All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself. Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.
Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2)Featured
Something I love to do but don't get to all that often is read a series pretty much back to back. With a memory like mine, reading the series altogether is the only way that I can guarantee I don't miss key plot lines or internal references. Although Juliet Immortal has apparently not been especially popular with bloggers, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. Romeo Redeemed struck me as one of the most consistent sequels I have ever encountered. I liked and disliked the very same things about this one as the first, so, if you liked Juliet Immortal, you're in for another crazy, fun ride.
At the opening of Romeo Redeemed, Romeo wanders the earth in his specter form, more disgusting than any zombie. All he feels is pain. He hears the screams of people running away from him. Basically, he's Humperdinck if Westley followed through on his threats. The Nurse offers him a choice, though: perform a trial task for a chance to become an Ambassador or continue living in his refuse heap of a body. Unsurprisingly, he chooses to do anything other than be himself. His task: to make Ariel fall in love with him.
Ariel, the girl whose body Juliet inhabited and died in during Juliet Immortal in an alternate universe, has problems. She's got scars on her face, no self-confidence and she hears voices sometimes, and, when she does, she wets herself. Because of an episode like that, she's been a pariah at school since childhood, with only one friend, Gemma, who isn't necessarily the most supportive BFF all the time, focusing more on her own drama and needs.
Romeo has been put, again, into the body of Dylan. He takes over mid-date, after Ariel's learned Dylan was trying to sleep with her for a bet and before she tries to drive the car off the road. With foreknowledge of what she would do, he manages to prevent the accident. She gets out of the car and runs. He, with the need to woo her, talks her down and convinces her to spend the rest of the night with him.
As with Juliet Immortal, I liked the writing a lot, and the reading of the book was a pleasurable experience, but the romance plot line makes me antsy. My biggest problem is that Ariel, poor, damaged Ariel, would never trust someone so quickly, let alone a guy who bet on her and threatened rape. She has trouble trusting her mom, who loves her even if she's not great about saying so. Why would she trust Dylan/Romeo? In the course of just three days, she falls in love with him. I'm not saying he couldn't have made her fall in love with him over time, but three days? No. Issues with self-worth and trust do not go away that quickly. They just don't.
Romeo, too, inevitably falls for Ariel, which makes more sense, considering that's what he's always done. Romeo's thoughts: "Oooh, a pretty girl. I wonder if she'll sleep with me. Probably not yet. Maybe if we were in love? Oh, sweet torture to love her so but not be able to, you know, love her so." Thus, I can accept this part, and laugh at Romeo's idiocy. He manages to act all jaded for like twenty pages, but very quickly returns to his natural state: obsession with the first pretty girl to cross his path. Some people grow and change, like Juliet did in some ways, and some don't, like Romeo.
I so wanted to be able to give this book a 4, that extra bump up, but I just couldn't do it. What it came down to was the ending, which was just too cheesy. Where I wanted her to go tragedy, she went drama! Romeo and Ariel living happily forever after? I THINK NOT. Also, there's a twist that did not work for me at all.
Though by no means a perfect series, I appreciate these books for taking a fresh, completely unique look at an overdone series. For my tastes, they could have benefited from a couple dashes more cynicism, but at least I got to revel in how much Romeo and Juliet didn't work out.
ARC received from Delacorte BFYR via Edelweiss
Release Date: 10-9-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Sinister and Sharp
Romeo Redeemed is the sequel to Juliet Immortal, only this time, the story is told from Romeo’s point of view. Romeo is tasked with making Ariel fall in love with him. And what happens if he succeeds? He gets to be an Ambassador of Light. While there were definite flaws throughout the book, it truly did live up to its name and redeem Romeo in my eyes.
There were parts of this story that were really interesting, and I enjoyed getting to see inside Romeo’s head. I found myself feeling sorry for him, even after his centuries of evil-doing. Now is he a character that I will remember after a year or two? Probably not. While it was enjoyable to read about his struggle, I do not see myself thinking back to this book much in the future.
What did I enjoy?
The best thing about Romeo Redeemed is the game of cat and mouse that is played between Romeo and both the Mercenaries and the Ambassadors. The game is full of suspense, and you will constantly be wondering who are the true bad guys.
Ariel was also intriguing—she’s so full of anger, yet she wants to be good. However, at times, that anger takes full control of her and she loses herself. I really feel for her after seeing the way she is treated at school and by her “friends,” and I don’t blame her for not trusting people. I did find the parts of the book where we see her point of view a bit unreliable, though. Of course, this could have been a conscious decision by Stacey so that the suspense stayed at a high level.
What are the book’s flaws?
The major flaw I saw was with the short moments where we are transported back in time to see Juliet. There are only a hand full of times where we see her, and you don’t know what the heck is going on until the book is almost over. We saw that she ended up happy in Juliet Immortal, but when we first see her in Romeo Redeemed, everything has changed and she is back in the tomb and the Friar won’t let her out. It took me a while to figure out that the timeline had been messed up by Nurse. I think Stacey should have done something to make this more clear so that when Juliet pops back into the action, you aren’t left wondering what is happening.
I also felt the ending was rushed—we got to see inside Romeo’s head in a sort of epilogue, but we don’t see anything about Juliet’s future. I don’t know if a new one is expected (although I don’t know where a next novel would be able to lead), but I felt like Juliet’s part of the story was left unfinished.
Overall, I enjoyed the book enough to finish it, although it did take me a few days. Most books I am able to finish in a day or two, but I had to space myself out with this mainly to keep from getting too frustrated with the characters and the holes in the story.
Fans of Juliet Immortal should read this just so they can see Romeo’s inner workings—we see why he did the things we did, and we see a side of him that is never shown in Juliet Immortal.