The romantic in me HAD to have this book. The Shakespearean geek in me was desperate for it - because of all his tragedies, Romeo and Juliet is of course my favourite. (Especially when it's adapted to screen starring Leonardo DiCaprio!)
So, when I read the back cover and realized author Stacey Jay was claiming that the greatest love story of all time - Romeo and Juliet! - was historically incorrect, I would have sold my last Diet Coke for a copy. (That may sound insignificant to some, but those who know me understand my affection/addiction/obsession for Diet Coke...)
Quite simply, I loved this book. (More than Diet Coke, even.) By the end of the first chapter I was absolutely, unequivocally, convinced that Romeo and Juliet did not commit suicide for their love, but rather that Romeo had killed Juliet on their wedding night...and they both have been travelling through time in the bodies of not-yet-matched soul mates - Juliet to connect them (a crusader for love), Romeo to destroy them. How freaking brilliant!
I was also absolutely, unequivocally convinced that Stacey Jay may be one of the best YA writers I have ever read. The character development alone left me slack-jawed, but then I'd get caught up in the writing - not quite literary, something unexplainable, but exquisit and real - and I would growl at anyone who dared to interrupt my reading.
And damn if I didn't yearn. For more of the story. For the foresight to have thought of this book before Stacey - and for the talent to have pulled it off so brilliantly.
Perhaps most stunning was the chemistry created between Juliet and Ben. In just 300 pages, Stacey single-handedly caused me to question what I once considered an EPIC love story and created a new (even more) epic tale of true love.