The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
Published in 2008 by Greenwillow Books
Since I adore the film Letters to Juliet, I grabbed this book as soon as I saw it. I was really hoping that the plot lines weren’t too similar, and I was not disappointed.
The Juliet Club is about no nonsense, recently heartbroken Kate Sanderson, the daughter of divorced lawyer (mom) and Shakespeare scholar (dad). When she wins a Shakespeare essay contest, a trip to study Romeo and Juliet in Verona, Italy is her prize. Since her dad is a known scholar, he, too, is attending the seminar, which just happens to be hosted by his archrival, Professoressa Marchese. When they arrive, Kate meets her rival, Giacomo, who just happens to be the son of Professoressa Marchese. But there are no thoughts of being star-crossed lovers in Kate’s mind, who has recently vowed to never waste her time on love again.
Kate discovers that some of the other students are planning to pull a Much Ado About Nothing stunt on herself and Giacomo, but the pair decides to turn the tables. They pretend to be falling in love as they study Shakespeare, answer letters as “Juliet,” and prepare to perform the famous balcony scene, but Kate will soon discover that her stand on never loving again may be starting to waver.
I really enjoyed reading this! The language use is very minimal (less than 5 instances), and it is very clean. I didn’t know that Much Ado About Nothing plays such a major role in the plot line, but I am so glad that it does since MAAN is my favorite Shakespeare play! I loved how the characters would quote Shakespeare to each other and loved it even more when I knew which play was being quoted. (English major, remember? So, of course, I took a course on Shakespeare.) This novel further fueled my desire to go to Italy and visit “Juliet’s house” (one of my friends is over there right now—jealous!) I picked this up at my local used bookstore, but you can find it on Amazon for less than $6 right now.
If you are interested in finding out more about the actual Juliet Club, visit their website at julietclub.com/en/. You can actually write a letter to “Juliet” and receive a reply. (Yes, I’m probably going to do this!)