try out for Romeo and Juliet. Why is he not concerned about going back home? Back to his own time?

    I think the basic premise of the story was very good, but I think that due to the unrealistic quality of the characters' actions and reactions, it wasn't as well done as it certainly could have been.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2011

    Fun, fun, fun!

    What a fun and original story. I love when an author weaves historical elements into a YA story without making it overly stuffy. The voice in this book jumps off the page, and not to get too technical, but I LOVED the writer's sentence structure. Three chapters into reading TJS, I actually emailed Rees to ask for tips on how to "make every word count" like he does so well. For a great story, and a good way to improve your craft, pick up a copy of THE JULIET SPELL. You won't be disappointed!

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Cute, sweet, fluffy.

    I was really excited when I first heard about this book. Romeo and Juliet is one of my absolute favorites, so a sort of take on that sounded really interesting. The idea is that a combination between Miranda's magic and John Dee's science bring Edmund to present day San Jose (well not specifically San Jose, but it's hinted at). Edmund of course is a fantastic character, someone who's overlooked and most people probably haven't heard of. He happens to be Shakespeare's younger brother! Exactly, I had no idea who this guy was.

    The plot is pretty simple, nothing thought-provoking, or challenging really happens. Miranda deals with issues of romance, crushing, wanting a boy you shouldn't want, wanting a boy who is taken, separated parents etc, but everything is pretty easily resolved, making it difficult to sort of approach realistic issues. It's definitely a cute story, but it's definitely a fluff piece. It's one of those stories that follow the assumption that YA has to have an optimistic ending, which are fun and sometimes great, but this one was just so so. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it enough to read it in about 2 days, but it just didn't make me think.

    The main character is Miranda, who's point of view it's written in. She's a theater geek, with a crush on an Elizabethan hottie, whose parents are separated (dad's a psychiatrist who up and left to "find himself"), and her goal in life is to play Juliet as an homage to her mom. She's cute, she's fun, she says "dude", and she's a great actress. She falls for Edmund, Shakespeare's younger brother, who's confused about living in the 21st century. Of course Edmund doesn't know Miranda is in to him until later in the story (after he has a fling with the hottest chick in school). They're okay characters, sort of shallow, there isn't a lot of depth or character building. Drew, the best friend, is definitely my favorite. He's a brainiac who works in a library! EEP! I fell for him right away :)

    The writing tends to sway from either really beautiful, descriptive passages, or sort of "this is what I think teenagers talk like" dialogue. They all say "dude" and "man" and they tend to talk like stereotypical teenagers, but not like any of my friends or my friends in high school. I felt like the author was trying to hard to write believable characters.

    Overall, I definitely enjoyed the story. It was short, sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes cute, but it didin't make me do any deep thinking or problem solving. I wish it did. I wish there was more depth, and I wish it played a better partner to Romeo and Juliet, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I would recommend this to readers who like a little romance and an uplifting story. Not lovers of Shakespeare though.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Love this Book! A Must Read!

    The Juliet Spell was not what I expect. I thought it was going to be a fun read, and for most of the book, it was. Then the author took it to some serious drama. Rees brings in some very grown-up problems with relationships. And shows that selfish wants have consequence that cause hurt and pain to others. I also enjoyed the author's historical and quotes notes at the end of the book. It put a realness to Edmund's character, and a nice finishing touch to the story.

    Miranda is desperate for the part of Juliet in her high school play of Romeo and Juliet, so she does a little spell to insure her chances of getting it. But she ends up with Shakespeare himself, well, his younger brother Edmund. And to make things even more complicated, Miranda falls in love with Edmund. The romance was fun at first, and I laughed right along with Miranda, but this is not a crush for Miranda, it's her forever true love. And sometimes love has too high a cost. For Miranda, falling in love is cruel, and she learns the real meaning of love is to give and not take.

    Edmund is a beautiful Englishman and I love him, but I did want to do bodily damage to him at first. Miranda has more patience than I would've had. Edmund soon comes to his senses and shows he's a good guy, and at the end, what Edmund says to Drew, just broke my heart and proved what an awesome guy Edmund is.

    Miranda and Edmund are definitely a Romeo and Juliet tragic love story. But Douglas Rees does put his on twist to this desperate love story that left me with a smile instead of a broken heart. I highly recommend The Juliet Spell as a must read.

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read; Entertaining and Fun!

    *3.5 Stars

    The Juliet Spell had me wanting to go back to high school and read Shakespeare again. Or at least, getting a book and reading with a little more appreciation than I had when I had the chance. The book as a whole, however, has given me mixed feelings.

    On one hand, I loved it. The putting together of the play was entertaining, and did take me back to High School quite a bit. The camaraderie between the drama kids is exactly how Marching Band in High School was for me; there were clicks, but also we were a unit that did quite a bit together, including long grueling rehearsals and after parties. I feel that Douglas Rees was right on in capturing the atmosphere of a High School Drama Club. Character development and interaction was great.

    Then there is the other hand. I can't say "on the other hand I hated it," that's not true. There were just parts that didn't sit well in my mind. This book walks the line of science fiction and just plain old fiction. I think the biggest turn off for me was the way the sci-fi parts were presented. Miri is going to do a spell, as if it is the most normal, natural think for a seventeen year old girl to do. The setting of the book does not give off anything but a normal, typical town in the United States, and while paranormal/science fiction/fantasy books are popular, I'm pretty sure any normal, level-headed seventeen year old is not off casting enchantments expecting any kind of result. Of course, it has been over ten years since I was in High who knows.

    The other thing was the level of acceptance of Edmund and his situation. First Edmund himself, while he cried like a baby.more than once might I add. did not have a mental breakdown. In fact, his adjustment to the modern world wasn't even funny - and let me tell you, the scenario has SOOO MUCH "funny" potential. That was a letdown. But then, as the book moves forward, an additional four people are added to the "in the know" crowd when it comes to where he has come from, and not one of them really acts shocked, appalled, distraught, or even unbelieving. They act as if crazy things like this happen every day. Once again, this does not sit well with the, "this is a normal town" scenario.

    Mostly, the book was a great read; entertaining and fun. I absolutely love all the Shakespeare talk, banter and references. I really want to read Much Ado about Nothing, right about now because of this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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