Stacey Jay’s plot concept is really unique, as far as YA paranormal romance goes. Romeo murdered Juliet, sacrificing her soul for his own immortality, and now the two are locked on opposing sides of this huge Dark vs. Light battle that’s been going on since the beginning of time. When both of their souls get transplanted into the bodies of modern American teenagers, stuff happens. Stuff like a really nutso love pentagon (and, towards the end, a hexagon).
Even though I’m not exactly a huge fan of love geometry (I’m more for love via linear equations, algebra style), I was actually pretty impressed with Jay’s handling of everything. Juliet Immortal does a great job balancing the paranormal stuff with everyday school stuff, and not once did I feel confused, annoyed, or anything else in the face of this plot’s progression.
Also, I really enjoyed Jay’s prose. I wouldn’t say it’s super poetic or earth shattering, but it was strong and well-presented, matching Juliet’s personality as a narrator quite well. This author is very good at getting emotions—particularly angst—across to the reader, but not in a lame, cheesy kind of way.
But obviously I didn’t completely love Juliet Immortal, and the number one reason was instalove. This book takes place over a period of three days. In the first chapter, Juliet meets this guy named Ben, who was actually a really decent love interest with an angsty past and a troubled life (Jay is big on the angst, like I said.) I had no problems with Ben. What I had was that Ben tells Juliet that he knew after an hour that she was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Okay, maybe I’d buy that from an adult. From a 17-year-old kid who’s having problems with a pre-existing girlfriend? No way. But, in any case, Ben then sang a song, and you all know the words. It goes kind of like this: “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but I really love you, so marry me, baby.”
Cue disgusted snorts and Nook-launching from my end. Oy vey. Proposing marriage at 17 years old after three days’ acquaintance is ludicrous. It reminds me of a certain Shakespeare play, come to think of it… Hmm. Well, at least Juliet is consistent!
Anyway. In the overall picture, I though Juliet Immortal was a wonderful book, unique and creatively constructed. I hate instalove, though, so I’m taking of stars for the eye-rolling and headache this book gave me. Otherwise, though, this was super good, and I loved that Juliet (finally) got her happy ending.