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Juliet Immortal (Lib)(CD) [Audio CD]

Stacey Jay
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Book Description

Aug. 9 2011
Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush will relish this intense paranormal love story featuring Romeo and Juliet, literary history's most tragic couple, who meet again, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


From the Hardcover edition.
--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

STACEY JAY lives in the California wine country with her husband and their two boys. She is the author of the Megan Berry, Zombi Settler series and several other books for young adults.




From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

VERONA, ITALY, 1304

Tonight, he could have come through the door--the castello is quiet, even the servants asleep in their beds, and Nurse would have let him in--but he chooses the window, climbing through the tangle of night flowers, carrying petals in on his clothes.

He stumbles on a loose stone and falls to the floor, grinning as I rush to meet him.

He is a romantic, a dreamer, and never afraid to play the fool. He is fearless and reckless and brave and I love him for it. Desperately. Love for him steals my breath away, makes me feel I am dying and being reborn every time I look into his eyes or run trembling fingers through his brown curls.

I love him for the way he sprawls on the freshly scrubbed stones, strong legs flexing beneath his hose, as if there is no cause for worry, as if we have not broken every rule and do not face banishment from the only homes we have ever known. I love him for the way he finds my hand, presses it to his smooth cheek, inhaling as if my skin smells sweeter than the petals clinging to his coat. I love him for the way he whispers my name, "Juliet"--a prayer for deliverance, a promise of pleasure, a vow that all this sweet everything he is to me will be forever.

Forever and always.

Despite our parents, and our prince, and the blood spilled in the plaza. Despite the fact that we have little money and fewer friends and our once-shining futures are clouded and dim.

"Tell me that tomorrow will never come." He pulls me to the floor beside him, cradling me on his lap, hand curling over my hip in a way it has not before. Heat flares from the tips of his fingers, spreading through me, reminding me I will soon be his wife in every way. Every touch is sanctified. Everything we will do tonight is meant to be, a celebration of the vows we have made and the love that consumes us.

I drop my lips to his. Joy bleeds from his mouth to mine and I sigh the lie into the fire of him. "It will never come."

"Tell me that I will always be here in this room. Alone with you. And that you will always be the most beautiful girl in the world." His hands are at the ties on the back of my dress, slow and patient, slipping each ribbon through its loop with a deliberate flick of his fingers.

No urgent, shame-filled fumbling in the dark for us. He is steady and sure, and every candle shines bright, the better to see the tenderness in his eyes, to be more certain with every passing moment that this is no youthful mistake. This is love. Real. Magnificent. Eternal.

"Always," I whisper, so full of adoration the emotion borders on worship. A part of me feels that to love so is sacrilege, but I do not care. There is nothing in the world but Romeo. For the rest of my life, he is the god at whose feet I will kneel.

His cheek presses to mine, his warm breath in my ear making mine come faster. "Juliet . . . you are . . ."

I am his goddess. I can feel it in the way he shudders as my fingers come to the buttons of his cotehardie and pluck them from their holes, one by one, revealing the thin linen of the shirt beneath.

"You are everything," he says, eyes shining. "Everything."

And I know that I am. I am his moon, and his brightly shining star. I am his life, his heart. I am all that and the answer to every unspoken question, the comfort for every hurt, the companion who will walk beside him from now until the end of our lives, reveling in the bliss of each simple chore done in his name, overflowing with beauty because I am blessed to spend my life with my love.

My love, my love, my love. I could hear the words a thousand times and never grow tired of them. Not ever.

"Forever," I whisper into the hot skin at his neck, sighing as the last tie holding my dress to my body falls away.



TWO

SOLVANG, CALIFORNIA, PRESENT DAY

Dying is easy. It's coming back that hurts like hell.

"Oh . . ." I press my hands to my forehead, where hot, tacky liquid pours from a cut above my eyebrow.

