The Juliet Spell [NOOK Book]

Overview


I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.

I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?

Yeah. ...

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The Juliet Spell

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Overview


I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.

I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?

Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.

Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.

Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459213975
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 499 KB

Meet the Author


     Douglas Rees has written a wide range of titles for young readers, including humor, historical fiction, and picture books. He holds several awards, including the Nutmeg State Award for young adult fiction. When he isn't writing for kids, he works with them as a young adult librarian. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife, Jo, who is the model for the outgoing, lycanthropic librarian in the Vampire High novels.
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Read an Excerpt


"Miranda Hoberman."

That was me. My turn. My chance. My audition. Now. With all the cool I could muster, which felt like exactly none, I left my seat and climbed up onto the stage.

Down in the front row, Mr. Gillinger glared at me, looked at my audition sheet and glared at me again.

"You're reading for Juliet?" he drawled in his deep voice.

"Yes," I gulped.

"Very well, go ahead."

Bobby Ruspoli grinned, sizing me up. He was already Romeo, and everyone knew it. It just hadn't been announced, yet. Mr. Gillinger would post his name along with the rest of the cast on the theater office door tomorrow or the next day. But we all knew he was Romeo before the play was ever announced, the way people in drama know who's going to get what, when the fix is in. So with that weight off his mind, handsome Bobby was checking out every girl who might be his Juliet.

As if I wasn't nervous enough. As if I hadn't been studying this part every day since it had been announced that we were doing Romeo and Juliet. As if I hadn't spent the last week lying awake nights worrying and thinking about how to do this moment better, I had to have Bobby checking out my boobs and butt. As if2—

"Begin," Mr. Gillinger commanded.

Bobby shrugged, inhaled, the way he'd seen real actors do in some of the acting DVDs we'd watched in class, and announced:

"He jests at scars that never felt a wound."

Then he looked up, like I was hanging from one of the Fresnel lamps that were glaring down on us, instead of standing right in front of him, shaking.

"But soft! What light is this that through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou her maid art far more fair than she…"

He rattled off the next nineteen lines of the speech exactly the way he had done them all afternoon, racing down to:

"O that I were a glove upon thy hand, that I might touch that cheek."

My turn. My line: "Ay me!"

I know, it sounds lame. But I said it like I wanted to die. Because that's how Juliet feels right then. But had it been too much?

Bobby went on, "She speaks."

Out in the auditorium, someone giggled.

Bobby continued.

"Oh, speak again, bright angel, for thou art

As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,

As is a winged messenger of heaven

Unto the white upturned wond'ring eyes

Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him,

When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds

And sails upon the bosom of the air."

Me again. My first real line in the scene. The one everybody knows—usually wrong: "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

You probably thought Juliet was asking where Romeo is, right? Wrong. She has no idea he's anywhere around. He's just been thrown out of the party her father was giving. He's gone. She's asking why the guy's name has to be Romeo, and the next lines make that clear.

"Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I'll no longer be a Capulet."

"Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?" Bobby asked the invisible balcony where Juliet was supposed to be standing.

Me:

"'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What's a Montague?—"

"Thank you," Mr. Gillinger said. Like he was saying "Thank you for shutting up now, please."

"Auh?" I said. I was kind of surprised. That was an awfully short audition.

"Let's see. Next. Vivian Brandstedt. Also Juliet, right?" Mr. Gillinger said.

I got down off the stage. I was done. I could leave. But I wanted to see what the rest of my competition looked like.

I went to the far back of the auditorium and moved into a corner seat.

Vivian Brandstedt slithered up onstage and began to play Juliet like she'd been the hottest babe in Verona. It was funny, except that Vivian really was a hot babe, so nobody thought it was funny but me. Certainly Bobby didn't. He fluffed his lines twice. Of course, it was hard for him to talk with his tongue hanging out of his mouth like that.

Mr. Gillinger let Vivian go on all the way to the end of the scene. He even read the nurse's offstage lines to keep the thing going to the point where Juliet says,

"Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow

That I shall say good night till it be morrow."

And Vivian wasn't bad. She just read it like she was tossing Romeo down her panties and her room key.

Why, why, why hadn't Mr. Gillinger let me read the whole scene? Was I that bad, or was I so good that he didn't need to see any more of me? Or was Juliet pre-cast like Romeo?

There was a noise down at the end of the row and a shape came toward me. Drew Jenkins.

He sat down beside me and whispered, "You were good. You get it."

Then he got up and went back down to the front row where he'd been.

I was absurdly grateful. Drew Jenkins, for reasons nobody could understand, was total BF best friends with Bobby Ruspoli, and if Drew liked me, maybe Bobby did, too. And maybe Bobby would say so to Mr. Gillinger and maybe—or maybe Drew had inside information. Maybe "You get it" meant "I just saw Gillinger's notes. You've got the part," not just "You get who Juliet is in this scene." Or maybe Drew had some kind of weird hold over Mr. Gillinger and was going to make him cast me—Drew was kind of mysterious for a sixteen-year-old geek. He knew all kinds of things. Maybe he had something on Gillinger, like an old arrest for marrying his own ego.

I forced myself to stop thinking like that. I didn't want the part because Bobby Ruspoli liked me, or even because Mr. Gillinger did (which would be amazing, since Mr. Gillinger thought he should be directing on Broadway and didn't like anybody). I wanted to play Juliet because I was the best actor who read for it, not because some guy hanging out with some guy thought I was good.

Which is not to say I wouldn't have taken the part under any conditions. Play Juliet in Swahili? I'll learn it.

