I am not the most normal person when it comes to reading books. Keep that in mind when I tell you I wanted to hate this book. I got to choose from three books in English to read, and this seemed the least likely to make me want to pull my hair out. And part of me wanted to hate it.
There are a couple of instances where there are books or series that I love to hate. It’s just, I dunno, joyful. This one I just wanted to hate on principle. I don’t read books like this, where it’s all romance and gooey feelings packaged around pretty words. I can list things I didn’t like; the language use seemed unrealistic, the only plot was love, some of the characters seemed like boards of people with the occasional snap of humanity. Yet, throughout this, in the end I liked it.
Elizabeth Bennet, of which whom this novel most closely follows, is rather funny at times, the dialogue toes the line of humor, and some of the characters break the bounds of what was proper. That was what I liked, that and the talked about subjects still discussed today.
There aren’t really warnings on this. If you can understand the first few chapters, don’t mind a dialogue based plot primarily about marriage, and dialogue that makes you wonder if people actually spoke like that, then you’re good. Enjoy, ya lil freaks. We all know I begrudgingly did.
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.