There is a lot of blood this time. Blood on my hands, smeared onto the dashboard, dripping through my fingers onto my jeans, leaving black spots I can see in the dim moonlight shining through the car's glass sunroof. It's messy, frightening, but, amazingly, the accident hasn't killed her. Killed me.

Me, now. Her, sometime again soon, depending on how long it takes to ensure the safety of the soul mates I've been sent to protect. Or how long it takes Romeo to convince one lover to sacrifice the other for the boon of eternal life.

It might not be long. He excels at his work.

Either way, Ariel Dragland will wear this shell again. Until then she'll wait in the realm where I've spent most of my eternity, in the mists of forgetting, that place outside of time where the gray stretches on forever.

I've been assured by my contact in the Ambassadors of Light that there are worse places, realms of torment where the boy who bartered our love for immortality will suffer someday. Nurse never uses the word hell, but I like to imagine that Romeo will number among hell's inhabitants. Of course, she never mentions heaven, either, or whether I might go there when my work is finished . . . if it is ever finished.

There are a lot of things Nurse sees fit not to mention. Including the exact workings of the magic that pulls me from the mist again and again, now more than thirty times in seven centuries. All I know is life comes suddenly. One moment I'm numb and bodiless, the next I'm slipping into another's skin, another's life--the ultimate, dreadful disguise.

I shiver as the memory of Ariel's last moments sweeps through me. I watch her snatch the wheel from the driver's hands before a deadly turn in the road and pull hard to the right, hoping the dive into the ravine will kill them both--her and the boy who hurt her. My eyes flick to the driver's seat. The boy--Dylan--slumps forward, the downward tilt of the car making his limp body curl around the wheel. He is still, not a puff of breath escaping his parted lips.

It seems one half of Ariel's wish has been granted.

I shiver again, but I can't say I'm sorry. I know what he did, can feel Ariel's shame and rage rush inside me as the rest of her life pours in to fill the empty corners in my mind.

Behind my eyes flash images from her eighteen years. I focus, sucking in every detail, taking her memories as my own.



Tiptoe, tiptoe, always on tiptoe. Up the stairs, across the kitchen, down the hall to the room where the crayons live and I can breathe. Where she isn't watching. My mother, with her sad, sad eyes.

Seven, ten, fifteen, eighteen years old and still there is nothing finer than a blank sheet of paper, the white promise that the world can be what I make it. A magical place, an adventurous place, a possible place. Erasers take away the mistakes. Another coat of paint to cover them up. Black and red and purple and blue. Always blue.

Mom sees in blue. She sees the scars she made. I was six. She sees Gemma, my one friend, as a mistake, not a lifeline. She sees my hours alone and feels more powerfully every hour she's wasted. I am the waste, the thing that's eaten her youth alive. Refused to cough up the bones.

Sometimes it seems all I have are bones, scraps, a frame with nothing to fill in the empty space. Sometimes I hate her for it, sometimes I hate myself, sometimes I hate everyone and everything and imagine the world melting the way the grease melted my skin.

Skin and bones. Mom and I are both so thin. Hugs hurt, but there aren't many. Not for years. There are surgeries and pain and bright lights and then days trapped in the house with the shades drawn on our shame. There is the darkness inside, that baleful intruder that comes just when I dare to believe I might one day be whole.

There is school and the misery of being a person unseen, the jealousy that I can't be wild and beautiful like Gemma, that I am always an audience, never a player. There is the frustration of words that won't come out of my mouth no matter how hard I try. A D in public speaking. The one step up to the podium is an impossible climb. Everest. Higher. I hate Mr. Stark for his frustrated sighs, hate the class for their muffled laughter. I want to hurt them, to show them how it feels to have your insides twisted into knots you can't unravel.

Gemma doesn't care, tells me to get over it, stops sharing her adventures, closes the window into her vibrant world, forgets to pick me up for school at least twice a week. I'm losing everything. My only friend, my perfect GPA, my mind. How much longer can I live like this? Can I make it four more years, sleeping in that room, commuting to the nursing college in Santa Barbara, learning to live with more sickness and pain, when all I want to do is escape?

