Narrator: Sarah Grace
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 1st 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Death & Dying, Friendship, Dating & Sex
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio
I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Buy on Amazon
In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale. What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything. Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy...and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance. Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends….
Audio Review: Sarah Grace’s narration was very good, with a few exceptions. Her voices for Rob and Len were both a little different than I’d imagine their personalities to be. For instance, Rob claims to want to go to Stanford (with Rosaline), but sounds just a little bit too surfer dude. And Len is very nasally, and it’s hard to take him seriously in a romantic setting. But, I really liked her general narration for Rosaline, and the other characters were good too. In fact, I’m glad I listened to this one on audio, because I’m not sure that the story would have quite grabbed my attention if I had been actually reading the book.
Review: What I loved about this book was that it was an entirely new twist on Romeo and Juliette. Rather than trying to connect with and suffer through a story about star-crossed lovers that really haven’t known each other that long, you agonize with the best friend that couldn’t make that leap to girlfriend. And agonize I did. The absolute best character in this book is is Rose. She is sweet, loyal, and though she is a bit wishy-washy at the beginning, she really does take charge near the end. My only gripe with Rose is that I just couldn’t buy the “I’m going to Stanford” thing. She is rarely shown studying or really focusing on school. She does complain about school a great deal, but I just wasn’t buying that she was the excellent student.
Truthfully, I never could quite warm up to Charlie and Olivia as Rose’s friends. I understand that they are fiercely loyal to Rose, but man, they were jerks. They are the kind of girls that would have made my life pretty miserable because I didn’t do something essential like wear designer labels. So, while I get that they are there for Rose and support her, I just felt like I needed to keep my distance. Mostly from Charlie. Honestly, Olivia’s romance was pretty cute, and she’s more doofy than diabolical.
Juliet and the havoc that she brings down on Rose is really devastating. And I blame Rob just as much as I blame Juliet. Because just as soon as the Rob/Rose thing starts to get off the ground, everything changes. And the relationship that Rose just realized that she wants is slipping through her fingers. I know some have been pretty critical of Rose’s knee-jerk reaction to really hate Juliet for this. But, as I read it, I feel like she was pretty equally critical of both of them, and acted in a way that was natural.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It is a stand-alone novel, has a heart-wrenching ending, and some pretty awesome character development.