Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Juliet Spell By: Douglas Rees

I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?
Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.
Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

I love all things Romeo and Juliet.  Which is pretty weird because I hate tragedies.  I am all about the Happy Ever Afters.  Anyway this story starts with Miranda.  Her mother was an actress and preformed in many parts through her career all except Juliet.  When an opportunity comes up to auditions for the part in a Community play she jumps at it.  The audition doesn't immediately go that well so she falls back on a Spell book she purchased and preforms a spell for success.  She finishes the spell, there is a bright light and then an attractive young man is standing in her living room.

It turns out that he is the younger brother of William Shakespeare, Edmund. 

Miranda goes about teaching him about all things 21st century when it is mentioned that they are having open auditions for the play and Edmund in interested in playing a part.  How perfect would it be for him to play Romeo to her Juliet!!!  Of course his audition is amazing and the girls interested in playing Juliet are encouraged to re-audition with him and the chemistry between Edmund and Miranda is perfect, she will play Juliet and he will play Romeo.

Everyone is working hard on the play, there are love interests and fights between friends, a threat to stop the play and a way to keep it going, plus a surprise visit from William Shakespeare himself.  Just when you think that there can't be anymore craziness enter a mad man with a gun and messages through time.

I really liked this story.  Edmund was a great hero for this story.  He was everything that a 1590's something gentleman should be.  He was kind to everyone, gentle with women (too gentle in Miranda's opinion) and helpful at the house with chores.  Miranda was a typical teenage girl.  She was confused about her feelings toward Edmund and unsure of how to approach him for a while.  It was difficult sometimes as I was reading because she would sometimes sound like a man when she thought to herself and some of her dialog was more of what a boy would say. One thing that was annoying is how accepting everyone was about characters from the past suddenly showing up in our time.  No one ever freaked out.  They were just like of, you are Edmund Shakespeare from the 1590's, cool, want something to drink?  Then, oh, so you are William Shakespeare, Play nice with your brother....  Not believable, but it made the story flow nicely without the characters thinking that they were all crazy.

**** SPOILER****

I wasn't completely happy with the ending, I like my Happily Ever After endings and this one didn't end that way.  I understand that the author didn't want to change history so it had to end that way.  I am glad that all characters seemed to be happy with the out come, even if it was a year later that they could move on with life.


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