But then . . . there is him. His smile, his voice singing so strong, cutting through the curtains where I hide with my paints, curling into my ear, spinning dreams I want to come true.

They don't.

It's a joke.

We're kissing--slow, perfect kisses that make my heart race--when the text comes, asking if he's taken the Freak's virginity yet. He tries to hide the phone, but I see it. I start to cry, even though I'm not sad. I'm angry, so angry. He offers me fifty dollars--a piece of the bet--if I let him have what he's come for. I explode. I try to run from the car, but he grabs my hand, squeezing as he pulls back onto the road, telling me to "chill the hell out," promising to take me to a better place.

But there is no better place. I know that by now. There are only mirrors reflecting disappointment, shattering it in a million different directions, filling the world until there is no way out. It will always be this way. Always, even when I finally leave the house on El Camino Road.

The road, the road is . . . impossible. I won't let him drive it a second longer. I won't let him steer through the hole in the mountain down to the beach, where the cold, dark ocean waits like a nightmare creeping. I won't let him.

Not now. Not ever again.


From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Unique twist on the R&J story Feb. 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable story by an author well versed in Shakespeare (not only R&J) leads to a credible fantasy novel, unique in it's characters and plotline.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An original take on a well-known classic! Jan. 9 2012
Format:Hardcover
I actually love all things Shakespeare, so I was really excited to read this book. And it was completely original in every way!

Juliet Immortal was nothing like I thought it would be, but that wasn't a bad thing! Although a little confusing at first, Stacey Jay quickly sucked you into Juliet's world where Romeo was to be hated, her very existence was for saving other soul mates, and falling in love with the super-awesome new boy (Ben) was impossible.

I just adored everything about Juliet. She was sweet, caring, incredibly intelligent, yet she had a fire in her that was hard not to admire. And I expected to hate Romeo way more than I did, but I just couldn't dislike a boy who was obviously suffering from his past decisions every single day.

Overall, I really enjoyed Juliet Immortal! I felt that some things were simply breathtaking while others were a little unbelievable, but that didn't lessen the enjoyment factor one bit. Even if you haven't read Romeo and Juliet before, you should still pick up this book! :)

BUY or BORROW?: Definitely a book for any Shakespeare-lover's bookshelf!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  142 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where Art Thou, Love Story? Aug. 3 2011
By Leah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Die hard Shakespeare fans will probably faint when they see the premise of author Stacey Jay's JULIET IMMORTAL. The well-known tragedy of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, members of rival families who meet and fall in love, is a story which has been retold in different forms and manners. But the truth according to this book is that Romeo was the source of their demise... to gain immortality. Now, they battle for the souls of lovers on Earth in the never ending war between good and evil.

I was interested in this idea. How could an author possibly take Romeo and Juliet's tale and create a supernatural element? And being from California, it's nice to read about cities in your home state. Well, the idea sounded fairly standard: instead of the rival families, Romeo and Juliet are now part of warring factions-- he for the Mercenaries of the Apocalypse, she for the Ambassadors of Light. There are some fascinating ideas about the two sides, but their history, however, is confusing and a little comical. It took me about an hour to fully immerse myself in the mythology. The names alone require patience.

Poor Romeo is reduced to a blathering, over the top villain who likes to taunt Juliet. Juliet was a more complex character. Through her, Ms. Jay deals with issues some girls deal with: fitting in, finding yourself, and becoming a strong person. Juliet is capable of holding her own in a fight (which is refreshing considering the amount of female characters written who have the male lead fight for them), but when she meets a boy named Ben whom she feels an instant connection with, she becomes interested much like she was in Romeo in the play. I didn't understand their instant attraction; it felt like it was plunked into the story because there had to be a love interest.

