Monday, September 19, 2011
Audiobook Review - Juliet Immortal by Stacy Jay, Narrated by Justine Eyre
This book surprised me. I have to admit - I was really apprehensive going into it. The story is a very unique spin off of Romeo & Juliet. In this version, Juliet and Romeo were two real teens who fell in love back in medieval Italy. Their story ended tragically, but not from starcrossed love. Romeo sold Juliet out in exchange for immortality to a society of paranormal beings that feed on negativity. Juliet ends up working against Romeo throughout the centuries for another group of paranormal beings who try to protect soul mates from the evil “mercenaries”.
Pretty wild, right? It is a bit out there, but it’s really well told. The voice of Juliet is full of angst over her lost life and her struggles with her current plane of existence. She now fights for the good guys, coming out of the “mists” to borrow and inhabit a body of someone within the vicinity of the soul mates she’s bound to protect. In turn, while she’s occupying that body, she tries to improve the life of the temporarily evicted soul. The story begins when Juliet inhabits a new body, a troubled young woman named Ariel. This cycle though is different than her others. Things are not all they appear to be and for the first time in 700 years, Juliet begins to have feelings for another human being. Can Juliet save the soulmates she’s been sent to protect and save herself in the process?
Wow, that was really hard to write! The book is complex, full of angsty twists. It’s a really different read that I think would appeal to paranormal fans and people who prefer more contemporary stories since most of the book takes place in a sort of normal high school setting. (Okay, how normal can it be when Romeo & Juliet are occupying bodies that don’t belong to them?) The narrator for this audiobook is a great actress, but her voice sounds really old. Like, I thought she could be Juliet’s grandmother. The actress isn’t old (I googled her) and voices a lot of YA audiobooks. Meh, to each their own, but her voice didn’t work for me. I almost had to turn the book off and switch to reading this book instead of listening. Ms. Eyre just has this vocal fry/texture going on that gives her voice so much depth and age. It was hard to buy that she was a 14 year old girl trapped in the body of a slightly older teen. I’m picky though about my audiobook narrators since I am one myself, so keep that in mind.
“Juliet Immortal” is a very different take on paranormal romance. It’s very angsty. It also has some very gruesome descriptions and violence, so I wouldn’t recommend it for younger teen readers. If you’re looking for something completely new though, this is definitely a book you should try. It was an enjoyable, unique read.
"Juliet Immortal" was published in August of this year by Delacorte. The audiobook was produced by Listening Library. I purchased it through Audible.com.