But if I wasn't going to think about whether Drew's opinion counted with Bobby and Bobby's opinion counted with Mr. Gillinger, or whatever, what was I going to think about? I was going to think about why I hadn't been allowed to finish the scene. Of course.

Had I said "Ay me," too loudly, or not loudly enough? Had I sounded convincing when I said "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Did I even sound like I knew what it meant? Yes, I had. No, I hadn't. Yes, I—

He likes me, he likes me not. He likes me, he likes me not. That was what it came down to, and I couldn't stop obsessing even though I knew it was all out of my hands.

Two more girls read for Juliet that afternoon. They were both awful. I'm not just saying that. They were awful. One read like she was reciting a recipe: "Take one part Romeo and one part Juliet and stir until done. Then separate and—"

And the other was total emo.

"O Romeo, Romeo WHY ART THOU CALLED ROMEO?"

(Which is not the line, right?)

"DENY thy father and REFUSE thy NAME;

Or if thou wilt NOT, be but sworn my LOVE,

And I'll no LONGER BE A CAPULET."

When she was done, and the stage was awash in her saliva, Mr. Gillinger stood up. He looked over the fifty or so of us sitting there, people from his drama classes, people from outside the high school who'd come down to read in the middle of the day—a half-hundred theater junkies, hanging on his every word.

He seemed to be enjoying it. I always thought this moment, when his opinion was the only thing that counted to a roomful of people, was the real reason Gillinger had decided to teach drama. Or maybe it was just the only reason he had left, after so many years of doing it. Anyway, I'd been watching him direct for a couple of years now and something about the set of his once-handsome head always said "God, I'm good." He didn't even need to open his mouth to be arrogant.

Gillinger sighed. "I'm not seeing what I want here. I'm not seeing what I need to see at all. Some of you know I didn't want to do this play. It was forced on me by the administration when they wouldn't approve my plans to produce The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus with the nude scenes. They said they'd permit the production only if everyone stayed fully clothed. I said the play had been successfully produced with the roles of Helen of Troy, and the Devil Woman, unclothed any number of times since the 1960s. They said there were children—meaning you high-school students—involved in the play. I said that I had no intention of casting Helen as anything but what she was, a woman of twenty-three to thirty-three. And as for the Devil Woman, she could be any age. She is, after all, a demon. Demons are ageless.

"They said that didn't matter, everyone would have to stay dressed. I asked if they really thought that the children to whom they alluded had never seen a naked human body, when they could call up images involving every possible configuration of lust on the electronic goodies that they carried in their pockets, and study them. They said that didn't matter, either, as long as they didn't do it on school grounds. I said I wouldn't do the play any other way. They said, in that case, I would have to do something else, and I said, in that case, you'll have to decide what it is. Right now. What play, in your vast wisdom and deep knowledge of classical theater will you permit to be staged at this school? They said the first thing that came into their heads, and that thing was Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare's most overrated piece of hackwork. Probably, it is the only work of Shakespeare's that they have ever heard of."

Gillinger sighed again and closed his eyes. "The point is, if I am going to do this show at all, I am going to do it right. I will not, repeat, not, be satisfied with anything less than an outstanding production. And that, unfortunately, will require at least some outstanding actors. Now, I've seen a few of you who are—good. I've seen a few more who aren't bad. And many of you will do for the servants. This play is, after all, servant central. But there are key roles that cannot be filled by anyone I've seen so far.

"Fortunately, since this production is being funded by a grant from the city, it is, as you all know, open to the community at large. Thus, I do not have to cast just from the shallow talent pool at dear old Steinbeck High. So I'm doing something I'd rather not do, but which the lack of talent in this entire community is forcing on me. I am, in desperation, extending tryouts one more day. Go home, tell your friends if they have any acting ability at all to get down here and save this show. Otherwise—" He shrugged.

Maybe that meant "Otherwise I will not direct anything, and take the consequences." Maybe it didn't mean anything. Gillinger strode off into the wings with his jacket trailing from his shoulders like a cape.

That was it. We were done here. All over the theater there were thumping sounds as the seats went up and people started for the doors.

I slung my backpack and slid down the row to the aisle.

Bobby and Drew passed me.

"Break it," Bobby said with a grin and a nod in my direction. This was Bobby's version of "break a leg," which is what theater types wish each other for luck before a show, which this wasn't. But Bobby said "break it" any time. He thought it made him sound like a professional.

Drew gave me a thumbs-up, then flashed two fingers side by side.

What was that supposed to mean?

All the way home I wondered about that.

If it didn't mean some weird sex thing, which was virtually unthinkable given how straight-edge Drew seemed to be, it probably was supposed to mean, "I think you're the best one. But it's between you and one other."

Food for thought. Or, actually, dessert for obsession. If I was one, who was the other? Vivian the Terminally Hot? Or was it somebody who'd read the day before, when I couldn't come to tryouts? Who would that have been? Were they even in our school?

Blah, blah, blah. I wished, in a brief rational moment, that I had a different head with something else in it. But we are all stuck with the heads we have, and mine was trying to think of anything I could do that I hadn't already done to get that part.

This was not entirely and completely because I was a total drama nerd who only cared about getting a lead. That was a lot of it—but I had a reason all my own that nobody else did.

My mother had never played Juliet.

Right now you're thinking, "So what? My mother never played Juliet. Nobody's mother I know ever played Juliet. And none of the mothers' mothers ever played Juliet. Your mother is right on track." Which would be true, except that, before she was a nurse, my mother was an actor.

You never heard of her. Which means she was just like ninety-nine and nine-tenths percent of all the actors in America. But she went to Juilliard, and when she graduated she came out to the West Coast and joined what they call The I-5 Repertory Company.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • 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 good...so 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

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    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

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    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 School.so 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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