The narration flows, yet it does have the tendency to be just as over-dramatic as Juliet's crazy counterpart. This feels like an extension of the play: Romeo and Juliet Immortal.

If you're a Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet fan, tread VERY cautiously with this one. If you're looking for an entertaining albeit contrived read and can digest some heavy-handed material, this is worth a look.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Compelling Read Aug. 15 2011
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay reexamines the Romeo and Juliet mythos. You see, Shakespeare gets it all wrong. Romeo and Juliet didn't die for love. Instead, Romeo killed Juliet to get immortality as promised by these beings known as the Mercenaries. Yet, Romeo's plans go awry when Juliet doesn't stay dead and is offered a position fighting for love and soul mates on behalf of the side of good known as the Ambassadors. Over the centuries, Romeo and Juliet find each other in battle in different times and different places. This time, though, is different from all the others. They find themselves in CA, Juliet inhabits the body of an emotionally damaged teenage girl named Ariel. Instead of focusing on her mission, she begins to fall for a teenage boy she meets named Ben. Will Juliet trust her heart and learn to love again?

Despite the cheesy summary, Juliet Immortal is an absolutely compelling read. Juliet's voice is so honest and so real. She is full of uncertainty, especially because she was burned so badly by Romeo. As readers we want Juliet to succeed and fall in love despite the obstacles because she is so likable, even with her faults.

Then there is Romeo who is delightful as a villain. He's bad, but also sexy. And quite dangerous. Yet, his motivations for joining the Mercenaries are legit. I felt that he wasn't a cliched villain, and I genuinely came to like his scenes.

I thought Juliet Immortal was incredibly romantic. I loved how it turned it's source material, Romeo And Juliet, on it's head. I loved the chemistry between Juliet and Ben, especially because as readers we just want her to be happy. I loved how big of a role love of all types - romantic, friend, family- played in this story.

The ending is great too. It left me completely satisfied. There were no cliff hangers. No sequel bait. There is an actual conclusion and resolution. Juliet Immortal is an excellent read if you love a strong romance and new takes on old stories.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conflicting feelings over this one. Sept. 18 2011
By Roxana W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'll make sure to keep this non-spoilery.

Pros: So I'm pretty conflicted over this book. At the very beginning I easily adored it. It starts with action and suspense and dives right into the plot of the story. The style the romance takes on is very different from that of typical YA. Romeo is basically a sociopath, and Juliet, though once having loved him, is completely aware of this. They're both now part of an ongoing "war" between the Ambassadors of Light and the Mercenaries. The book starts with them being thrown into another one of their missions for their respective sides, except that this time around things are weird. Romeo is stronger, Juliet is weaker. She can't reach her Ambassadors so they can explain things to her. Her mission isn't making sense and is harder to handle than usual. Romeo's acting weirder than usual, etc. All of this, I enjoyed and I found the story overall to be very captivating. I'm a sucker for *genuinely* tragic romances, and I don't see enough of that in most books that claim to have them.

Cons: The writing is simple, sometimes a little cheesy, but what I really didn't like was the resolution of everything at the end. It was kind of confusing and all over the place. It was interesting, but still, it felt really disorganized. I wish the events at the end had been much neater and less thrown together. The author should also try to explain things a little more there because I'm left with a few questions that I doubt are going to ever be answered, since it doesn't look like this will have a sequel- although I'd read that if it did. Heck, several of the characters themselves ended up with attitudes that went something like, "I don't understand what just happened but I'm cool with it!"

I say give it a shot, it isn't entirely typical, but take it lightly. I'm not someone who is generally a fan of the story of Romeo and Juliet because of how it's been hyped into a story of True Love over the centuries, but I very much enjoyed this one anyway.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club Review May 6 2013
By The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We are The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club, to know more about this book, go to the post in our website:

[...]

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club's Review:

"She will fight for light, and he for dark, 
Battling through the ages for loves sweet spark. 
Wherever two souls adore truly, you will find them.
The brave Juliet and the wicked Romeo."

