The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
Yes, I decided to read The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper (2008) because I'm so looking forward to seeing the movie Letters to Juliet. Completely different plots, though, and I'm hoping the movie's story is as fun and light as the one in this book.
After just being dumped by her boyfriend back at home, teenager Kate has sworn off love. Perfect time to then head to romantic Italy, right?
Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance?
Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.
So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She'll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she'll be getting college credit for it—another goal accomplished!) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars—in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways—try hard to break her protective shell?
"In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . "
Throw in a little mischief-making on the part of the other scholars that Giacomo and Kate counter-plot, and you have an interesting mixed bag of (albeit predictable) results.
I especially enjoyed the brief sections with Kate's two best friends at home, who have a bet going about whether Kate falls in love while in Verona. They pour over her e-mails together and provide a nice side commentary about Kate from the perspective of close friends.
I can't recommend this book highly enough if you're looking for a light, pleasant YA story to read.
Click here to see the site for The Juliet Club, the actual group who answers letters.
You can click here for a listing of the books I've read so far for the 2010 YA Reading Challenge.
My overall personal rating of The Juliet Club is a B+.