I’ll have to decide: join Romeo or let the specter of my soul take me. I know I should be afraid for my future, but all I can think about is Ben.
This book mocks the original Juliet's weakness, only to have the newly improved Juliet just as fucking dumb as the original.
So the original Shakespeare version, Juliet met Romeo, fell in love, and died for love within three days. In this retelling of Juliet's story, she still ran away with Romeo, and then said Romeo stabbed her and ate her like a zombie. Flesh and blood dripping from his mouth and everything. It was pretty neat.
Flash forward 700 years in which Juliet is older, wiser, more wary of the perils of insta-love? Fucking nope!
One would think a reimagined, powerful, supernatural Juliet would have learned a fucking lesson or two: nope!
This book was terrible. Here is why:
- A stupid, stupid main character who makes the same mistake as the original Juliet, made worse by the fact that she was KILLED the first time. She's ruled by her passions, there is no reason in her behavior.
- Insta-love, a love triangle between the new, improved zombie Romeo and new boy Ben Luna. Ben. Ben. GEE, I WONDER WHO BEN COULD BE?! It's not like he has a character with a similar name in Romeo and Juliet or anything!!!11
- Terrible side characters: basically, the stars of the book are Juliet and Ben. Nobody else need apply.
- Poor setting: The whole we're gonna give you renewed life so you can be play Cupid? No.
- Poor female characters: Her best friend, her "mother," both uncaring, cruel, callous bitches, depicted as inferior to Juliet (insta-love Juliet) in every way.
- The premise: weak as Ben and Juliet's insta-love. The idea of a love ambassador is pretty bloody and neat until you take into consideration the fact that it doesn't make any sense at all, and I'm not talking about the suspension of disbelief and the supernatural element. I'm talking about the fact that the reasoning behind the soul mate thing makes no fucking sense.
He turns and our eyes meet, and that sense of knowing him hits, catching me in my empty gut. For a moment, the sadness and pain in his eyes is my pain, and I desperately want to make it better. I want to reach for him, hold him, whisper into the warm crook of his neck that everything is going to be okay, that I’ll make it that way.
(Psst, that's the first time they meet)
Day 0.5 (because it takes place when the day's practically over): Juliet is awake! Well, kind of. This ain't Shakespeare's Juliet...well, she's the inspiration for it, but the Shakespearean version was a falsehood, told to the dude by the sneaky, conniving son of a bitch that's Romeo. The real Juliet died at age 14, in 1304 Verona. Killed by the man she loved. And now Romeo is kind of a zombie. He reincarnates from one life to another, living constantly on earth as an immortal Mercenary, whereas Juliet only gets to come back to earth once in awhile, as an Ambassador. Think of her as Cupid, she makes sure that a paid of true loves end up together, or else they will fall prey to the forces of darkness and one of them will die a horrible death like she did. At the hands of Romeo. Did I say that Romeo is a zombie? He's a total zombie.
...flesh in his teeth, blood dripping down his chin.
So now Juliet has been given an assignment, she's given the body of Ariel Dragland, a stunningly beautiful, extremely thin platinum-blonde high school outcast with self-esteem issues and mommy problems. Yeah, an outcast, because she's a little bit scarred from being burned as a child.
So here's Juliet/Ariel. On earth. Almost dead from a car accident, and OH CRAP THERE'S ROMEO, now in the body of a boy named Dylan. Juliet/Ariel runs like fuck, Romeo is chasing after her (he's a fast zombie), and OMG YAY A CAR. She runs into the car, and is struck down by insta-love. The rescuer is a high school boy named Ben Luna. The attraction is immediate.
I’m suddenly very aware of him, as well, of his front warming my back, his thighs shifting beneath mine. I clear my throat, blushing for the first time in so long the strangeness of hot cheeks makes me blink.
Ben is Mexican-American. He likes to uses randomly inserted Spanish words.
“Then this really isn’t your lucky night, chica."
I almost typed "Mexican words" for a moment before I caught myself. Lol. We all have our brain farts.