Juliet Immortal is the first book of the Juliet Immortal series. The plot of this story is quite unique. We really liked this book, because it is a total and brutal twist to the worldwide famous story of Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet.
The beloved star-crossed lovers from Verona, have not had a happily ever after dead either. The truth is that Juliet did not kill herself, Romeo murdered her. He sacrificed her soul for his own immortality, but with the only condition of serving the Dark Ambassadors (the dark side). However, he never expected that Juliet would accept a position in the Light Ambassadors troops in order to get revenge for her premature death; she was not meant to die. If she had not fell for Romeo, she would have had a normal live. It was not simply her moment to leave.
Since then, every fifty years, Juliet is sent to Earth where Romeo is waiting for her to show up and kill her. Over and over again. They fight for new couples that have the potential to be soul mates. Juliet, for the Light, to the lovers to fall for each other. And Romeo, for the Dark, to make the girl kill her lover.
This battle has been going on since the beginning of time, and in our time, Light is loosing the battle.
It has been a long time since Juliet has been called for a mission and when she awakes in Ariel's body, a girl who tried to kill his boyfriend when she found out that their relationship was just a bet, she awakes near Romeo. Well, apparently, the not-so-nice-Ariel's-fake-boyfriend is dead after dying in the car accident that Ariel caused and Romeo has inhabited his body. That has never happened before. It is true that Romeo always find Juliet, but in a couple of days before her appearance.
While she tries to save her life and Ariel's, she meets Ben. He was in a car and happened to be near the accident. They run away from the scene when Romeo tries to kill Juliet even in front of an innocent person.
Juliet and Ben are drawn to each other instantly, although Juliet resist her feelings reminding herself that she is not the owner of the body she is in. She was sent to Earth with a mission and she has to complete it, not fall for the cutest, honest and good guy that Ben is.
Juliet cannot believe that Romeo has not followed her and kill her right away and she knows something is off. Therefore, when Romeo appears and explains to Juliet that they are alone in that city for the first time in centuries, he meant without any type of Ambassadors. Why? Romeo swears that is because is their time. The time when they start to love each other again, like nothing has ever happened, in order to save their souls and reclaim their old bodies, the ones where he was Romeo Montague and she Juliet Capulet. Can she trust him after all she is being truth with him? She did not kill her and betrayed once, but more than once in centuries and centuries of battling one another. And most important, can she love him again? That love she gave so purely, so innocent and selfless and was betrayed for eternity.
And then there's Ben. She knows she is falling for him, but everything gets more messed up when she discovers that one of the star-crossed lovers that she is sent here to save from Romeo's tricks is Ben and the other, Ariel's best friend, Gemma.
How can she still be in love with Ben when he is in love with Gemma? She is not Gemma's best friend, but it feels like betrayal.
Would she risk everything for love or would she fight for the cause? Would Juliet be able to forgive Romeo and love him back in order to save herself for another fifty years in the mist even if that means saving Romeo as well, after everything he did? Would she renew her votes with the Light Ambassadors, will she betray them for love or will she let herself die forever?

"Love doesn't want people to stay ignorant and frightened. Love doesn't value obedience over all else. Love doesn't judge and find some lives--or loves--more valuable than others. Love doesn't use people and throw them away. Love stays, and makes you stronger, even when the person you love is gone."

