I was on vacation in California when I read this book, and I absolutely loved it. This might be one of those ‘Grade Dropper’ books; a book so good that you spend all free time reading or thinking about it (sometimes causing my grades to dip a little bit). I whipped through this book, wanting to know how it ended yet wanting it to go on for ever. This book was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, a retelling I thought was done rather well. A few reasons being:
1.) The relationship between Romeo and Juliet is minor, and Romeo is seen as naive and spoiled
2.) The author made this book feel sometimes that it was from that time period, occasionally using archaic words
3.) Rachel Caine gave Benvolio, Mercutio, and Rosaline more of a back story (Mercutio’s was particular heart breaking)
4.) And lastly, the author made Benvolio (a character who I loved even before I read this book; he was always tied for favorite character with Mercutio) more badass
In this retelling, Benvolio is the Prince of Shadows, a thief who steals for revenge from the rich, wealthy, and arrogant. The book even opens with him stealing from Tybalt. The author also gives the characters more depth, and highlighted the whole family politics aspect of the play. With elements like a slow, growing romance between Rosaline and Benvolio, a crazy grandmother, fantastic sword fights, Mercutio’s character change, and the family politics, this book was just amazing.
The only thing negative I will have to say is on the occasional use of archaic words. If I didn’t get this book on my kindle (where I can look up a word by highlighting it) I believe that I probably would’ve been more confused at parts.
This book contained occasional vulgar humor, sword fights, and a hanging.