So crazy zombie Romeo/Dylan is after Ariel/Juliet. They go to the same high school. Hooray! Doesn't matter. What's important is BEN. BEN. She feels such...familiarity with him, she feels an intense longing for him, despite knowing Ben that night for all of 1 hour.She wants to kiss him as he drops her off.
I stay and let him come closer, closer, until I can feel the heat of his lips and imagine just how perfect they’ll feel, how perfect he’ll taste, how—
She can't stop thinking about him for the rest of the night.
I fist the damp wipe in my hand, reining in the part of me that aches for this boy with the big brown eyes.
I might feel an instant connection to Ben, but I don’t matter.
Famous last words.
Ben is Mexican.
"Dulces sueños, Mermaid.”
Day 2: So Juliet's still got a job to do, right? She's got to find the designated couple of soulmates and make them fall in love or else one of them will die a horrible horrible death. Nobody wants that, except for Romeo. Awesome. So where are they? As it turned out, one of the couple is Gemma, Juliet/Ariel's best friend since second grade. The one girl who has befriended Ariel despite the entire class neglecting and making fun of her. There's an aura over her head. Gemma is 1/2 of the soulmate.
And then I turn back to Gemma...lost in the rosy glow surrounding her chest.
And the other 1/2 of the soulmates?
Ben. Something in my gut twists and for a moment I’m dizzy, weightless, as if the floor has been ripped from beneath me, but I don’t know which way to fall.
Well, awesome! Best friend in love and designated to be soulmates with the guy who saved her the other night. What could be better? Well, for starters, JULIET CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT BEN.
I shake my head. This has to stop. I can’t go to pieces every time I see his face. I have to pull it together, be a good influence, make sure he commits to the love of his life and lives happily ever after.
But it doesn't. Juliet can't stop thinking about him. Romeo is on her ass. And Ben is still determined to prove to us that he's Mexican.
Ben laughs. “Dios mio. Fine, crazy woman.”
Day 3: GEMMA. THAT BITCH. SHE'S SO NOT WORTHY OF BEN. I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE HER TO BEN.
Gemma’s thoughtless at best, mean-spirited and selfish at worst, and I want so much better for Ben.
What?! Where the fuck did that come from?! Ok, so Juliet's in love with Ben. Romeo's still there declaring his undying (that was a zombie joke) love for Juliet if only she'd give him another chance. And Ben? After three (ok, 2.2?) days of knowing her, this is how he feels.
“I’m not doing this right, and I know I sound crazy, but...I love you. I could see myself loving you for a long time.”
Well, that escalated quickly. Three days. Three motherfucking days.
“I love you. I want to do everything with you. I want to marry you and have kids with you and get old with you. And then I want to die the day before you do, so I never have to live without you.”
NOOOOOOOOOOO. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY. Do your fucking job, Juliet. Need I remind you of what would happen if you don't unite the soulmates?
These two are my job, and if I don’t do it, one of them will die. Either they commit to each other or one of them commits murder and becomes a Mercenary. That’s the way it goes. Every. Single. Time.
Fuck you, Juliet, you stupid bitch. YOU HAD ONE JOB.
Ben is still Mexican.
“Dios mio,” Ben says.
How can I think of loving someone again? How have I let this happen? Even if it weren’t forbidden, haven’t I learned my lesson?
Apparently not. Juliet is a motherfucking moron. She's techniaclly over 700 years old, but she hasn't spent all that time on Earth.
I’ve seen centuries pass, but I died when I was fourteen and have spent less than twenty conscious years on earth.
20 years. That's a long time as an adult. Time spent being Cupid, making soulmates meet. She's been betrayed by love. She's seen the harm love can do. She knows the consequences of destined soulmates NOT falling in love, and she doesn't learn a motherfucking thing. She fell into insta-love with Romeo and elopes. He kills her. One would think she would know better not to fall into insta-love again. After THREE MOTHERFUCKING DAYS. She knows that the soulmates who aren't together will end up in a horrible death. SHE IGNORES THAT FOR HER OWN MOTHERFUCKING INSTA-LOVE. Gemma doesn't deserve him, says Juliet, the worst fucking Cupid ever.