We loved this book from the beginning to the end. At first we were suspicious because of how would be the story. We all have heard of Romeo & Juliet and we were afraid to be disappointed. Obviously, that was not the case. We were impressed and, of course, glad to see that Stacey Jay has done an excellent work balancing between paranormal things (immortal souls, The Ambassadors, etc.) and regular life things (school stuff, relationship problems, etc.). Although this mixture of genres, we did not feel lost or confused by the story not once and we were not annoyed by altering Shakespeare's story. We loved the twist of the story and how the plot was related. So well, we almost felt like we were on Juliet's skin, well... more or less. You know what we mean. The main character is strong, determined and full of emotions that she is enable to express because of what she chose to be when she was murdered by her lover. We felt betrayed hearing the story, we cried and we felt sorry for Juliet. We even wanted to help her and kill Romeo for her!
We also liked a lot the determination in Ben's character. It is like I know what I want, I know you want it, so marry me baby right now. Even when the situations get to a point when you, as a reader, think that have no solution left to rescue the situation, there goes Ben's personality kicking everything down. Despite this, we could not shake the feeling of a Romeo 2.0 in Ben's behavior. We mean, Romeo was young and desperate and heartbroken when he fell from Juliet. He truly believe he was in love with her and did everything in his power to ensure that the feeling would last forever, for eternity. Why is not Ben falling for the same temptation? Because of the second quote, book addicts! We were relieved to see that Ben was, in the end, everything we were hoping for.

In conclusion, we enjoyed so much reading Juliet Immortal that we strongly recommend you guys this book. Is a great and creative story about two star-crossed lovers who die and die and die and fight. Now seriously, we recommend this book with a five gorjuss doll in our addiction ranking. We were so hooked up in this story that we could not wait a minute to start reading the second book of the series: Romeo Redeemed. You cannot miss Juliet's side of the story and if she gets her happily ever after.

"I love you. I want to do everything with you. I want to marry you and have kids with you and get old with you. And then I want to die the day before you do, so I never have to live without you."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New twist on an old classic. Sept. 3 2012
By Fivezenses of Reading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Juliet Immortal, is a new take on a classic piece of literature there has ever been known for over 500 years. The forbiden love, the sacrifice, the death, everyone and their grandparents knows this tale. But this novel, it begs the question: what really happened to the two love birds?

Something Stacy Jay decidely answers for her readers...

Decite, lies, heartbreak, and immortality... the ingredients that make up the backbone of the story with its main characters, Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montegue. 700 years and the two hate each other; well Juliet has a loathsome anger towards Romeo, but who can blame her. She is still made about the way she died, for how Romeo betrayed her, and the twisted way he took their suppose "love story" to Shakespeare and changed the outcome of it's original ending. Changing the beloved tale and painting it to be this heart stopping tragedy of love, is one piece of the puzzle in Juliet's anger towards Romeo.

I adore the very jouney of this tale. The backstory alone is rivetimng and left me mezmerized by the details. It even had me believing a 'what if' scenario for the actual story that we all know and love.

Now for the chacracters...

Juliet Capulet, everyone knows her; everyone loves her. Yet does anyone truly know this protagonist? That's what the story does, makes the reader really question the original story. I do have to say though that I enjoyed how it played out for Juliet. It was a little insane at first, the way it flooded in the emotions of Romeo with Juliet, but it worked. It had me hooked on her side of the story.

Now as for Romeo Montague, a real antagonist for the story. You just wanted to dispise this fellow and his ways. But then as I read further, I started to realize Romeo's motives and his side of the story every so often. It really made me understand the level of anger and such from this young man.

Then we have Ariel Dragland, who is a timid girl. 75% of her life, she has lived feeling like a freak show due to her face having scar tissue from being burned as a little girl. Then one day everything changes Juliet's soul takes over Ariel's body and finds a way to mend fences with Ariel's friends and family. She also helps Ariel learn to stand up for herself and fall in love too.

Beyond the characters, the details of the landscape and the atmosphere that Stacey Jay had written was superb! I loved every ounce of it and made it feel more real. I could picture the old world of Italy and the delicacies of it's time.

But besides all the historial aspects of the story and the love struck teens, it's truly a great piece of literature that really puts a new spin on the classic tale. I recomment this book to anyone that wishes to read about the timeless piece but in a modern way that is sure to make the reader wonder, "Hmmm, did this happen? Could it happen? I wonder..."
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