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Review: The Juliet Club

Author: Suzanne Harper
Series: N/A
Publishing: May 27, 2008/HarperTeen/402 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3
Summary (from GoodReads): Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance? Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She’ll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she’ll be getting college credit for it–another goal accomplished ) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars–in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways–try hard to break her protective shell?”In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . ”

My Thoughts: Gotta love a good Shakespeare/travel to Italy/YA romance. This was a light, fluffy fun read complete with some “meh” writing but all-in-all a cute and satisfying beach read.
Some of the writing made me cringe but in the book’s defense I’m more “A” than “Y” so perhaps I just have a lower tolerance? It was definitely high school chatty-type writing that served it’s purpose but kinda grated on my nerves.
Kate is your typical YA star – pretty but doesn’t know it, grumpy but still had at least one good friend, headstrong but easily wooed by a pretty boy. And, Giacomo fits his mold perfectly as well.
The story is predictable but I’m a super for Shakespeare so I can’t complain much. 😉
Don’t let my cynicism prevent you from picking up this perfect Spring Break read. It is definiely “good” and it sure is fun. It would find space on my classroom’s book shelf but maybe not my shelf at home.


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Review: The Truth About Forever

 

Author: Sarah Dessen
Series: N/A
Publishing: May 11, 2004/Penguin Group/374 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Rating:
Review Blue Egg 3
Summary (from GoodReads): That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
My Thoughts: I was really nervous about this book. I am typically not a YA “regular” fiction kinda gal. I don’t really like books that don’t have some type of fantasy/paranormal/alternate universe thing goin’ on. I’ve always said “I don’t like reading books about real life or drama – I have enough of that in my own life!” Which is totes true, y’all.
For years I’ve heard wonderful things about Sarah Dessen and decided to pick up The Truth About Forever. The cover seemed the least offensive – no one was hugging on the beach or standing under the sun kissing.
The good news? I liked it! I really liked it! The bad? I “liked it” – didn’t love it, wouldn’t read another Dessen book, probably, but hey, progress is progress.
Dessen IS good at what she writes. The characters and the plot were both well developed. I felt connected to her characters, I was invested in their stories. There were just enough romantic elements without being overbearing. And I’ll admit it: I may have teared up at the end.. so sweet!
I typically find that YA books about teens, heartbreak, love, etc are pretty painful to read. Not true with Dessen. Everything was well balanced and she weaved a story that held my attention and had my rooting for and against all the right characters.
So, why 3 eggs? It was just “meh” to me. Perhaps I’m biased – I shouldn’t review non-fantasy/paranormal/adventure YA books because they really just aren’t my cup of tea. It was fun to experience the emotions of falling in love, having a great best friend, etc. but I’ve gotta be honest: I’d much rather prefer some magic or dare I even say it… vampires.
I think most people would enjoy this book. As I said, it is well written and it’s engaging. Dessen is a good author and there is no denying that. In addition, I’d put this on my classroom shelf – my kids would eat this book up. For my genre specific loving readers, this may be one to skip if you’re picky like me.