Not only that, she's determined to destroy the only friendship thar her borrowed body, Ariel, has. Gemma is her only friend. Ariel suffers from crippling shyness. Ariel has no other friends. And yet Juliet as Ariel sees fit to steal away her best friend's soulmate.
She and Gemma are so different. It’s amazing they’ve stayed friends for as long as they have.
But they have, and it doesn’t matter what I think. I can’t let Ariel lose this friendship. I could be gone by the end of the day.
That would be such a fucking cute sentiment if Juliet didn't steal away Ben under poor Gemma's nose.
Oh my god, the love. THE LOVE. Juliet is so fucking purple-prosey-lovey-dovey. She can't contain her fucking emotions for Ben, a boy whom, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but SHE'S KNOWN HIM FOR LESS THAN THREE DAYS. By the end of day 2, she's ready to declare her love. It's pure insta-love. There is no emotion behind it. She feels the familiarity, the desire, that's it. One little word from him is like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH MOTHERFUCKING CHERUBS SINGING FROM HEAVEN. Juliet is easily impressed.
Romeo might have praised my loveliness with lyrical poetry, but he never made me feel as beautiful as Ben did when he said four simple words.
You matter to me.
Puh-please. Is that all it takes to get her to drop her panties? Be a little better than that. Have more fucking depths than that. Am I to believe that Juliet is a motherfucking Immortal Warrior? Fucking no.
The Girl Hate:
"You’re the one who messed up when you got pregnant when you were nineteen."
Way to be a bitch to your own mother. Well, to Ariel's mother, but it's Ariel who's going to have to live with the consequences.
This book hates women. Juliet/Ariel's mother is a careless person. Unfeeling about her daughter's feelings. Terrible at showing her love, even if Juliet acknowledges that she does love her daughter.
She means that she cares, no matter how bad she is at showing it.
Her best friend Gemma, is also another careless person.
The hard light in Gemma’s eyes fades, and for a second I can see that she cares. Or that she wants to care.
So none of the female side characters in this book is cares at all. To be fair, none of the guys in this book are any good, either, but the female characters are prominent, and I hate the female hate in this book.
Gemma is a bitch. She doesn't deserve the angelic Ben.
Gemma is a vindictive, selfish, spoiled girl who doesn’t deserve Ariel and certainly doesn’t deserve Ben’s love.
Every attempt is made in this book to paint Gemma in a bad light, including making her the beautiful outcast rich girl, to making her a slutty character who plays around with boys like they were toys (and therefore deserves her heartbreak).
Ben! The Abusive Romantic!:
“He was only protecting her.”
“Like he was protecting you today?”
“Ye-es.” Something in her voice makes me certain my answer won’t satisfy her.
“Ariel … violent people usually have a good excuse for why they’re violent. But even a good excuse is just an excuse.”
Oh, I'm sorry, did I accidentally read a New Adult novel? Ben is violent. He's beaten up people before. He's gotten arrested for it. But it's ok, because Ben was doing it for the sake of other people. He only beats up the bad guys ~_~ Therefore his violence is TOTALLY justified.
Ben flirts with Juliet/Ariel while dating her best friend.
I would almost swear that Ben is flirting. With me. Right in front of his soul mate. Which is so bad that bad can’t even begin to describe it.
Uh, yah, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Ben, who speaks with the eloquence of a thousand John Mayers.
“I know you,” he says, with a quiet assurance that threatens to make my tears start all over again. “I know you’re strong and as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. I know you like to eat and hate Shakespeare—at least the love stories—and would do anything for a friend. I know you’re an artist, and you made a wall of bricks look like it should be hanging in a museum.
Ben, who is Mexican.
“Olvida la escuela,” he says, anger in his eyes.