Monday, 3 March 2014

ARC Review: Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout









Author: Jenny Trout
Pages: 304 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Received From: the publisher 
Status: ?

Synopsis (from Goodreads)



Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo…But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure, and the chance to avenge his father’s death.

In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…

Review 




Such Sweet Sorrow brings together two of Shakespeare's most commonly known tragic plays, Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet. This is NOT a retelling of the two plays, but answers the "what ifs?" left at the end of each. What if Hamlet really believed he had the power to see ghosts? What if Romeo didn't really die from the poison? What if Juliet never made it to Heaven? What if Hamlet didn't plan to avenge his father?   


It's these little questions that make the story so unique and so different. I'm used to reading retelling of classic plays and stories, but I've never (or don't recall) read any novels that pertain to what would've happened if...?


Romeo's wife, Juliet, has just died but he is deemed a free man by the Duke of Verona. After receiving news that a man in the North can help him bring back his darling Juliet to life once again, he sets of on a tireless journey with Friar Laurence. Hamlet reprised his role as the anguished son of the former King of Denmark, and the angry boy mad at his uncle and mother for ruining his family. Soon, the two meet in a bar where they exchange stories, and when they realize how important they are to each other, they end up on a journey in another world, working together to stay alive, find true love, and get back home.


Let me just tell you now: this story was freaking awesome! Romeo was a cunning, bad boy with a broken heart; Hamlet's the confused Prince who's still learning how to deal with his unspecified status now that his uncle is king; and Juliet is a BAD ASS in this book! 


My favourite thing about this book was that Juliet wasn't portrayed as a young, na├»ve girl. In this story, Juliet isn't in Heaven, but is in an in between state called the Afterjord. When Romeo finds her and wakes her up, she's dazed, but quickly develops in the story and keeps Hamlet and Romeo from pretty much killing themselves.


Hamlet was very melancholy for me, but he was still smart, still sharp. I like how Jenny Trout didn't really specify that Hamlet wasn't totally straight and wasn't totally gay. When I read the actual play, Hamlet to me didn't seem entirely sure about his sexuality. In this book, it isn't 100% addressed. We see him annoyed by Ophelia, but at the same time cares for her. He cares for Juliet and is protective of her, but he doesn't really love her. 


Romeo wasn't my favourite in this book because he was driven by his emotions that he acted so irrational and made himself look like a fool in the group. He redeems himself at the end and if this does get turned into a series, I would like to see his character develop much more.
 

This story was good, but in the end for me was what made it a little over-than-average rating. It wasn't out-of-this world or I-gotta-stay-up-all-night for it amazing either, but it was interesting, new and refreshing to see such classic characters in a new psyche. I wasn't awed as I would've like, but I'm really interested to see what happens next!


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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