Title: The Juliet Club
Author: Suzanne Harper
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Kate Sanderson has been burned by love. From now on, she thinks, I will control my own destiny, and I will be reasoned and rational. But life has other things in store for Kate. Namely, a summer abroad studying Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the very town where the star-crossed lovers met, Verona, Italy. Kate is thrown together with two other American teens and three Italians for a special seminar--and for volunteer duty at the Juliet Club, where they answer letters from the lovelorn around the world. Can Kate’s cool logic withstand the most romantic summer ever? Especially when faced with the ever-so-charming Giacomo and his entrancing eyes...?
I hadn’t heard much about The Juliet Club when I picked it up at the bookstore but I decided I would give it a shot. When I read the summary it made me think of the movie Letters to Juliet which came out in May of this year. They are both based around the group of people who answer letters that are sent to Juliet, the difference being that the letters aren’t used in the same way. The book was a lovely summer read and I really enjoyed it.
After seeing what happened to her parents’ marriage and a relationship gone wrong, Kate decided that she would never let herself get fooled by love. Then she learns that she will be spending four weeks in Verona, Italy at a Shakespeare Seminar. Kate leaves for Italy ready to plunge deeply into Romeo and Juliet and focus only on studying. But then she meets Giacomo and has to answer letters for the Juliet Club, which, obviously, deal with love. While trying to play a trick on the other members of the seminar, Giacomo and Kate find themselves falling for each other, something they most definitely did not except to happen.
Kate was a character that I learned to like. At the beginning of the book she didn’t really appeal to me all that much but by the end I found that I actually really liked her. I had the same reaction to Giacomo. At first I found him a little cocky and arrogant but I learned to like him too and by the end of the book I could see what Kate saw in him. Kate and Giacomo were very similar characters, at times it felt like they were the same just one was a girl and the other a boy. I found that this is what made the relationship between the two that much more interesting. We always say that opposites attract but in this case, they thought they were opposites but I thought they were actually the same. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but that’s just what I thought.
I actually like the secondary characters better than I did Kate and Giacomo (though I did like them in the end!). Lucy and Benno were my favorite. Lucy was always so positive and happy and she wanted nothing more than to help everyone who wrote to the Juliet Club. There was just something about Lucy that made her really likeable...maybe it was the whole hopeless romantic thing. And Benno was just too amusing not to like. He was overly expressive about everything and he troubles with girls are truly funny, especially when another Shakespeare Scholar is concerned. Silvia and Tom were also quite interesting but Benno and Lucy were still my favorites.
The story was light and amusing and made for the perfect summary. I liked how the chapters were in terms of acts and scenes like it would be in a play. I found that it was a nice tie-in to the whole Shakespeare thing. The various Entr’acte with Kate’s two best friends were also nice to have just to have a different take on things at time. The general plot of the book also reminded me of some of the Shakespearean comedies, with those thinking they are playing the trick actually ending being the ones tricked. I just thought it was neat especially considering Shakespeare plays a pretty important part in the book. The story was nothing overly deep and meaningful but it was exactly what I needed after having read a few pretty intense books.
Overall The Juliet Club was the perfect summer read, I just breezed through it. Even though it was 400 pages long, there was never a boring moment. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking to read an light and entertaining novel.