Tuesday, July 1

Book Review: O Juliet by Robin Maxwell

Author: Robin Maxwell
Title: O, Juliet
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, 
Pages: 338
First Published: December 2009
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me as a gift from Liz)

"Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage into the Medici dynasty, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that takes flight in the privacy of her bedchamber and on her garden balcony.

Her life and destiny are forever changed when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars."

Oooooooooooooooooh where to begin?!

This is a remake of the original 'Romeo and Juliet' by Mr. Shakespeare himself. I adore Billy, but ooooh I hated 'Romeo and Juliet'! It was missing depth and realism. It always bugged me how Juliet and Romeo only knew each other for a week before they killed themselves. C'mon! No offense to my love Billy, but this remake was much better then the original. 

Yes, there were many similar elements and references to the original. Some call this lazy, I call it a nod of respect to the original. All remakes do the same thing, they have some similar references of the old piece. I find it makes it better in many respects. However, the story has its own personality. The characters (though some share the same name) are completely different. Juliet is strong, smart, challenges Romeo, and older (no 13 year old child here). Romeo is more well-versed in the world (he actually did some travelling), educated, and wanted peace before even meeting Juliet. Marco (Juliet's cousin) actually plays a bigger role in the book and after a while becomes friends with Romeo. 

The biggest difference though would have to be the timeline. Juliet and Romeo actually had time to fall in love and meet each other. They had more then a couple secret meetings with each other. It wasn't all kissing and sweet words, but they had real conversations too. They fall not only in love with each other's looks, but with the person inside. I simply loved this! THANK you Robin Maxwell for doing this. 

Sighs, I want to spoil the ending, but I shall not. All I will say is that I had mixed feelings and Robin Maxwell tricked me! Ultimately (after some thought), I do like the ending. While reading it, however, I hated it, because I was tricked and my hope was dashed. Sighs.

In the end, this was a great book. This is on my list of 'Potential Favorite Book of the Year'. I've always liked Robin Maxwell, but this made me like her more. This remake is so much better then the original. The characters are more developed and the timeline is a wee bit longer. I was also a huge fan of the switch in settings. I would recommend this to those that like historical fiction/romance. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Juliet (loved this version of her), Romeo, Marco (adored him to no end), and Lucrezia (I secretly wished she and Marco would fall in love)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Strozzi (snake) 


Blodeuedd said...

DID they die or not!!? ;)

Lizzie said...

Carole, I am elated that you loved the book. Robin has such a gift for putting you in the story. Great review <3

Carole Rae said...


Lizzie, :) I'm so thankful that you gifted this book to me. I love Robin Maxwell. She really does have a way to share a story.